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Across the Bridge
Understanding the Origin of the Vertebrates
Henry Gee
University of Chicago Press, 2018
Our understanding of vertebrate origins and the backbone of human history evolves with each new fossil find and DNA map. Many species have now had their genomes sequenced, and molecular techniques allow genetic inspection of even non-model organisms. But as longtime Nature editor Henry Gee argues in Across the Bridge, despite these giant strides and our deepening understanding of how vertebrates fit into the tree of life, the morphological chasm between vertebrates and invertebrates remains vast and enigmatic.

As Gee shows, even as scientific advances have falsified a variety of theories linking these groups, the extant relatives of vertebrates are too few for effective genetic analysis. Moreover, the more we learn about the species that do remain—from sea-squirts to starfish—the clearer it becomes that they are too far evolved along their own courses to be of much use in reconstructing what the latest invertebrate ancestors of vertebrates looked like. Fossils present yet further problems of interpretation. Tracing both the fast-changing science that has helped illuminate the intricacies of vertebrate evolution as well as the limits of that science, Across the Bridge helps us to see how far the field has come in crossing the invertebrate-to-vertebrate divide—and how far we still have to go.

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The Annotated Origin
A Facsimile of the First Edition of On the Origin of Species
Charles DarwinAnnotated by James T. Costa
Harvard University Press, 2009
Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species is the most important and yet least read scientific work in the history of science. Now James T. Costa—experienced field biologist, theorist on the evolution of insect sociality, and passionate advocate for teaching Darwin in a society in which a significant proportion of adults believe that life on earth has been created in its present form within the last 10,000 years—has given a new voice to this epochal work. By leading readers line by line through the Origin, Costa brings evolution’s foundational text to life for a new generation.The Annotated Origin is the edition of Darwin’s masterwork used in Costa’s course at Western Carolina University and in Harvard’s Darwin Summer Course at Oxford. A facsimile of the first edition of 1859 is accompanied by Costa’s extensive marginal annotations, drawing on his extensive experience with Darwin’s ideas in the field, lab, and classroom. This edition makes available an accessible, useful, and practical resource for anyone reading the Origin for the first time or for those who want to reread it with the insights and perspective that a working biologist can provide.

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Anonimo Mexicano
Richley Crapo and Bonnie Glass-Coffin
Utah State University Press, 2005
Anonimo Mexicano is the first publication of the full Nahuatl text and English translation of a rare and important Native history of preconquest Mexico. Written circa 1600 by an anonymous Tlaxcaltecan author, it is an epic account of the settling of central Mexico by Nahua peoples from the northern frontier. They developed a sophisticated culture with powerful city states and an agricultural economy, fought great wars, established dynasties, and recorded their history and legends in painted books. The Mexica became the most powerful of these nations until their conquest by the Spanish with the help of the Tlaxcalteca, who were rivals of the Mexica and whose national origin tale was recorded in Anonimo Mexicano.

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Baseball on Trial
The Origin of Baseball's Antitrust Exemption
Nathaniel Grow
University of Illinois Press, 2014
The controversial 1922 Federal Baseball Supreme Court ruling held that the "business of base ball" was not subject to the Sherman Antitrust Act because it did not constitute interstate commerce. In Baseball on Trial, legal scholar Nathaniel Grow defies conventional wisdom to explain why the unanimous Supreme Court opinion authored by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, which gave rise to Major League Baseball's exemption from antitrust law, was correct given the circumstances of the time.
Currently a billion dollar enterprise, professional baseball teams crisscross the country while the games are broadcast via radio, television, and internet coast to coast. The sheer scope of this activity would seem to embody the phrase "interstate commerce." Yet baseball is the only professional sport--indeed the sole industry--in the United States that currently benefits from a judicially constructed antitrust immunity. How could this be?
Drawing upon recently released documents from the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Grow analyzes how the Supreme Court reached this seemingly peculiar result by tracing the Federal Baseball litigation from its roots in 1914 to its resolution in 1922, in the process uncovering significant new details about the proceedings. Grow observes that while interstate commerce was measured at the time by the exchange of tangible goods, baseball teams in the 1910s merely provided live entertainment to their fans, while radio was a fledgling technology that had little impact on the sport. The book ultimately concludes that, despite the frequent criticism of the opinion, the Supreme Court's decision was consistent with the conditions and legal climate of the early twentieth century.

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Before Orthodoxy
The Satanic Verses in Early Islam
Shahab Ahmed
Harvard University Press, 2017

One of the most controversial episodes in the life of the Prophet Muhammad concerns an incident in which he allegedly mistook words suggested by Satan as divine revelation. Known as the Satanic verses, these praises to the pagan deities contradict the Islamic belief that Allah is one and absolute. Muslims today—of all sects—deny that the incident of the Satanic verses took place. But as Shahab Ahmed explains, Muslims did not always hold this view.

Before Orthodoxy wrestles with the question of how religions establish truth—especially religions such as Islam that lack a centralized authority to codify beliefs. Taking the now universally rejected incident of the Satanic verses as a case study in the formation of Islamic orthodoxy, Ahmed shows that early Muslims, circa 632 to 800 CE, held the exact opposite belief. For them, the Satanic verses were an established fact in the history of the Prophet. Ahmed offers a detailed account of the attitudes of Muslims to the Satanic verses in the first two centuries of Islam and traces the chains of transmission in the historical reports known as riwāyah.

Touching directly on the nature of Muhammad’s prophetic visions, the interpretation of the Satanic verses incident is a question of profound importance in Islam, one that plays a role in defining the limits of what Muslims may legitimately say and do—issues crucial to understanding the contemporary Islamic world.


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Bones of Contention
Controversies in the Search for Human Origins
Roger Lewin
University of Chicago Press, 1997
Bones of Contention is a behind-the-scenes look at the search for human origins. Analyzing how the biases and preconceptions of paleoanthropologists shaped their work, Roger Lewin's detective stories about the discovery of Neanderthal Man, the Taung Child, Lucy, and other major fossils provide insight into this most subjective of scientific endeavors. The new afterword looks at ways in which paleoanthropology, while becoming more scientific
in many ways, remains contentious.

"[An] un-put-downable book."—John Gribbon, Times Educational Supplement

"Not just another 'stones and bones' account of human evolution. It is Lewin's thesis, amply demonstrated, that paleoanthropology is the most subjective of sciences because it engages the emotions of virtually everyone; and since the evidence is scrappy, interpretation is everything. . . . A splendid, stirring, and eye-opening account, to be devoured."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"[Lewin shows] 'how very unscientific the process of scientific inquiry can be.'. . . Bones of Contention is . . . serious intellectual history."—Edward Dolnick, Wall Street Journal

"[Lewin] documents his thesis in persuasive detail. . . . The reader is carried along by the power of Mr. Lewin's reporting."—Robert Wright, New York Times Book Review

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Carroll Wright and Labor Reform
The Origin of Labor Statistics
James Leiby
Harvard University Press

Contemporaries of Carroll D. Wright (1840-1909) lived through the transformation of American society by the industrial revolution. For the most part they thought the transformation represented growth and progress, but many also found occasion for doubt and fear in its consequences. Their anxieties collected around the notions of a "labor problem" and "labor reform." Whether from hope or fear, people felt a need for statistical information. On this popular demand Wright built his career as statistical expert and renowned master of "labor statistics." His investigations during thirty-two years of government service (1873-1905) gave form to contemporary ideas and set precedents for modern procedures, as in his seminal studies of wages, prices, and strikes.

In telling how Wright took up this unprecedented career, Mr. Leiby shows the importance of Wright's early years and relates his work to the politics and religion of his time as well as to its social science. In this perspective, the history of the labor bureaus and their voluminous reports take on their original human purposes and meaning.


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Chilies to Chocolate
Food the Americas Gave the World
Nelson Foster and Linda S. Cordell
University of Arizona Press, 1992
Columbus stumbled upon the New World while seeking the riches of the orient, yet native peoples of the Americas already held riches beyond his knowing. From maize to potatoes to native beans, a variety of crops unfamiliar to Europeans were cultivated by indigenous peoples of the Americas, with other foods like chilies and chocolate on hand to make diets all the more interesting (even when used in combination, as aficionados of molé will attest).

Chilies to Chocolate traces the biological and cultural history of some New World crops that have worldwide economic importance. Drawing on disciplines as diverse as anthropology, ethnobotany, and agronomy, it focuses on the domestication and use of these plants by native peoples and their dispersion into the fields and kitchens of the Old World: tomatoes to Italy, chili peppers throughout Asia, cacao wherever a sweet tooth craves chocolate. Indeed, potatoes and maize now rank with wheat and rice as the world's principal crops.

"The sweetness of corn on the cob is sweeter for knowing the long, winding way by which it has come into one's hands," observe Foster and Cordell. Featuring contributions by Gary Nabhan, Alan Davidson, and others, Chilies to Chocolate will increase readers' appreciation of the foods we all enjoy, of the circuitous routes by which they have become part of our diets, and of the vital role that Native Americans have played in this process.

