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Becoming Human: Evolution and Human Uniquenessby Ian Tattersall
Synopses & Reviews
An excellent bottle of wine can be the spark that inspires a brainstorming session. Such was the case for Ian Tattersall and Rob DeSalle, scientists who frequently collaborate on book and museum exhibition projects. When the conversation turned to wine one evening, it almost inevitably led the twoandmdash;one a palaeoanthropologist, the other a molecular biologistandmdash;to begin exploring the many intersections between science and wine. This book presents their fascinating, freewheeling answers to the question What can science tell us about wine? And vice versa.
Conversational and accessible to everyone, this colorfully illustrated book embraces almost every imaginable area of the sciences, from microbiology and ecology (for an understanding what creates this complex beverage) to physiology and neurobiology (for insight into the effects of wine on the mind and body). The authors draw on physics, chemistry, biochemistry, evolution, and climatology, and they expand the discussion to include insights from anthropology, primatology, entomology, Neolithic archaeology, and even Classical history. The resulting volume is indispensible for anyone who wishes to appreciate wine to its fullest.
A captivating survey of the science of wine and winemaking for anyone who has ever wondered about the magic of the fermented grape
In Becoming Human, noted anthropologist and renaissance man Ian Tattersall explores what makes us uniquely human, the qualities that set us apart from our ancestors, and the significance of our knowledge. A worldwide tour of discovery, Tattersall takes the reader from 30,000-year-old cave paintings in France and anthropological digs in Africa, to examining human behavior in a New York restaurant. And by offering wisdom gleaned from fossil remains, primate behavior, prehistoric art, and archaeology, Tattersall presents a stunning picture of where humankind evolved, how Darwin's theories have changed, and what we reliably know about modern-day human's capacity for love, language, and thought. Widely praised in the media, and an Amazon.com Top-10 bestseller, Becoming Human is an amazing trip into the past and into the future.
“In this superbly written book, Ian Tattersall combines his unique knowledge of the human fossil record, Paleolithic archeology, primate behavior, prehistoric art, as well as the workings of the human brain...to offer a convincing scenario of how we have come to hold dominion over the earth” (Donald Johanson, Scientific american).
Includes bibliographical references (p. -245) and index.
About the Author
Ian Tattersall is curator of human evolution at the American Museum of Natural History, and the author of many books and articles. His most recent book, Becoming Human, won the distinguished W.W. Howells Prize of the American Anthropological Association. An expert on both fossil humans and lemurs, he has done fieldwork in places as varied as Madagascar, Yemen, and Vietnam. He lives in New York City.
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