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Mother Nature: A History of Mothers, Infants, and Natural Selection

by Sarah Blaffer Hrdy
New York: Ballantine Books, 1999. 752 pages.

A review of motherhood and infancy from an evolutionary point of view, written by a leading researcher who has spent her career investigating these topics. With extensive notes and bibliography. From the preface: "For better or for worse, I see the world through a different lens than most people. My depth of field is millions of years longer, and the subjects in my viewfinder have the curious habit of spontaneously taking on the attributes of other species: chimps, platypuses, australopithecines. This habit of thinking about mothers in broad evolutionary and comparative — as well as cross-cultural and historical — perspectives distinguishes my examination of motherhood from those of the psychoanalysts, psychologists, novelists, poets, and social historians whose work I build on."