Mothers and Others

Format: Paperback
Pub. Date: 2011-04-15
Publisher(s): Belknap Pr
List Price: $23.50

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Customer Reviews

Important Book about the Biological Origins of Mankind  April 4, 2011
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I got this textbook from ecampus rental textbooks. This is a very important piece of work that expands and clarifies Hrdys line of reasoning in her first book, Mother Nature. She presents such a huge amount of research into the socioemotional and evolutionary underpinnings of empathy and nurturing behavior that it is sometimes a little hard to view the forest behind all the trees. Although this is definitely not a book geared towards the novice it is well written and a must-read for everyone working in the field of anthropology. Btw, the photos are gems in their own right.

Mothers and Others: 5 out of 5 stars based on 1 user reviews.


Somewhere in Africa, more than a million years ago, a line of apes began to rear their young differently than their Great Ape ancestors. From this new form of care came new ways of engaging and understanding each other. How such singular human capacities evolved, and how they have kept us alive for thousands of generations, is the mystery revealed in this bold and wide-ranging new vision of human emotional evolution.Mothers and Others finds the key in the primatologically unique length of human childhood. If the young were to survive in a world of scarce food, they needed to be cared for, not only by their mothers but also by siblings, aunts, fathers, friends-and, with any luck, grandmothers. Out of this complicated and contingent form of childrearing, Sarah Hrdy argues, came the human capacity for understanding others. Mothers and others teach us who will care, and who will not.From its opening vision of "apes on a plane"; to descriptions of baby care among marmosets, chimpanzees, wolves, and lions; to explanations about why men in hunter-gatherer societies hunt together (hint: itrs"s called the Showing-Off Hypothesis), Mothers and Others is compellingly readable. But it is also an intricately knit argument that ever since the Pleistocene, it has taken a village to raise children-and how that gave our ancient ancestors the first push on the path toward becoming emotionally modern human beings.

Author Biography

Sarah Blaffer Hrdy, author of Mother Nature and The Woman That Never Evolved, is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and Professor Emerita of Anthropology at the University of California-Davis.

Table of Contents

Apes on a Planep. 1
Why Us and Not Them?p. 33
Why It Takes a Villagep. 65
Novel Developmentsp. 111
Will the Real Pleistocene Family Please Step Forward?p. 143
Meet the Alloparentsp. 175
Babies as Sensory Trapsp. 209
Grandmothers among Othersp. 233
Childhood and the Descent of Manp. 273
Notesp. 297
Referencesp. 341
Acknowledgmentsp. 403
Indexp. 406
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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