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Christian Origins and the Language of the Kingdom of God
Michael L. Humphries. Foreword by Burton L. Mack
Southern Illinois University Press, 1999

Traditionally, scholars have traced the origin of Christianity to a single source—the kingdom of God as represented in the message of the historical Jesus. Through a rhetorical critical analysis of one of the most important texts in early Christian literature (the Beelzebul controversy), Michael L. Humphries addresses the issue of Christian origins, demonstrating how the language of the kingdom of God is best understood according to its locative or taxonomic effect where the demarcation of social and cultural boundaries contributes to the emergence of this new social foundation.

The Beelzebul controversy exists in two versions— Q and Mark—and thereby allows the study to engage the import of the kingdom language at the point of juxtaposition between two distinct textual representations. This makes it possible to deal directly with the issue of the disparity of texts in the synoptic tradition. Humphries suggests that these two versions of the same controversy indicate two distinct social trajectories wherein the kingdom of God comes to mean something quite different in each case but that nevertheless they demonstrate a similarity in theoretical effect where the language contributes to the emergence of relatively distinct social formations.

Humphries establishes the Q and Markan versions of the Beelzebul controversy as relatively sophisticated compositions that are formally identified as elaborate chreiai (a literary form used in the teaching of rhetoric at the secondary and post-secondary level of GrecoRoman education) and that offer an excellent example of the rhetorical manipulation of language in the development of social and cultural identity.


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Cosmic Evolution
The Rise of Complexity in Nature
Eric J. Chaisson
Harvard University Press, 2001

We are connected to distant space and time not only by our imaginations but also through a common cosmic heritage. Emerging now from modern science is a unified scenario of the cosmos, including ourselves as sentient beings, based on the time-honored concept of change. From galaxies to snowflakes, from stars and planets to life itself, we are beginning to identify an underlying ubiquitous pattern penetrating the fabric of all the natural sciences--a sweepingly encompassing view of the order and structure of every known class of object in our richly endowed universe.

This is the subject of Eric Chaisson's new book. In Cosmic Evolution Chaisson addresses some of the most basic issues we can contemplate: the origin of matter and the origin of life, and the ways matter, life, and radiation interact and change with time. Guided by notions of beauty and symmetry, by the search for simplicity and elegance, by the ambition to explain the widest range of phenomena with the fewest possible principles, Chaisson designs for us an expansive yet intricate model depicting the origin and evolution of all material structures. He shows us that neither new science nor appeals to nonscience are needed to understand the impressive hierarchy of the cosmic evolutionary story, from quark to quasar, from microbe to mind.


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The Dawn of Christianity
People and Gods in a Time of Magic and Miracles
Robert Knapp
Harvard University Press, 2017

Ordinary people of antiquity interacted with the supernatural through a mosaic of beliefs and rituals. Exploring everyday life from 200 BCE to the end of the first century CE, Robert Knapp shows that Jews and polytheists lived with the gods in very similar ways. Traditional interactions provided stability even in times of crisis, while changing a relationship risked catastrophe for the individual, his family, and his community. However, people in both traditions did at times leave behind their long-honored rites to try something new. The Dawn of Christianity reveals why some people in Judea and then in the Roman and Greek worlds embraced a new approach to the forces and powers in their daily lives.

Knapp traces the emergence of Christianity from its stirrings in the eastern Mediterranean, where Jewish monotheism coexisted with polytheism and prayer mixed with magic. In a time receptive to prophetic messages and supernatural interventions, Jesus of Nazareth convinced people to change their beliefs by showing, through miracles, his direct connection to god-like power. The miracle of the Resurrection solidified Jesus’s supernatural credentials. After his death, followers continued to use miracles and magic to spread Jesus’s message of reward for the righteous in this life and immortality in the next.

Many Jews and polytheists strongly opposed the budding movement but despite major setbacks Christianity proved resilient and adaptable. It survived long enough to be saved by a second miracle, the conversion of Emperor Constantine. Hand in hand with empire, Christianity began its long march through history.


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The Demon in the Machine
How Hidden Webs of Information Are Solving the Mystery of Life
Paul Davies
University of Chicago Press, 1991
Physics World Book of the Year

A Financial Times, Sunday Times, and Telegraph Best Science Book of the Year

What is life? For generations, scientists have struggled to make sense of this fundamental question, for life really does look like magic: even a humble bacterium accomplishes things so dazzling that no human engineer can match it. Huge advances in molecular biology over the past few decades have served only to deepen the mystery.

In this penetrating and wide-ranging book, world-renowned physicist and science communicator Paul Davies searches for answers in a field so new and fast-moving that it lacks a name; it is a domain where biology, computing, logic, chemistry, quantum physics, and nanotechnology intersect. At the heart of these diverse fields, Davies explains, is the concept of information: a quantity which has the power to unify biology with physics, transform technology and medicine, and force us to fundamentally reconsider what it means to be alive—even illuminating the age-old question of whether we are alone in the universe.

