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Anatomy of Love: A Natural History of Mating, Marriage, and Why We Stray (Completely Revised and Updated with a New Introduction) Hardcover – February 1, 2016
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“Is romantic love a creation of troubadours and poets, or has it deep evolutionary roots? Is the seven-year itch really the four-year itch? Does true love betray itself in a brain scanner? With the eyes of an anthropologist and the voice of a poet, Helen Fisher lays bare the many worlds and ages of erotic love. And she knows whereof she speaks.”
- Richard Dawkins
“For journalists around the world, Helen Fisher has been the go-to authority on love and heartache since the first edition of Anatomy of Love. No one else knows the human heart so well―or explains it with such wit and style.”
- John Tierney, coauthor of Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength
“This book is a marvel. I eagerly read everything Helen Fisher writes. She is a national treasure. So illuminating!”
- John Gottman, author of the revised Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work
“Our conversations with Helen Fisher were crucial to understanding the current romantic climate. This revised version of Anatomy of Love is a great read for anyone interested in understanding love and romance. Also, Helen was kind enough to blurb our book, so we’d be real dicks not to do the same for her. Luckily, her work is fantastic and no moral dilemma has been posed.”
- Aziz Ansari and Eric Klinenberg, authors of Modern Romance
“Fisher weaves a persuasive and consistently surprising new explanation of the roots of human marriage, sex, and love. Her account cuts more deeply than the ordinary literature on human sexuality.”
- Edward O. Wilson
“A natural history filled with entertaining and informative anecdotes and narratives that offer context and background. . . . Highly recommended to readers interested in human sexuality.”
- Library Journal
“Much has changed in the landscape of love and dating since the first edition of anthropologist Fisher’s Anatomy of Love was published over 20 years ago . . . [and Fisher] presents plenty of new data. . . . The recent success of comedian Aziz Ansari and sociologist Eric Klinenberg’s Modern Romance (2015) suggests readers might be looking for further, more serious reading on the topic: Fisher’s book and its hundreds upon hundreds of cited sources won’t disappoint them.”
About the Author
Helen Fisher , a biological anthropologist, is the author of five internationally selling books, including Why We Love and Why Him? Why Her? A Senior Research Fellow at the Kinsey Institute, a member of the Center for Human Evolutionary Studies at Rutgers University, and the chief scientific advisor to Match.com, Fisher is a frequent national and international speaker. Her TED talks have been viewed by more than 10 million people; and she lives in New York City.
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Turns out: The 'seven year itch' is four years long; Woman pursue and enjoy sex, and have more intense orgasms than men; serial monogamy is the normal state of things, amongst humans and most species; Love, and sex are adapted to promote attachment (to promote successful reproduction), so much so in humans, that we have evolved the largest (in relative and absolute measurements) and most intensely inervated sex organs of any species; Women do not have a defined estrous - they are always in heat. There is great information on how we go about choosing a mate, the period of infatuation (1-3 years), adultery (who, why, when, etc.), and many more well researched topics of interest. Based on all this, and much more, Dr. Fisher gives great advise and counsel on maintaining intense love in our relationships. The information is state of the art and up to date.
I cannot emphasize what a great resource is this book.
Thomas A. Warr, MD
As a senior who used to be on an Internet dating site (Match.com), I had viewed several of the author’s Ted talks. These were intriguing enough to take a stab at this book in hardcover. To my delight, this book does not repeat the subject matter of her talks. Yes, some aspects of what she references in her talks make an appearance here and there but this work has a different emphasis. The majority of the book is a description of the anthropological history of what the subtitle says—mating, marriage, and why we stray. It is well written, moves at a pleasantly rapid pace, and the anecdotes are well chosen and properly illustrative.
The payoff from these lessons and the reader’s education comes in the final chapter. It is not just a home run, it is a grand slam! Only now, while reading her observations, conclusions, and predictions, the reader understands the foundation and background of each. The result is a credibility missing in a Ted talk or a YouTube video.
A delightful thing about Ms. Fisher is that she never loses sight of the sparkle and magic of romantic love. While the knowledge she communicates in this volume helps the reader to understand why men and women act as they do (including why we stray, if we do), she always focuses on the future, on the next adventure as we seek a new romantic partner. In my view, her take on internet dating sites is exactly accurate. “Internet dating services are not dating services; they are introducing services.” (p. 308) Amen to that. What we do, how we act, where things go after the introduction—that’s still up to us.
It is a rare book that causes a reader to feel, on completion, that he or she better understands human nature. This book merits that praise.