Human Evolution

Human Evolution

A Pelican Introduction

Summary

What makes us human?
How did we develop language, thought and culture?
Why did we survive, and other human species fail?


The past 12,000 years represent the only time in the sweep of human history when there has been only one human species. How did this extraordinary proliferation of species come about - and then go extinct? And why did we emerge such intellectual giants? The tale of our origins has inevitably been told through the 'stones and bones' of the archaeological record, yet Robin Dunbar shows it was our social and cognitive changes rather than our physical development which truly made us distinct from other species.

Reviews

  • Human Evolution is a must-read. It has the great strength of showing you the inner workings of an imaginative mind, while allowing you the freedom to think
    New Scientist

About the author

Robin Dunbar

Robin Dunbar is Professor of Evolutionary Psychology at the University of Oxford. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and of the Royal Anthropological Institute, and an elected Foreign Member of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters. He has been awarded the Osman Hill Medal and the Huxley Medal. His popular science books include The Human Story, How Many Friends Does One Person Need? and Human Evolution, and have been translated into a dozen languages.
Learn More

Sign up to the Penguin Newsletter

For the latest books, recommendations, author interviews and more