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A Hunter-Gatherer's Guide to the 21st Century: Evolution and the Challenges of Modern Life Hardcover – September 14, 2021
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—DR. JORDAN B. PETERSON, author of Beyond Order, 12 Rules for Life, and Maps of Meaning
“A Hunter-Gatherer’s Guide to the 21st Century is the human story retold in beautiful language and moving metaphors. Heying and Weinstein are professorial in the best possible sense: they exemplify the intellectual humility, nuanced thinking, and love of learning that a great liberal arts education should nurture. Everyone who is raising or educating kids, or who wants to change social systems, should first read this book.”
—JONATHAN HAIDT, coauthor of The Coddling of the American Mind and author of The Righteous Mind
“I have never read such a bold, well-researched, and succinct exploration of the puzzling predicament we find ourselves in. Anyone who wonders why the most comfortable society in history—our own—has such astronomical rates of depression, anxiety, and poor health will find abundant answers in A Hunter-Gatherer’s Guide to the 21st Century.”
—SEBASTIAN JUNGER, author of The Perfect Storm, War, Tribe, and Freedom
“Heather Heying and Bret Weinstein are the brilliant, irresistible professors every student dreams of having. In their hands, complex technical ideas become accessible—and exhilarating. A Hunter-Gatherer’s Guide to the 21st Century is based on serious science, but it reads like an adventure story.”
—CHRISTINA HOFF SOMMERS, philosopher, author, and host of The Factual Feminist
“A Hunter-Gatherer’s Guide to the 21st Century has given me at least five evolutionary concepts that have become central to my way of viewing the world.”
—JAMIE WHEAL, executive director of the Flow Genome Project and coauthor of Stealing Fire
“Bret and Heather are highly regarded evolutionary biologists, very clear thinkers and communicators, and as attested to by their notoriety from the madness that their school put them through, they value scientific truth over political correctness.”
—ROBERT SAPOLSKY, author of Behave and A Primate’s Memoir
About the Author
- Publisher : Portfolio (September 14, 2021)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 320 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0593086880
- ISBN-13 : 978-0593086889
- Item Weight : 1.25 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.19 x 1.07 x 9.28 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #3 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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In the Introduction, the authors suggest that the recent rate of change in our society has caused “our brains, bodies and social systems” to be out of sync. They explain that they have attempted to better understand how these changes have affected modern humans by working from first principles. They attempt to analyze our current problems by examining them through the lens of our evolutionary history, and discuss ways to deal with a world that is changing faster than we can adapt.
The first chapter discusses early humans living in Beringia, the land bridge that connected Asia to North America thousands of years ago. The authors imagine what life was like for these individuals, and use them as examples of humans as a generalist species made up of specialists working together. The authors also discuss Culture vs Consciousness, and culture as an epigenetic evolutionary force. Chapter two explores the history and evolution of humans, starting all the way back from the first forms of life billions of years ago. Major events and adaptations are discussed, including the Chicxulub meteor impact 65 million years ago. This was one of my favorite chapters, as I found it very interesting to follow our evolutionary path.
The next few chapters discuss evolutionary adaptations and trade-offs, medicine and reductionism, food and dietary choices, and sleep, dreams and hallucinations. At the end of each chapter there is a “Corrective Lens” section, that has a short bullet-point list of suggestions for the reader to follow, based on the text in the chapter. The chapter on Sex and Gender might be one of the most controversial in the book, as some of the definitions and ideas discussed in this chapter are currently at odds with some people's beliefs.
The remaining chapters of the book discuss parenthood and childhood, school, becoming adults, culture and consciousness, and a method for sustaining equilibrium in the future.
This book has some interesting ideas and suggestions, though at times I felt like the presentation was somewhat chaotic. There were moments when I struggled to see how the tangents the authors went on were ultimately connected to their main point, or where the structure of the narrative didn't flow together very well for me. This made reading the book a slower process than I had expected, with a bit of rereading; and I still feel like there might have been a more effective or concise way to convey some of the information. Overall though, I appreciate the insights into evolutionary biology, and the courage of the authors to express some currently unpopular ideas.
Great job guys
You are both appreciated
By Lennie on September 15, 2021
By M.E. Gard on September 16, 2021