cover image Seven Million Years: The Story of Human Evolution

Seven Million Years: The Story of Human Evolution

Douglas Palmer, Author . Phoenix/Orion $12.95 (283p) ISBN 978-0753820841

Comprehensive, up to date and exceedingly well-written, the newest from science writer Palmer (Neanderthal ) is a fascinating overview of research into human evolution, covering the entire history of the field and including contemporary studies of primatology, paleoecology and human genetics. With an exemplary knowledge of the rapidly changing field of human evolution and physical anthropology, Palmer details every aspect of the history of primate paleontology and present-day, highly specialized work in climatology, taphonomy and genomics in language suitable for just about anyone. Palmer compares “mapping out the course of human evolution” to “putting together a very difficult jigsaw puzzle,” and his informed guidance takes readers piece by piece through the complexities of the research itself, as well as the politics and personalities behind it. Each chapter includes thorough bibliographic citations as well as a well-chosen list of recommended reading. Clear writing, seamless transitions from topic to topic, evenhanded presentation of even the most controversial material and clever illustrations all combine to produce a book worthy of recommendation to anyone wishing to understand the broad and continuously changing field of human evolution. (Apr.)