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On Human Nature, revised edition

by E. O. Wilson
Cambridge (MA): Harvard University Press, 2004. 288 pages.

From the publisher: “No one who cares about the human future can afford to ignore Edward O. Wilson’s book. On Human Nature begins a new phase in the most important intellectual controversy of this generation: Is human behavior controlled by the species’ biological heritage? Does this heritage limit human destiny? With characteristic pungency and simplicity of style, the author of Sociobiology challenges old prejudices and current misconceptions about the nature-nurture debate. ...

Smithsonian Intimate Guide to Human Origins

by Carl Zimmer
New York: Harper Paperbacks, 2007. 176 pages.

A beautifully illustrated and elegantly concise guide to human origins, the Smithsonian Intimate Guide to Human Origins explains the latest research on human evolution. "Despite recent insights into our origins, there is much we still don't know. ...

The Human Career, third edition

by Richard G. Klein
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009. 1024 pages.

Simply the single best reference and advanced introduction to paleoanthropology — the subject of human biological and cultural evolution, the area where physical anthropology and prehistoric archeology overlap. A previous edition was described by Henry McHenry as "by far the best book of its kind" and by R. A. Foley as "the best introduction to the problems and data of modern palaeoanthropology yet published." Unmatched for breadth, range, and reliability, with more than 1000 pages, The Human Career is indispensable for any serious student of human evolution. Richard G.

Naming our Ancestors: An Anthology of Hominid Taxonomy

by Eric W Meikle & Sue Taylor Parker
Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland Press, 1994. 254 pages.

In this anthology, the authors make "available a set of key documents in the literature of human evolution relevant to the history of hominid taxonomy and the discovery and naming of extinct hominid species." Naming Our Ancestors is a collection of fifteen essays, written from 1864 to 1986, that present a historical overview of paleoanthropology, plus four essays discussing changes in taxonomic practice since World War II. Papers were selected to present the full range of names given to hominid fossils and the theoretical principles underlying the naming practices.

The Last Neanderthal

by Ian Tattersall
Boulder, CO: Basic Books, 1999. 208 pages.

Tattersall, Curator at the American Museum of Natural History, successfully "aim[s] paint as full a portrait as possible of these capable and fascinating human precursors and the world they lived in...." This beautifully illustrated volume is rich with photographs of original fossils, discussions about the evolution and and life-style of Neanderthals and how archeologists interpret the available evidence, and thought-provoking reflections on what the story of the Neanderthals tells us about our own place in nature.

The Fossil Trail

by Ian Tattersall
New York: Oxford University Press, 1997. 288 pages.

"Most popular books about evolution in recent years", Tattersall comments, "have been based on the experience of individual paleoanthropologists in the field, and ...

Extinct Humans

by Ian Tattersall and Jeffrey H Schwartz
Boulder, CO: Basic Books, 2000. 224 pages.

Designed for the general public, Extinct Humans covers the general scope of the human fossil record in about 250 pages, illustrated mainly by original photographs of fossil skulls. The authors are known within anthropology for their recognition of many fossil species and lineages. They state their theme as follows: "A linear mindset pervades most work in paleoanthropology, as if the story of human evolution has essentially been one of a single-minded struggle from bestial benightedness to uplifted enlightenment... But if we proceed like paleontologists studying other groups ...

The Emperor's New Clothes: Biological Theories of Race at the Millennium

by Joseph L. Graves Jr
New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2001. 272 pages.

In light of recent creationist claims that evolutionary biology is intrinsically racist, Graves's message — "that science identifies no races in the human species, not because we wish there to be races but because the peculiar evolutionary history of our species has not led to their formation" — is timely and important. NCSE Supporter Francisco J Ayala describes The Emperor's New Clothes as "eminently readable and engrossing."

Biology, Evolution, and Human Nature

by Timothy H. Goldsmith and William F. Zimmerman
New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2001. 384 pages.

Goldsmith and Zimmerman's interdisciplinary textbook is just the thing for introducing students to the significance of evolution for our understanding of human nature. "Using evolution as the unifying theme, this book traces the connections between levels of complexity, showing how both the study of other organisms and a variety of perspectives from biology, psychology, and anthropology provide complementary insights", Goldsmith and Zimmerman explain.

The Human Evolution Coloring Book, second edition

by Adrienne L. Zihlman
New York: Collins, 2001. 352 pages.

In preparing the book, Zihlman realized that "many of the human characteristics I would be writing about are perfectly adapted for this kind of book — namely, color vision, hand-eye coordination, manual dexterity, and a brain especially evolved for tool-using!" Where else would you get the opportunity to use all of these at once? The plates to be colored in illustrate evolution in general, genetics, the living primates, primate evolution, and fossil evidence for human evolution. Now in a revised and expanded second edition.


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