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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 ... the notion that reconstructing the past is essentially a matter of discovery...." Tattersall, however, follows a different trail: remarking that "the starting point for any new set of hypotheses is the set of hypotheses that preceded it", he interweaves the story of the discoveries with accounts of the changing theoretical concerns of the discoverers and the conflicting interpretations of paleontological evidence, explaining how these change in the light of new discoveries and new analytical techniques.