From life’s murky origins to the microscopic engines that run the cells of our bodies, The Demon in the Machine journeys across an astounding landscape of cutting-edge science. Weaving together cancer and consciousness, two-headed worms and bird navigation, Davies reveals how biological organisms garner and process information to conjure order out of chaos, opening a window onto the secret of life itself.

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Drudgery Divine
On the Comparison of Early Christianities and the Religions of Late Antiquity
Jonathan Z. Smith
University of Chicago Press, 1990
In this major theoretical and methodological statement on the history of religions, Jonathan Z. Smith shows how convert apologetic agendas can dictate the course of comparative religious studies. As his example, Smith reviews four centuries of scholarship comparing early Christianities with religions of late Antiquity (especially the so-called mystery cults) and shows how this scholarship has been based upon an underlying Protestant-Catholic polemic. The result is a devastating critique of traditional New Testament scholarship, a redescription of early Christianities as religious traditions amenable to comparison, and a milestone in Smith's controversial approach to comparative religious studies.

"An important book, and certainly one of the most significant in the career of Jonathan Z. Smith, whom one may venture to call the greatest pathologist in the history of religions. As in many precedent cases, Smith follows a standard procedure: he carefully selects his victim, and then dissects with artistic finesse and unequaled acumen. The operation is always necessary, and a deconstructor of Smith's caliber is hard to find."—Ioan P. Coulianu, Journal of Religion

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Edgar Allan Poe - American Writers 89
University of Minnesota Pamphlets on American Writers
Roger Asselineau
University of Minnesota Press, 1970

Edgar Allan Poe - American Writers 89 was first published in 1970. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.


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Emergence of Life on Earth
A Historical and Scientific Overview
Fry, Iris
Rutgers University Press, 2000
How did life emerge on Earth? Is there life on other worlds? These questions, until recently confined to the pages of speculative essays and tabloid headlines, are now the subject of legitimate scientific research. This book presents a unique perspective--a combined historical, scientific, and philosophical analysis, which does justice to the complex nature of the subject. The book's first part offers an overview of the main ideas on the origin of life as they developed from antiquity until the twentieth century. The second, more detailed part of the book examines contemporary theories and major debates within the origin-of-life scientific community.
Topics include:
  • Aristotle and the Greek atomists' conceptions of the organism
  • Alexander Oparin and J.B.S. Haldane's 1920s breakthrough papers
  • Possible life on Mars?

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Emergence of Life on Earth
A Historical and Scientific Overview
Fry, Iris
Rutgers University Press, 2000
How did life emerge on Earth? Is there life on other worlds? These questions, until recently confined to the pages of speculative essays and tabloid headlines, are now the subject of legitimate scientific research. This book presents a unique perspective--a combined historical, scientific, and philosophical anaylsis, which does justice to the complex nature of the subject. The book's first part offers an overview of the main ideas on the origin of life as they developed from antiquity until the twentieth century. The second, more detailed part of the book examines contemporary theories and major debates within the origin-of-life scientific community.
Topics include:
  • Aristotle and the Greek atomists' conceptions of the organism
  • Alexander Oparin and J.B.S. Haldane's 1920s breakthrough papers
  • Possible life on Mars?

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Essay on the Origin of Languages and Writings Related to Music
Jean Jacques Rousseau
Dartmouth College Press, 2009
"J.J. was born for music," Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote of himself, "not to be consumed in its execution, but to speed its progress and make discoveries about it. His ideas on the art and about the art are fertile, inexhaustible." Rousseau was a practicing musician and theorist for years before publication of his first Discourse, but until now scholars have neglected these ideas. This graceful translation remedies both those failings by bringing together the Essay, which John T. Scott says "most clearly displays the juncture between Rousseau's musical theory and his major philosophical works," with a comprehensive selection of the musical writings. Many of the latter are responses to authors like Rameau, Grimm, and Raynal, and a unique feature of this edition is the inclusion of writings by these authors to help establish the historical and ideological contexts of Rousseau's writings and the intellectual exchanges of which they are a part. With an introduction that provides historical background, traces the development of Rousseau's musical theory, and shows that these writings are not an isolated part of his oeuvre but instead are animated by the same "system," this volume fashions a much-needed portal through which literary scholars, musicologists, historians, and political theorists can enter into an important but hitherto overlooked chamber of Rousseau's vast intellectual palace.

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The Evolutionary Origins of Life and Death
Pierre M. Durand
University of Chicago Press, 2021
The question of why an individual would actively kill itself has long been an evolutionary mystery. Pierre M. Durand’s ambitious book answers this question through close inspection of life and death in the earliest cellular life. As Durand shows us, cell death is a fascinating lens through which to examine the interconnectedness, in evolutionary terms, of life and death. It is a truism to note that one does not exist without the other, but just how does this play out in evolutionary history? 
These two processes have been studied from philosophical, theoretical, experimental, and genomic angles, but no one has yet integrated the information from these various disciplines. In this work, Durand synthesizes cellular studies of life and death looking at the origin of life and the evolutionary significance of programmed cellular death. The exciting and unexpected outcome of Durand’s analysis is the realization that life and death exhibit features of coevolution. The evolution of more complex cellular life depended on the coadaptation between traits that promote life and those that promote death. In an ironic twist, it becomes clear that, in many circumstances, programmed cell death is essential for sustaining life.

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Explaining Christian Origins and Early Judaism
Contributions from Cognitive and Social Science
Petri Luomanen
SBL Press, 2016

Now in paperback!

Cognitive science of religion is a radically new paradigm in the study of religion. Historians of religion have shown increasing interest in this approach. The book is in four parts: an introduction to cognitive and social-scientific approaches, applications of cognitive science, applications of conceptual blending theory, and applications of socio-cognitive analyses.


  • Paperback format of an essential Brill resource
  • Essays that combine cognitive analysis with historical and social-scientific approaches to biblical materials, Christian origins, and early Judaism
  • Research for historians of religion, biblical scholars, and those working in the cognitive science of religion.

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Florentine Codex
Book 3: Book 3: The Origin of the Gods
Bernardino de Sahagun
University of Utah Press, 1981

Two of the world’s leading scholars of the Aztec language and culture have translated Sahagún’s monumental and encyclopedic study of native life in Mexico at the time of the Spanish Conquest. This immense undertaking is the first complete translation into any language of Sahagún’s Nahuatl text, and represents one of the most distinguished contributions in the fields of anthropology, ethnography, and linguistics.

Written between 1540 and 1585, the Florentine Codex (so named because the manuscript has been part of the Laurentian Library’s collections since at least 1791) is the most authoritative statement we have of the Aztecs’ lifeways and traditions—a rich and intimate yet panoramic view of a doomed people.

The Florentine Codex is divided by subject area into twelve books and includes over 2,000 illustrations drawn by Nahua artists in the sixteenth century.

Book Three describes in detail the excitingand sometimes bloody—origin stories of Uitzilopochtli, Titlacauan, and Quetzalcoatl. The appendix discusses other significant religious aspects of the Aztec religion, such as how boys are raised to be high priests and what happens to Aztecs after death.


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Free Love in Utopia
John Humphrey Noyes and the Origin of the Oneida Community
Compiled by George Wallingford Noyes
University of Illinois Press, 2001
The "free love" Oneida Community, founded in New York state during the turbulent decades before the Civil War, practiced an extraordinary system of "complex marriage" as part of its sustained experiment in creating the kingdom of heaven on earth. For more than thirty years, two hundred adult members considered themselves heterosexually married to the entire community rather than to a single monogamous partner.
Free Love in Utopia provides the first in-depth account of how complex marriage was introduced among previously monogamous or single Oneida Community members. Bringing together vivid, firsthand writings by members of the community--including personal correspondence, memoranda on spiritual and material concerns, and official pronouncements--this volume portrays daily life in Oneida and the deep religious commitment that permeated every aspect of it. It also presents a complex portrait of the community's founder, John Humphrey Noyes, who demanded not only complete religious loyalty from his followers but also minute control over their sexual lives. It recounts the formidable legal suits faced by the community--one of which almost forced it to disband in 1852--and the critical behind-the-scenes work of Noyes's second-in-command, John L. Miller. Most important, Free Love in Utopia describes in detail how Oneida's "enlarged family" was created and how its unorthodox practices affected its members.
Key selections from a large collection of primary documents detailing Oneida's early years were compiled by George Wallingford Noyes, nephew of the founder. The present volume, astutely edited and introduced by noted communitarian scholar Lawrence Foster, marks the first publication of G. W. Noyes's remarkable manuscript, excerpted from the irreplaceable original documents that were deliberately burned after his death. The volume also reproduces Oneida's First Annual Report, which contains the sexual manifesto that underlay the community.

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From Colonization to Domestication
Population, Environment, and the Origins of Agriculture in Eastern North America
D. Shane Miller
University of Utah Press, 2018
Winner of the Don D. and Catherine S. Fowler Prize.

Eastern North America is one of only a handful of places in the world where people first discovered how to domesticate plants. In this book, anthropologist Shane Miller uses two common, although unconventional, sources of archaeological data—stone tools and the distribution of archaeological sites—to trace subsistence decisions from the initial colonization of the American Southeast at the end of the last Ice Age to the appearance of indigenous domesticated plants roughly 5,000 years ago.

