The Kingdom of Speech

  • by Tom Wolfe
  • Narrated by Robert Petkoff
  • 4 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The maestro storyteller and reporter provocatively argues that what we think we know about speech and human evolution is wrong.
Tom Wolfe, whose legend began in journalism, takes us on an eye-opening journey that is sure to arouse widespread debate. The Kingdom of Speech is a captivating, paradigm-shifting argument that speech - not evolution - is responsible for humanity's complex societies and achievements.
From Alfred Russel Wallace, the Englishman who beat Darwin to the theory of natural selection but later renounced it, through the controversial work of modern-day anthropologist Daniel Everett, who defies the current wisdom that language is hardwired in humans, Wolfe examines the solemn, long-faced, laugh-out-loud zigzags of Darwinism, old and neo, and finds it irrelevant here in the Kingdom of Speech.


What the Critics Say

"In this mettlesome, slyly funny takedown, Wolfe spotlights two key scientific rivalries, each pitting a scrappy outsider against the academy.... Wolfe's pithy and stirring play-by-play coverage of compelling lives and demanding science transforms our perception of speech.... As always, white-suited Wolfe will be all over the media...stirring things up and sending readers to the shelves." (Donna Seaman, Booklist)
"A fresh look at an old controversy, as a master provocateur suggests that human language renders the theory of evolution more like a fable than scientific fact.... Wolfe throws a Molotov cocktail at conventional wisdom in a book that won't settle any argument but is sure to start some." (Kirkus Reviews)
"Narrator Robert Petkoff's bright and energetic delivery reflects the author's well-known penetrating intelligence and curiosity." (AudioFile)


See More Like This

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Takedown of a pseudointellectual bully!

In a battle of octogenarians Tom Wolfe uses simple words to take down academic and major bully Noam Chomsky. Along the way he destroys the modern theory of how human language "evolved". That was fun! He also takes some effective shots at Charles Darwin who likely stole his theory of evolution from Alfred Russel Wallace.

The Kingdom of Speech examines the one thing, language/speech, that separates humans from all other animals. I love this little book!
Read full review

- Wayne "I love espionage, legal, and detective thrillers but listen to most genres. Very frequent reviews. No plot spoilers! Please excuse my typos!"

Tom has done it again!

Tom Wolfe is one of the few people that have the guts to take on idols like Chomsky, and speak the truth. Just like he did in the painted word. This book is a great resource for learners to learn from and to gain confidence to stand up to the bullies that inhabit academia
Read full review

- Joshua D. Reaser

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-30-2016
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio