This book sets out to explore why and when people evolved so far away from other mammals in several key ways, all of which Dr. Shlain ties to the biological differences between men and women. As in his excellent prior work The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image (which holds that there are links between the ascendancy of patriarchy and written language and the descent of matriarchal societies and goddess-based religions), some of the concepts proposed in this book might seem a bit of a stretch. And they arewhether or not they turn out to be factual. Shlain contends, for instance, that women essentially invented the concept of time due to their experience of menses. Whatever conclusions the reader comes to, the author exposes the underlying gender biases in so many scientific assumptions; the result is one of those books that cannot help but alter one's perceptions. A consistently engaging writer, Shlain traces the course of his own evolving ideas with what might be called a didactic wit: bold statements are first writ large, then Dr. Shlain reveals how he came upon them, frequently with colorful anecdotes that show these are questions he's been wrestling with for many years. It's difficult to tell whether this fascinating thinker will be viewed as the next Darwin or as a crank, but there's no denying this is an audacious work in the realm of evolutionary biology. --Mike McGonigal --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Shlain makes brilliant use of his medical expertise in his highly original and intellectually stimulating inquiry into human sexuality and its role in the shaping of civilization that he launched so boldly in The Alphabet versus the Goddess (1998). Here he takes an evolutionary approach to solving the conundrums of misogyny and patriarchy, guiding his curious, perhaps skeptical, certainly riveted readers through well-grounded and intriguing speculations about the purpose of such seemingly impractical, even dangerous traits as bipedalism, menstruation, the perils of childbirth, and the helplessness of infants. Shlain's reflections on human nutrition and women's greater need for iron lead to a fascinating theory about courtship and hunting, which, in turn, generates the hypothesis that the evolution of language was sparked by the delicacy of sexual negotiation. And menses, this daring thinker believes, may well be the source of our perception of time and our unique ability to conceive of and plan for the future. Lucid and compelling, Shlain asks startling and crucial questions about human nature and presents truly imaginative and mind-stretching answers. Donna Seaman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Schlain approaches the subject of human sexual reproductive systems from his early med school curiosity of why women have a standard 15% less iron count than men. Read morePublished 7 days ago by catherine
Control reproduction, control the world and all the stuff in it. If women weren't so katty, there'd be 10, maybe 100 females to every male. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Robert Welsh
Great book. Very long and wordy, but well worth the read. Very profound and intelligent insight.Published 2 months ago by Amelia Hupe
This is the second book written by Leonard Schlain that I've read and I am a fan. The way he reports his theories with the best supported research I have ever seen and how he... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Ashley Oltman
Take the time to read this book as it brings across a whole new perspective to the way we have evolved. Shlain has been able to educate and inform without sounding to complicated. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Lee Bisgrove
I loved it even though it was a hard read. In fact, part of the reason I stuck with it was because it was so hard. Let me be more clear though. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Travis Heinze
The author makes a good case as to what actually happened to put us where we are today female/male/planet wise. And we are coming to another evolutionary bottleneck. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Joe
This is a complex thesis so arguing it was going to be difficult. After all, each concept is individually difficult, and here Mr. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Ginger Cookie