The Ape That Spoke: Language and the Evolution of the Human Mind

John McCrone, Author William Morrow & Company $19.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-688-10326-2
From hairy hominids, rational, self-aware human beings sprang into existence within a mere two million years--an eye-blink in geological terms. McCrone believes it was language that triggered the quantum leap in human development, allowing Homo sapiens to arise in the midst of an inhospitable ice age and sweep across the earth. McCrone re-creates the way our Homo ancestors' use of language might have made possible an inner dialogue dependent on the controlled recall of memories--a skill essential to self-awareness. The British science writer's controversial conclusion is that ``the human mind is only a few degrees different from an animal's.'' Imagination, higher emotions and complex habits of thought, in his theory, are language-driven extensions of the animal mind. Imparting a shock of discovery, this exciting evolutionary odyssey seamlessly interweaves recent advances in linguistics, brain research, cognitive psychology and anthropology. Illustrations. BOMC and History Book Club selections. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 978-0-380-71399-8
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