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The Book of Humans

Narrated by: Adam Rutherford
Length: 5 hrs and 49 mins
4.6 out of 5 stars (188 ratings)

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Summary

We like to think of ourselves as exceptional beings, but are we really any more special than other animals? Humans are the slightest of twigs on a single family tree that encompasses four billion years, a lot of twists and turns and a billion species. All of those organisms are rooted in a single origin, with a common code that underwrites our existence. This paradox - that our biology is indistinct from all life, yet we consider ourselves to be special - lies at the heart of who we are.

In this original and entertaining tour of life on Earth, Adam Rutherford explores how many of the things once considered to be exclusively human are not: we are not the only species that communicates, makes tools, utilises fire or has sex for reasons other than to make new versions of ourselves. Evolution has, however, allowed us to develop our culture to a level of complexity that outstrips any other observed in nature.

The Book of Humans tells the story of how we became the creatures we are today, bestowed with the unique ability to investigate what makes us who we are. Illuminated by the latest scientific discoveries, it is a thrilling compendium of what unequivocally fixes us as animals and reveals how we are extraordinary among them.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio on our Desktop Site.

©2018 Adam Rutherford (P)2018 Orion Publishing Group

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a wonderful book

an exceptionally well written book ideal for both those with a casual interest in who we are and a pleasant read for those with a little more knowledge.

4 people found this helpful

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Lacks focus

10 chapters about animal sex was amusing, but too much for the focus of the book. I forgot the agenda during it and lost a bit of interest after that. But Adam is bursting with fun facts and great comparisons, as always.

1 person found this helpful

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Very good!

It’s a fresh intake, nicely performed and greatly paced. It’s also a great read if you have already read other similar titles like “Sapiens”.

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Increadible

An increadible book, truly an eye opener on nature, what is natural and who is the human animal. This type of knowledge should be part of fundamental education in schools.