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Hunting Hypothesis: A personal conclusion concerning the evolutionary nature of man Mass Market Paperback – April 1, 1977


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 244 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell; First Edition edition (April 1, 1977)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553102974
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553102970
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,688,409 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Robert Ardrey was that rarity in Hollywood, a writer who beat Hollywood and its producers, moguls, and stars at their own game of amassing power, wealth, and respect. Equally comfortable dealing with literary editors such as Bennett Cerf or moguls like Darryl F. Zanuck, he also retained his credibility in the intellectual realm by authoring texts on anthropology, history, and sociology that remain widely respected decades after their publication.

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Richard Aubrey on March 1, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Robert Ardrey was, first, a writer.
While this makes his books excellent reading, and, as one reviewer put it, an actual pleasure, it does bring the possibility that he could over-write an issue, making it more plausible than it ought to be.
He has fully educated himself in the subject matter, so he is a well-informed science writer and not a generalist taking a shot at an interesting area of thought.
The hunting hypothesis begins with the assertion that we as a race have spent 95% or our time on this earth as hunters and that this must have had an effect. Depending on how you classify pre-homo sap humans, the number could be north of 99%.
This line of thinking can be called "evolutionary psychology" or or "ev-psych", which is despised by, among others, many feminists. Liberals who would never consider themselves creationists insist that a million years of environmental pressure can have no impact at all on behavioral propensities. If it did, there could be no reason to blame the patriarchy, western civ, capitalism, or any other of their usual scapegoats. And no prospect of learning our way out of one or another set of problems. We're stuck.
"African Genesis", whose primary assertion, that we are born to the weapon and to conflict, depends in part on a sequence of pre-human types. Some of the sequences have been reorganized by subsequent discoveries and so the logic of the theory called into question. Still, "African Genesis" has a great deal to recommend it. This is not to say the new sequence of one hominid supplanting or following another ruins Ardrey's theory, but that his theory must be applied with the new sequence (new for now) to see if it still works. Which, I expect, nobody is interesting in doing.
If you are interested in reading a well-written, clear, well-supported idea for the basis of some of our human institutions and behaviors, this book is worth reading. You may not agree, but it will be a useful exercise to dispute it.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Henry B. Coons on September 21, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book (along with Ardrey's other three in what I think of as a sequence) is one of the most important books I have ever read. It (they) are mostly built around the discoveries made in Africa in the early and mid twentieth century of the remains of those of our ancestors who spent millions of years becoming us. Or, from our point of view, how we came to be the way we are.

Unfortunately I only discovered them within the last six or seven years. At various times, when they were published, two or three of them were best sellers... but I guess I was busy with something a lot less important.

His writing is the very best I have run into in this field and has made reading, and rereading, them a literary pleasure in addition to explaining a lot about why I do what I do, and why history is the way it is.

Read this book. If you do I hope you are as pleased as I have been.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Henry B. Coons on January 3, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
"The Hunting Hypothesis" is an extremely readable and interesting book concerning the discoveries made in Africa about ancestors of ours who lived primarily by hunting. These ancestors were around for quite a long time and evolved AS HUNTERS. Both physically and neurologically and/or mentally/instictively we are now, largely, what they became as those of the hunters who tended to survive in each generation.

I wasn't kidding when I said it is one of the best books I have ever read. Those who have read Ardrey's "African Genesis, Territorial Imperative and Social Contract" will probably already know what a great writer he was.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Snowy on July 19, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
When you are wondering why man is doing the crazy things he is doing, and you think he's run amok, this gives the insight to the animal he is and that he has run amok.
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Format: Hardcover
The fourth in Ardrey's quartet of books that began in the early 1960s with African Genesis, The Hunting Hypothesis summarises his conclusions on the evolutionary, biological origins of dominant human social behaviour laid out so beautifully in The Territorial Imperative. With current conflict in Ukraine and the Middle East and the move towards independence in Scotland providing empirical support for Ardrey's thesis, it's time we bought him back, posthumously, to the mainstream of theories on human behaviour. African Genesis, The Territorial Imperative, The Social Contract, and The Hunting Hypothesis are required reading in my opinion. They form a standard reference set in my library. Highly recommended.
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