Miller argues that the origins of plant domestication lie within the context of a boom/bust cycle that culminated in the mid-Holocene, when hunter-gatherers were able to intensively exploit shellfish, deer, oak, and hickory. After this resource “boom” ended, some groups shifted to other plants in place of oak and hickory, which included the suite of plants that were later domesticated. Accompanying these subsistence trends is evidence for increasing population pressure and declining returns from hunting. Miller contends, however, that the appearance of domesticated plants in eastern North America, rather than simply being an example of necessity as the mother of invention, is the result of individuals adjusting to periods of both abundance and shortfall driven by climate change. 

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From Origin to Destination
Trends and Mechanisms in Social Stratification Research
Edited by Stefani Scherer, Reinhard Pollak, Gunnar Otte, and Markus Gangl
Campus Verlag, 2007
Despite the momentous social and economic change of recent decades, patterns of social stratification have proven to be remarkably stable. In From Origin to Destination, an expert team analyzes the current state of social stratification research from a comparative, international perspective. This volume presents theoretical knowledge as well as empirical evidence on questions such as intergenerational social mobility; inequalities of educational opportunity, gender and ethnicity; and the role of education in the labor market.

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From the Land of Ever Winter to the American Southwest
Athapaskan Migrations, Mobility, and Ethnogenesis
Deni J. Seymour
University of Utah Press, 2012

The Athapaskan departure from the Canadian Subarctic centuries ago and their subsequent arrival in the American Southwest has remained the subject of continuous debate in anthropological research. This book examines archaeological, genetic, linguistic, and traditional oral history data and brings them together in fresh ways, in many cases for the first time. With a backdrop of these new and interrelated lines of evidence, each subfield must now reevaluate its approach and the forms of evidence it uses to construct arguments.

The contributors here include the most knowledgeable scholars in each of the above fields, collectively providing the most up-to-date research on early Athapaskans and their movements and migrations. Each chapter approaches Athapaskan migration with data obtained from different regions, providing clarity as to the basis for individual arguments. Often, entrenched regional visualizations and localized conventions are clarified only when placed in juxtaposition to those of other regions. Because of this, conclusions rest on sometimes widely divergent theoretical and methodological underpinnings, thus expressing preference for and conveying weight to certain types of evidence and lines of reasoning. The goal of this volume is to expose these arguments in order to clarify appropriate directions for future research, making advances possible.


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The Genesis Quest
The Geniuses and Eccentrics on a Journey to Uncover the Origin of Life on Earth
Michael Marshall
University of Chicago Press, 2020
From the primordial soup to meteorite impact zones, the Manhattan Project to the latest research, this book is the first full history of the scientists who strive to explain the genesis of life.

How did life begin? Why are we here? These are some of the most profound questions we can ask.
For almost a century, a small band of eccentric scientists has struggled to answer these questions and explain one of the greatest mysteries of all: how and why life began on Earth. There are many different proposals, and each idea has attracted passionate believers who promote it with an almost religious fervor, as well as detractors who reject it with equal passion.
But the quest to unravel life’s genesis is not just a story of big ideas. It is also a compelling human story, rich in personalities, conflicts, and surprising twists and turns. Along the way, the journey takes in some of the greatest discoveries in modern biology, from evolution and cells to DNA and life’s family tree. It is also a search whose end may finally be in sight.
In The Genesis Quest, Michael Marshall shows how the quest to understand life’s beginning is also a journey to discover the true nature of life, and by extension our place in the universe.

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The Geography of Neandertals and Modern Humans in Europe and the Greater Mediterranean
Ofer Bar-Yosef
Harvard University Press, 2000

During the Middle Paleolithic, various populations ancestral to modern Homo sapiens inhabited Africa, while Europe was homeland to the Neandertals. Recent archaeological investigations have provided data showing that the abrupt transition from the Middle to the Upper Neolithic, during which these populations met and interacted, was a fast-moving period of change for both groups.

In this volume, the expansion of modern humans and their impact on the populations of Neandertals in Europe, Western Asia, and Northern Africa is discussed in depth, with particular focus on the lithic industries of the late Middle and early Upper Paleolithic.


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The History of the American Indians
James Adair; edited, introduced, and annotated by Kathryn E. Holland Braund
University of Alabama Press, 2009

A fully annotated edition of a classic work detailing the cultures of five southeastern American Indian tribes during the Contact Period

James Adair was an Englishman who lived and traded among the southeastern Indians for more than 30 years, from 1735 to 1768. During that time he covered the territory from the Appalachian Mountains to the Mississippi River. He encountered and lived among Indians, advised governors, spent time with settlers, and worked tirelessly for the expansion of British interests against the French and the Spanish. Adair’s acceptance by the Creeks, Choctaws, Cherokees, and Chickasaws provided him the opportunity to record, compare, and analyze their cultures and traditions.

