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Summary

The Pulitzer Prize Winner

Dr. Carl Sagan takes us on a great adventure, offering his vivid and startling insight into the brain of man and beast, the origin of human intelligence, the function of our most haunting legends - and their amazing links to recent discoveries.

©1977 Carl Sagan (P)2017 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

Critic reviews

"A history of the human brain from the big bang, fifteen billion years ago, to the day before yesterday . . . . It's a delight." --The New York Times

“How can I persuade every intelligent person to read this important and elegant book? . . . He talks about all kinds of things: the why of the pain of human childbirth . . . the reason for sleeping and dreaming . . . chimpanzees taught to communicate in deaf and dumb language . . . the definition of death . . . cloning . . . computers . . . intelligent life on other planets. . . . Fascinating . . . delightful.” --The Boston Globe

“In some lost Eden where dragons ruled, the foundations of our intelligence were laid. . . . Carl Sagan takes us on a guided tour of that lost land. . . . Fascinating . . . entertaining . . . masterful.” --St. Louis Post-Dispatch

What listeners say about The Dragons of Eden

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thought provoking

despite the longevity of the book the contents are fantastic. to delve into the realms of left and right cortex of the brain, our similarity to animals & the development of speech & what has become a predominant right hand society - this may be as old as me but I have thoroughly enjoyed it & recommend others listen

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Great Book

The narration wasnt so great but it was still really enjoyable and thought provoking, esp if you like Carl Sagans work! well worth it

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  • EK
  • 07-12-19

Surprisingly strengthened by historical context

I started diving into Sagan's writings a few years ago, and this was one I held off on the longest because with I was afraid my background in neuroscience would lead me to be distracted -- or perhaps even a bit disappointed -- by the dated information I'd hear from one of my heroes. Much to the contrary, I was delighted to hear a history of the study of the brain, taken at its own point in time instead of through the usual look back at what we deem in hindsight to have been relevant from the past. I especially loved the chapters on technology and Sagan's predictions for the future -- he was not just ahead of his time; he was prophetic.

The narration was overall enjoyable, but frequently included odd pauses after the word "and" that didn't seem to flow naturally. This didn't make it unlistenable by any means, but I found it jolting on occasion.

16 people found this helpful

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  • john
  • 21-04-18

Broad-reaching and thought-provoking

While some of the technical information of this book is apparently outdated, it was mentally stimulating and provided some very interesting ideas to chew on for a layman such as myself.

8 people found this helpful

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  • John Michael Strubhart
  • 12-12-20

Dated But Thought Provoking

While these musing of Carl Sagan on the nature of human intelligence supported by largely outdated science, they offer a glimpse of his perspective, which is often very unique and likely to provoke fruitful thought. I enjoyed the performance. It is very calmly read and has something of a Bob Ross effect upon listening. If you are a student of the mind of Carl Sagan, you'll enjoy this book. If you're looking for a good book about human intelligence, find something more modern.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 16-08-17

Ahead of His time

Great book that is becoming more relevant everyday. Really an enjoyable and interesting learning experience.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Doost
  • 31-12-17

awe inspiring

I listened to the book while on several hikes alone and, of course, driving. Engulfed in the wonders and eloquence of this book, I muttered "wow" many times. Much respect to humans such as Carl Sagan.

8 people found this helpful

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  • G. Vidal
  • 17-12-20

Another informative book!

Great book and a lot of interesting topics. given that this was written 40 years ago, some of the information is outdated, but I think there are still some universal concepts worth learning about

3 people found this helpful

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  • R. MCRACKAN
  • 24-03-21

Thought provoking but slightly misleading

The word "speculations" is indeed in the title yet it feels like it would also be easy to miss that point while reading this. Dragons of Eden is thought provoking and well researched but a great deal of it is in fact speculation and not hard science.

That said, Sagan presents in as approachable a way as is possible brain anatomy and cross-disciplinary research then extrapolates well into the realm of philosophy, especially phil. of ethics. In light of this, it's difficult to know how to evaluate this. As science? Philosophy? Psychology? It's a bit of all of these things but not extensive in any of them. In the end you're left with a FEELING of awe but not a great deal more actual knowledge.

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  • Mackenzie Mendes Melo
  • 24-03-21

Hello

I was almost a baby when this book was written.

Finishing the book today, made me think on how much things have changed from when he wrote the book.

I realized that almost nothing, really. Well, computers changed and fulfilled most of what he predicted. Us humans, didn't have enough time to evolve yet. If anything, we're proving even more precisely everything he said about us is true.

What a wonderful mind Carl Sagan has, or had, as he's gone now. Fortunately for us he wrote books and we can still happen to hear his voice saying hello.

"And reading itself is an amazing activity: You glance at a thin, flat object made from a tree...and the voice of the author begins to speak inside your head. (Hello!)" - Carl Sagan

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  • Sarah M Valentino
  • 01-11-20

Oh one of Carl Sagan’s most brilliant work

This is by far one of the most approachable and intuitive work of science and evolution buy one of the most brilliant writers and scientist of our time. Despite the time in which it was written, the relevant it still home for today is second to none.
The way in which an audiobook is performed can mean either the life or death of the work., especially in the case of a work of intelligence and rich science. It is made attainable to all levels of intellect by this deft cadence and performance Additionally, this particular performance makes the book enjoyable and as captivating as if being read by its own author.

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  • Joao G. D. Santos
  • 21-05-20

Dragons of Eden

I first read this book during my graduation period, a long time ago. When I saw it on the list of audiobooks, I realized that I should now listen to it again.
The poetic manner of writing is a remarkable characteristic of Carl Sagan. He combines knowledge, clarity, and desire to discover more and more after each chapter.
A wonderful book about the development of human intelligence based on the Neocortex.

1 person found this helpful