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Sex, Genes & Rock 'n' Roll: How Evolution Has Shaped the Modern World Hardcover – March 13, 2012


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Sex, Genes & Rock 'n' Roll: How Evolution Has Shaped the Modern World + The Fossil Chronicles: How Two Controversial Discoveries Changed Our View of Human Evolution + Lone Survivors: How We Came to Be the Only Humans on Earth
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 322 pages
  • Publisher: New Hampshire (March 13, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1611682363
  • ISBN-13: 978-1611682366
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 6.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,211,091 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A quick glance at both title and jacket leads one to believe this book is all about sex. It's not. It is infinitely more interesting.
......
Verdict: It's ancestry, animals, obesity and sex. The writing is funny and reader friendly and you'll be busting to quote it at the dinner table. You must read it. "
- The Cairns Post

"an engaging and at times very funny crash course in how human evolutionary history and socioeconomics have combined forces to create some of the most vexing issues faced by humans today." 

"brings potentially dry theory to life with the drama of humanity: love, sex, family--and rock & roll."
-Evolution & Human Behaviour

“[Brooks] is at his best when he warns about the global political consequences of dramatically unequal sex ratios found among the poorest and most populated Asian countries.”—Publishers Weekly

“This is a startling insight into the relevance of evolutionary biology to our society and cultures.”—COSMOS Magazine

“It’s good fun, and a reminder that while Homo sapiens possesses a big cerebral cortex we also drag around a genetic legacy kick-started by our ancestors’ decision to climb down from trees, arguably the first of many bad evolutionary moves.”—The Australian

“A sublime piece of popular science.” —The Sydney Morning Herald

Review

“A dazzling tour of the hidden logic behind modern life.” (Baba Brinkman, creator of The Rap Guide to Evolution)

More About the Author

I am an evolutionary biologist who thinks about sex, the evolution of mate choice, the costs of being attractive, the reason animals age and the links between sex, diet, obesity and death. Professor of Evolution at UNSW in Sydney, Australia.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Karl513 on September 16, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
This book offers a fantastic perspective of the world through the eyes of an evolutionary biologist that is easily readable for all, yet still intriguing and thought-provoking for scientists. It's not especially heavy with citations, but conceptually it is a pretty thorough account of the impact of human evolutionary history on, well, a lot of things. It's fun, witty (perhaps a little more poetic than you'd expect from a scientist), but nevertheless insightful and straightforward; all of which keep you reading. I absolutely tore through this book in just a few days. I recommend this book to everyone, and will go ahead and predict it to become one of the more defining books of our time--an instant classic. I hope it eventually becomes a mainstay in advanced high school and college literary curricula. For evolutionary biologists, while you'll find it worth reading yourself, this is your new go-to recommendation to anyone asking how/why researching/understanding evolution contributes positively to society. This book makes obvious the importance and value of considering evolution in any sort of social, psychological, philosophical, political, etc. discussion/decision. I think that as more and more people (especially from the general public) read this book, a social or political perspective lacking insight to our evolutionary past/present will soon be one that is uniformed, incomplete, and obsolete. Do yourself a favor and read this book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
From nutrition to obesity, from sex to rock and roll: Dr. Brooks revisits common issues and aspects of different cultures under an evolutionary light, making connections to genetics and animal studies. Without ever asking "why," as the rigorous scientist should do, he opens up a new world of connections that don't mean to justify certain behaviors, rather, help us understand them better. I confess that some chapters left me with even more questions than I had before, but in a good way, because I couldn't help but think: how much of what we are is in our genes and history and how much does it come from deliberate choices?
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Format: Kindle Edition
Fascinating read. Dr. Brooks gives an evolutionary interpretation of human behaviours and cultures that will leave you pondering about our origins and, most importantly, our future as a species.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Timothy J. Eggenberger on January 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There 'is' some interesting stuff in the book, it's just hard to get at, like trying to crack a hard nut. As i continued reading i got agitated at some of the long, overly complicated, sentencing (thus prompting this review). The cover, title and intro. suggest a fun, easy read, it's not. I found myself having to read-read alot of it.
Your average 'Rocker' is going to struggle with this book.
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1 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Morgan V. Madison on October 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Author writes of overpopulation in poor countries as caused by lack of modern birth control and abortion. false. "inside the third world by paul harrison is an excellent book about all aspects of world poverty.

i took a full semester class in college on third world poverty and overpopulation has always and continues to be caused by cultural
beliefs that make having more children desirable.

humans have long known that the number of children could be limited by astinence, coitus interruptis, later marriages, more people never marrying, and, sadly, infanticide. europe had a very fast growing population centuries ago and was able to bring down its birth rate without any modern methods. I am not implying that these forms of birth control are as effective as modern methods - they still
produce more children, but they do reduce family size compared to what we see in nations with very large families.

in many countries a woman's status is raised by having many children, sometimes by having 2 or more sons. women in ghana and ethiopia are still averaging 7 births per woman and a majority of the children will survive to have their own children. with 4 or 5 children surviving, you are doubling the population per generation, which is usually 20 or 30 years.

ethiopia has been advised by the west since the 1970's (and perhaps earlier) that the carrying capacity of their land, even with the most modern and costly farming methods (which are impractical for a poor country unless the rich countries plan to supply indefinitely)
cannot support further population growth. yet, their population has grown tremendously and continues to grow rapidly.
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