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Hunting Hypothesis: A personal conclusion concerning the evolutionary nature of man Mass Market Paperback – April 1, 1977

4.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 244 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell; Book Club edition (April 1, 1977)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553102974
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553102970
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,728,748 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Henry B. Coons on September 21, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book (along with Ardrey's other three in what I think of as a sequence) is one of the most important books I have ever read. It (they) are mostly built around the discoveries made in Africa in the early and mid twentieth century of the remains of those of our ancestors who spent millions of years becoming us. Or, from our point of view, how we came to be the way we are.

Unfortunately I only discovered them within the last six or seven years. At various times, when they were published, two or three of them were best sellers... but I guess I was busy with something a lot less important.

His writing is the very best I have run into in this field and has made reading, and rereading, them a literary pleasure in addition to explaining a lot about why I do what I do, and why history is the way it is.

Read this book. If you do I hope you are as pleased as I have been.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Robert Ardrey was, first, a writer.
While this makes his books excellent reading, and, as one reviewer put it, an actual pleasure, it does bring the possibility that he could over-write an issue, making it more plausible than it ought to be.
He has fully educated himself in the subject matter, so he is a well-informed science writer and not a generalist taking a shot at an interesting area of thought.
The hunting hypothesis begins with the assertion that we as a race have spent 95% or our time on this earth as hunters and that this must have had an effect. Depending on how you classify pre-homo sap humans, the number could be north of 99%.
This line of thinking can be called "evolutionary psychology" or or "ev-psych", which is despised by, among others, many feminists. Liberals who would never consider themselves creationists insist that a million years of environmental pressure can have no impact at all on behavioral propensities. If it did, there could be no reason to blame the patriarchy, western civ, capitalism, or any other of their usual scapegoats. And no prospect of learning our way out of one or another set of problems. We're stuck.
"African Genesis", whose primary assertion, that we are born to the weapon and to conflict, depends in part on a sequence of pre-human types. Some of the sequences have been reorganized by subsequent discoveries and so the logic of the theory called into question. Still, "African Genesis" has a great deal to recommend it. This is not to say the new sequence of one hominid supplanting or following another ruins Ardrey's theory, but that his theory must be applied with the new sequence (new for now) to see if it still works. Which, I expect, nobody is interesting in doing.
If you are interested in reading a well-written, clear, well-supported idea for the basis of some of our human institutions and behaviors, this book is worth reading. You may not agree, but it will be a useful exercise to dispute it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Robert Ardrey wrote brilliantly and clearly about many complex and perplexing concepts and hypothesis. He made it possible for the common man to glimpse into subjects that would have otherwise remained a mystery. It is a pleasure to ready any of his writings. He was a master in his fields of study and brought drama and intrigue to his subjects. All of his major publications should be required reading at every institution of higher learning. .
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Format: Hardcover
The fourth in Ardrey's quartet of books that began in the early 1960s with African Genesis, The Hunting Hypothesis summarises his conclusions on the evolutionary, biological origins of dominant human social behaviour laid out so beautifully in The Territorial Imperative. With current conflict in Ukraine and the Middle East and the move towards independence in Scotland providing empirical support for Ardrey's thesis, it's time we bought him back, posthumously, to the mainstream of theories on human behaviour. African Genesis, The Territorial Imperative, The Social Contract, and The Hunting Hypothesis are required reading in my opinion. They form a standard reference set in my library. Highly recommended.
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