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Comment: Very Good used copy: Some light wear to cover, spine and page edges. Very minimal writing or notations in margins. Text is clean and legible. Possible clean ex-library copy with their stickers and or stamps.
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Origins: The Emergence and Evolution of Our Species and Its PossibleFuture Paperback – October 25, 1991


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (October 25, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140153365
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140153361
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,641,795 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Richard Leakey, whom Harvard's David Pilbeam calls the "organizing genius of modern paleoanthropology," is the director of the National Museums of Kenya. The son of Louis and Mary Leakey, Richard has continued his parents' pioneering field work in East Africa.
Roger Lewin is a biochemist, Deputy Editor of the British magazine, New Scientist, and the author of In Defense of the Body, as well as two other highly-praised books on biology.

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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Simple tool on August 3, 2002
Format: Hardcover
For tracing the evolution of the species, man, down from remote antiquity, this book has few peers. Richard has a flair for synthesis and obtaining and presenting the big picture, no doubt about that. He and others can even point to skeletal evidence of the first speech. We lack, however, any indication of how the fine mind and sensitive soul of the individual, Richard Leakey, arose from the unconscious and obedient tissue in which it finds itself, or what explanation is to be found there of the appreciation of origins. The Greeks said, "Know thyself", and Linnaeus took up the challenge by calling man sapiens, because he must be wise indeed who could know himself. The Leakeys inherited and espoused the challenge. More answers, Richard!
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Format: Hardcover
Richard Leakey has written/cowritten other books such as People of the Lake, The Making of Mankind, Origins Reconsidered: In Search of What Makes Us Human, Wildlife Wars: My Fight to Save Africa's Natural Treasures, etc. This book was published in 1977.

They note, "For the higher primates, with their ability to see that world in color and in three dimensions, and, also to pick up and manipulate objects, the world becomes more than just a three-dimensional color pattern. It is also a world full of identifiable objects. Monkeys, apes, and human beings are almost the only creatures that fiddle with things, picking them up, turning them over, inspecting them visually, by smell and by touch... The implications of this new mental dimension are vast... The opportunities for learning about the world, rather than simply reacting to particular shapes in a pre-programmed fashion, are enhanced enormously. And, ultimately, the ability to view objects as separate entities is an absolute prerequisite for the evolution of language, which is possibly the one unique human attribute. In a very real sense, we owe our capacity for speech to the higher primates' reaching out to analyse their three-dimensional world." (Pg.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Penny on January 2, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We read so many books in our lifetime yet there's only small bits and pieces that stand out it seems. "Origins" is one of my all time favorite books. Perhaps a bit "dated" now but still a very interesting read.
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Format: Hardcover
An excellent book on the emergence of our species. Of course I assume that the person reading this review is of the same species. For anyone who has not read this book it still holds some interesting ideas that should not be missed. It is packed with pictures and graphs and as Alice of Alice in Wonderland fame said "What good are books without pictures and conversations?"

This book makes a great addition to your library and worth rereading about once every 10 years to see how things are changed (or haven't.)

Be sure to read Richard E. Leakey's other books on the subject.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D. Ferreira on November 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Interesting read,I have been interested in learning more about our origins and this book is a start...I am still working on it.
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