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Publisher's Summary

First published in 1992, Helen Fisher's Anatomy of Love quickly became a classic. Since then, Fisher has conducted pioneering brain research on lust, romantic love, and attachment; gathered data on more than 80,000 people to explain why you love who you love; and collected information on more than 30,000 men and women on sexting, hooking up, friends with benefits, and other current trends in courtship and marriage. This is a cutting-edge tour de force that traces human family life from its origins in Africa over 20 million years ago to the Internet dating sites and bedrooms of today. It's got it all: the copulatory gaze and other natural courting ploys; the who, when, where, and why of adultery; love addictions; Fisher's discovery of four broad chemically based personality styles and what each seeks in romance; the newest data on worldwide (biologically based) patterns of divorce; how and why men and women think differently; the real story of women, men, and power; the rise - and fall - of the sexual double standard; and what brain science tells us about how to make and keep a happy partnership.
©2016 Helen E. Fisher (P)2016 Tantor
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By D. Villalpando on 10-18-16

A refreshing look at the origins of relationships

Would you consider the audio edition of Anatomy of Love to be better than the print version?

I very much appreciated the narration by the author, and I was actually surprised to find that the author was reading rather than a professional. Her tone, inflections, and cadence added confidence to the text. I felt I was being instructed by a wise teacher who had much to tell.

What did you like best about this story?

I loved the way we delved all the way back to the origins of human beings (and before) to get hints into our human relationships. I also appreciated the (all too brief) following of these relationships as they "evolved" (bad word choice that) from early humans to now. I was also taken with her well studied and presented ideas which challenged my preconceived notions, and which I found very persuasive.

I loved her use of the classic Margaret Mead quote, "I have been married three times, and none of them was a failure."

Have you listened to any of Helen Fisher’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have not, but I intend to.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Please don't make a film of this book. Maybe a documentary series, but only maybe.

Any additional comments?

My only real problem with the book was the conclusion. Throughout the book Dr. Fisher went into great detail to explain to us how the natural state of relationships including pair bonding and serial monogamy coupled with infidelity evolved over time, and how our present inclinations (acknowledged or otherwise) are based in our evolutionary past. And then at the end, she goes on to propose "slow love" as a theory to explain where relationships are going now. Okay, fine, if the goal is to just point out where we are headed, but it stands at odds with everything we have learned in the book until now. We see our natural inclinations (both men and women) towards serial monogamy with infidelity replaced by a safe, slow path to lifelong monogamy with infidelity "totally inexcusable in all cases" as some sort of next step, but one clearly and completely at odds with nature and human evolution. One could easily make the point that from a religious or cultural standpoint our natural inclinations are to be thwarted by the word of God (or a civil authority) and replaced with a dictum from heaven, but the study set forth by Dr. Fisher in the book isn't based on religion, therefore I think a better conclusion would have been a further study of where/how things have gone awry from a natural standpoint, and what healthier alternatives might be.

I would love to read a study by Dr. Fisher on the history of marriage through recorded history, which might be every bit as intriguing and enlightening as her history of relationships throughout pre-history.

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3 out of 5 stars
By Tony Bons on 03-27-16

Informative but too long

I felt this book could have been put into about four paragraphs. It was good and informative, but also very repetitive of central themes.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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