Adair’s written work, first published in England in 1775, is considered one of the finest histories of the Native Americans. His observations provide one of the earliest and what many modern scholars regard as the best account of southeastern Indian cultures. This edition adheres to current standards of literary editing, following the original closely, and provides fully annotated and indexed critical apparatus.

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How Life Began
Evolution's Three Geneses
Alexandre Meinesz
University of Chicago Press, 2008
The origin of life is a hotly debated topic. The Christian Bible states that God created the heavens and the Earth, all in about seven days roughly six thousand years ago. This episode in Genesis departs markedly from scientific theories developed over the last two centuries which hold that life appeared on Earth about 3.5 billion years ago in the form of bacteria, followed by unicellular organisms half a millennia later. It is this version of genesis that Alexandre Meinesz explores in this engaging tale of life's origins and evolution.
How Life Began elucidates three origins, or geneses, of life—bacteria, nucleated cells, and multicellular organisms—and shows how evolution has sculpted life to its current biodiversity through four main events—mutation, recombination, natural selection, and geologic cataclysm. As an ecologist who specializes in algae, the first organisms to colonize Earth, Meinesz brings a refreshingly novel voice to the history of biodiversity and emphasizes here the role of unions in organizing life. For example, the ingestion of some bacteria by other bacteria led to mitochondria that characterize animal and plant cells, and the chloroplasts of plant cells.
As Meinesz charmingly recounts, life’s grandeur is a result of an evolutionary tendency toward sociality and solidarity. He suggests that it is our cohesion and collaboration that allows us to solve the environmental problems arising in the decades and centuries to come. Rooted in the science of evolution but enlivened with many illustrations from other disciplines and the arts, How Life Began intertwines the rise of bacteria and multicellular life with Vermeer’s portrait of Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, the story of Genesis and Noah, Meinesz’s son’s early experiences with Legos, and his own encounters with other scientists. All of this brings a very human and humanistic tone to Meinesz’s charismatic narrative of the three origins of life.

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How We Became Human
Mimetic Theory and the Science of Evolutionary Origins
Pierpaolo Antonello
Michigan State University Press, 2015
From his groundbreaking Violence and the Sacred and Things Hidden since the Foundation of the World, René Girard’s mimetic theory is presented as elucidating “the origins of culture.” He posits that archaic religion (or “the sacred”), particularly in its dynamics of sacrifice and ritual, is a neglected and major key to unlocking the enigma of “how we became human.” French philosopher of science Michel Serres states that Girard’s theory provides a Darwinian theory of culture because it “proposes a dynamic, shows an evolution and gives a universal explanation.” This major claim has, however, remained underscrutinized by scholars working on Girard’s theory, and it is mostly overlooked within the natural and social sciences. Joining disciplinary worlds, this book aims to explore this ambitious claim, invoking viewpoints as diverse as evolutionary culture theory, cultural anthropology, archaeology, cognitive psychology, ethology, and philosophy. The contributors provide major evidence in favor of Girard’s hypothesis. Equally, Girard’s theory is presented as having the potential to become for the human and social sciences something akin to the integrating framework that present-day biological science owes to Darwin—something compatible with it and complementary to it in accounting for the still remarkably little understood phenomenon of human emergence.

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The Human Career
Human Biological and Cultural Origins, Third Edition
Richard G. Klein
University of Chicago Press, 2009

Since its publication in 1989, The Human Career has proved to be an indispensable tool in teaching human origins. This substantially revised third edition retains Richard G. Klein’s innovative approach while showing how cumulative discoveries and analyses over the past ten years have significantly refined our knowledge of human evolution.

Klein chronicles the evolution of people from the earliest primates through the emergence of fully modern humans within the past 200,000 years. His comprehensive treatment stresses recent advances in knowledge, including, for example, ever more abundant evidence that fully modern humans originated in Africa and spread from there, replacing the Neanderthals in Europe and equally archaic people in Asia. With its coverage of both the fossil record and the archaeological record over the 2.5 million years for which both are available, The Human Career demonstrates that human morphology and behavior evolved together. Throughout the book, Klein presents evidence for alternative points of view, but does not hesitate to make his own position clear.

In addition to outlining the broad pattern of human evolution, The Human Career details the kinds of data that support it. For the third edition, Klein has added numerous tables and a fresh citation system designed to enhance readability, especially for students. He has also included more than fifty new illustrations to help lay readers grasp the fossils, artifacts, and other discoveries on which specialists rely. With abundant references and hundreds of images, charts, and diagrams, this new edition is unparalleled in its usefulness for teaching human evolution.


