Did our ancestors live in tropical forests? Although we see the rainforest as a bountiful environment teeming with life forms, most anthropologists and archaeologists have long viewed these areas as too harsh for human occupation during the pre-agricultural stages of hominid development.
Under the Canopy turns conventional wisdom on its head by providing a well-documented, geographically diverse overview of Stone Age sites in the wet tropics. New research indicates that, as humanity and its precursors increased their geographical and ecological ranges, rainforests were settled at a much earlier period than had previously been thought.
Featuring the work of leading scholars from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, France, Malaysia, Panama, Spain, and the United States, Under the Canopy creates a new niche in paleolithic studies: the archaeology of tropical rainforests. This book provides the first synthesis of archaeological research in early foraging sites across the rainforest zone, and indicates that tropical forests could harbor important clues to human evolution, origins of modern behavior, cultural diversity, and human impact on tropical ecosystems.
We know the universe has a history, but does it also have a story of self-creation to tell? Yes, in Roy R. Gould’s account. Heoffers a compelling narrative of how the universe—with no instruction other than its own laws—evolved into billions of galaxies and gave rise to life, including humans who have been trying for millennia to comprehend it. Far from being a random accident, the universe is hard at work, extracting order from chaos.
Making use of the best current science, Gould turns what many assume to be true about the universe on its head. The cosmos expands inward, not outward. Gravity can drive things apart, not merely together. And the universe seems to defy entropy as it becomes more ordered, rather than the other way around. Strangest of all, the universe is exquisitely hospitable to life, despite its being constructed from undistinguished atoms and a few unexceptional rules of behavior. Universe in Creation explores whether the emergence of life, rather than being a mere cosmic afterthought, may be written into the most basic laws of nature.
Offering a fresh take on what brought the world—and us—into being, Gould helps us see the universe as the master of its own creation, not tethered to a singular event but burgeoning as new space and energy continuously stream into existence. It is a very old story, as yet unfinished, with plotlines that twist and churn through infinite space and time.
Gonorrhea. Bed bugs. Weeds. Salamanders. People. All are evolving, some surprisingly rapidly, in response to our chemical age. In Unnatural Selection, Emily Monosson shows how our drugs, pesticides, and pollution are exerting intense selection pressure on all manner of species. And we humans might not like the result.
Monosson reveals that the very code of life is more fluid than once imagined. When our powerful chemicals put the pressure on to evolve or die, beneficial traits can sweep rapidly through a population. Species with explosive population growth—the bugs, bacteria, and weeds—tend to thrive, while bigger, slower-to-reproduce creatures, like ourselves, are more likely to succumb.
Monosson explores contemporary evolution in all its guises. She examines the species that we are actively trying to beat back, from agricultural pests to life-threatening bacteria, and those that are collateral damage—creatures struggling to adapt to a polluted world. Monosson also presents cutting-edge science on gene expression, showing how environmental stressors are leaving their mark on plants, animals, and possibly humans for generations to come.
Unnatural Selection is eye-opening and more than a little disquieting. But it also suggests how we might lessen our impact: manage pests without creating super bugs; protect individuals from disease without inviting epidemics; and benefit from technology without threatening the health of our children.
Safe from the battlefields of Europe and Asia, the United States led the post–World War II global economic recovery through international assistance and foreign direct investment. With an ardent decolonization agenda and a postwar legitimacy, the United States attempted to construct a world characterized by cooperation. When American optimism clashed with Soviet expansionism, the United States started on a path to global hegemony.
In US Foreign Policy and Defense Strategy, the authors analyze the strategic underpinnings of hegemony, assess the national security establishment that sustains dominance, consider the impact on civil-military relations, and explore the intertwining relationships between foreign policy, defense strategy, and commercial activities. Eschewing conventional analyses, the volume not only identifies drivers and continuities in foreign policy, but it also examines how the legacy of the last sixty-five years will influence future national security policy that will be characterized by US leadership in an increasingly competitive world.
From civil-military relations to finance, and from competing visions of how America should make war to its philosophy of securing peace through reconstruction and reconciliation, US Foreign Policy and Defense Strategy offers unique insights into the links between military and commercial power as it charts the rise of a historical rarity: the incidental superpower. This accessibly written book is suitable for students and general readers as well as scholars.