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Jared Diamond is one of my favourite writers, and in 'Guns Germs and Steel' and then 'Collapse' he transformed my views of the history and future of civilisation, respectively.
This is an earlier book (1991), containing themes to be expanded in both of his later books, in addition to the main topic; how modern man emerged from being just another animal.
Because the book is 20 years old, you always worry that some more recent evidence may have arisen to strengthen or weaken his arguments, but if you can ignore this relatively minor qualm, and you enjoy popular science, then this is an absolutely fantastic listen.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful
A very compelling listen.
The story sucked me in and I found myself listening much longer than I had meant to several times.
Fascinating topic that is well researched, backed up with logical thought, and presented in a fashion that is easy for an non expert to understand.
If you have any interest in evolution and the effects that it had on making who we are now, I would highly suggest this book to you.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful
Diamond's treatise on the evolution of man is a compelling presentation. Repeatedly citing how minimal the percentage difference in the genes from which ourselves and our closest primate cousins are made (it has been since proven that the difference is larger than Diamond thought - this doesn't impact on the thrust of his argument, however), he argues that so much of what makes us different is, in fact, so little of what we are. In his attempt to highlight the similarities he introduces lucid and persuasive arguments about sexual behaviour, language, other forms of communication, agriculture and conquest, all of which serves to provide the reader/listener with an good holistic understanding of the factors that influenced our development.
This title is a good precursor for his superior later work Guns, Germs and Steel.
Good narration, easy to listen to - though the quality of what's being said really helps the actor along.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
An interesting read about our beginnings as humans and possible future for our species and Earth. Read by an engaging and clear narrator.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Why do we do what we do ?
Why did we do things in the past?
What happens in the near future if we keep it up?
This book provides more answers to those questions than most
Personally I think Jared should rename this book I to something way more provocative you'll understand this suggestion most likely upon completion !
Definitely worth your time!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
If you could sum up The Third Chimpanzee in three words, what would they be?
Interesting accessible education
What did you like best about this story?
The care with which the book is structured.
Have you listened to any of Rob Shapiro’s other performances? How does this one compare?
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
Any additional comments?
I have to listen pretty carefully to this one but once I took the trouble to do that, I found that the work is pleasant to think about, easy to interact with, and stimulating. I've begun thinking about the world around me in terms of evolution, testing what I know about the world against this book, and trying to decide what I agree with or not. We're still evolving, I wonder how much of our sexual behaviours have to do with social developments around disease control rather than being the end product of evolutionary behaviours from the past. Fun to listen to for just that reason - lots to consider.