Recently I started reading Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, and it is fascinating! Yes, you are essentially reading a scientific study of human development, but it is actually mind-blowing, like this idea represented here.
Or for instance, the reason that large land animals do not exist in places like Australia and the Americas is that humans killed them off, BUT humans and large land animals evolved together in Africa and much of Eurasia, which means that those animals had enough time and experience to learn to stay away from humans and not just be killed by them! So no horses, lions, elephants, mammoths, etc.
Ergo: Farming societies can’t develop without plow animals, surplus food can’t develop without farming, specializations like the development of writing or metalwork or chiefdoms can’t develop without surplus food, cities can’t develop without specializations, disease resistance can’t develop without cities, and suddenly when Europeans reach the Americas 99% of the Native American population dies of smallpox!
Mind = blown.