Human Evolution

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.

The Ape and the Sushi Master: Cultural Reflections of a Primatologist

by Frans de Waal
New York: Basic Books, 2002. 464 pages.

One of the world's experts on chimpanzee behavior considers the nature of culture and its relationship to who humans are. "We define ourselves as the only cultured species, and we generally believe that culture has permitted us to break away from nature. We are wont to say that culture is what makes us human", de Waal explains: "The possibility that animals have culture is the topic I wish to explore in this book." The reviewer for Scientific American recommends that we "look over his shoulder and learn what the animals tell us about ourselves."

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.

America before the European Invasions

by Alice Beck Kehoe
London: Longman Publishing Group, 2002. 272 pages.

Drawing on the methods of anthropology, archaeology, and history, Alice Beck Kehoe's magisterial account of the fifteen thousand years of pre-Columbian American history is a must for anyone interested in the development of human cultures in North America north of Mexico. Reviewing America before the European Invasions in The New York Review of Books, Tim Flannery wrote, "Its strength lies in the author's deep empathy with the people who lived their lives in vanished and barely imaginable civilizations, as well as with contemporary indigenous cultures. ...

Ancient Astronauts, Cosmic Collisions and Other Popular Theories About Man's Past

by William H. Stiebing Jr.
Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1984. 217 pages.

From the publisher: "This book critically evaluates many of these popular hypotheses about man's early history. It presents the most important evidence and arguments for and against theories of a universal flood, the lost continent of Atlantis, mysterious pyramid powers, pre-Columbian voyages to America by ancient Egyptians and Phoenicians, and Velikovsky's cosmic catastrophism. ... The book discusses radio-carbon dating, archaeological stratigraphy, textual interpretation, and epigraphy as well as emphasis on the proper use of data provided by geology, astronomy and other sciences.

Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries: Science and Pseudoscience in Archaeology (fourth edition)

by Kenneth L. Feder
Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2001. 384 pages.

Updated, expanded, and improved for its fourth edition, Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries is a classic, comprehensive, and invaluable treatment of pseudoscience in archaeology. Among the topics discussed are the Cardiff Giant, the Piltdown Hoax, controversies over who settled the Americas, the myth of the Moundbuilders, Atlantis, ancient astronauts, psychic archaeology, creationism, the Shroud of Turin, and what Feder refers to as "real mysteries of a veritable past" — the Paleolithic cave paintings of Europe, the fall of the Maya, Stonehenge, and Kennewick Man.