bup's Reviews > Before the Dawn: Recovering the Lost History of Our Ancestors

Before the Dawn by Nicholas Wade
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's review
Mar 29, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2009, i-m-better-than-you, favorites

Nicholas Wade has put into one cohesive book - based on compiling hundreds of scientists' work - a flowing, incredibly reconstructed history of humans before history. Through archaeology, genetics (and not always human genetics) and logic, Wade shows persuasive and ingenious arguments for many human milestones: when we became anatomically modern; when we became behaviorally modern; when, where and how agriculture developed; when language evolved and what the first language sounded like; when music evolved; when form-fitting clothing developed; when animals first became domesticated...

It explores why humans are so warlike (it's a pretty rare trait in an animal), but also why we cooperate with non-kin (even more rare in animals). It also addresses some non-PC subjects, but without judgment, and wholly in pursuit of truth.

Anyway, great book.

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