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The Invaders
How Humans and Their Dogs Drove Neanderthals to Extinction
Pat Shipman
Harvard University Press, 2015

A Times Higher Education Book of the Week

Approximately 200,000 years ago, as modern humans began to radiate out from their evolutionary birthplace in Africa, Neanderthals were already thriving in Europe—descendants of a much earlier migration of the African genus Homo. But when modern humans eventually made their way to Europe 45,000 years ago, Neanderthals suddenly vanished. Ever since the first Neanderthal bones were identified in 1856, scientists have been vexed by the question, why did modern humans survive while their closest known relatives went extinct?

“Shipman admits that scientists have yet to find genetic evidence that would prove her theory. Time will tell if she’s right. For now, read this book for an engagingly comprehensive overview of the rapidly evolving understanding of our own origins.”
—Toby Lester, Wall Street Journal

“Are humans the ultimate invasive species? So contends anthropologist Pat Shipman—and Neanderthals, she opines, were among our first victims. The relationship between Homo sapiens and Homo neanderthalensis is laid out cleanly, along with genetic and other evidence. Shipman posits provocatively that the deciding factor in the triumph of our ancestors was the domestication of wolves.”
—Daniel Cressey, Nature


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Origin and Belief
By Emory C. Bogle
University of Texas Press, 1998

Islam is the fastest-growing religion in the world today. An understanding of its beliefs and practices has become essential knowledge not only for religious and political leaders but also for ordinary citizens who increasingly interact with Muslims as neighbors, coworkers, and schoolmates.

This book is designed to offer the general public a concise overview of the origins, basic beliefs, and common practices of Islam, as well as the reasons for its dramatic resurgence in recent times. Emory Bogle details the life mission of the prophet Muhammad and describes the spread of Islam after his death. He accounts for the rise and contemporary influence of Shi'i Islam, a topic of particular interest to Western readers. Bogle also explains the basic beliefs ("The Five Pillars") of Islam, as well as the role played by the Qur'an (Islam's scriptures), the hadith (the words and behavior of Muhammad), and the shari'a (Islamic law).


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How We Came to Know Our Microbe Relatives
John L. Ingraham
Harvard University Press, 2017

Since Darwin, people have speculated about the evolutionary relationships among dissimilar species, including our connections to the diverse life forms known as microbes. In the 1970s biologists discovered a way to establish these kinships. This new era of exploration began with Linus Pauling’s finding that every protein in every cell contains a huge reservoir of evolutionary history. His discovery opened a research path that has changed the way biologists and others think about the living world. In Kin John L. Ingraham tells the story of these remarkable breakthroughs. His original, accessible history explains how we came to understand our microbe inheritance and the relatedness of all organisms on Earth.

Among the most revolutionary scientific achievements was Carl Woese’s discovery that a large group of organisms previously lumped together with bacteria were in fact a totally distinct form of life, now called the archaea. But the crowning accomplishment has been to construct the Tree of Life—an evolutionary project Darwin dreamed about over a century ago. Today, we know that the Tree’s three main stems are dominated by microbes. The nonmicrobes—plants and animals, including humans—constitute only a small upper branch in one stem.

Knowing the Tree’s structure has given biologists the ability to characterize the complex array of microbial populations that live in us and on us, and investigate how they contribute to health and disease. This knowledge also moves us closer to answering the tantalizing question of how the Tree of Life began, over 3.5 billion years ago.


front cover of Landscapes of Origin in the Americas
Landscapes of Origin in the Americas
Creation Narratives Linking Ancient Places and Present Communities
Edited and with an introduction by Jessica Joyce Christie
University of Alabama Press, 2009
Landscape is a powerful factor in the operation of memory because of the associations narrators make between the local landscape and the events of the stories they tell. Ancestors and mythological events often become fixed in a specific landscape and act as timeless reference points.

In conventional anthropological literature, "landscape" is the term applied to the meaning local people bestow on their cultural and physical surroundings. In this work, the authors explore the cultural and physical landscapes an individual or cultural group has constructed to define the origins or beginnings of that cultural group as revealed through shared or traditional memory. The cultural landscapes of origins in diverse sites throughout the Americas are investigated through multidisciplinary research, not only to reveal the belief system and mythologies but also to place these origin beliefs in context and relationship to each other. In a continual interaction between the past, present, and future, time is subordinate to place, and history, as defined in Western academic terms, does not exist.


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Language and Species
Derek Bickerton
University of Chicago Press, 1990
Language and Species presents the most detailed and well-documented scenario to date of the origins of language. Drawing on "living linguistic fossils" such as "ape talk," the "two-word" stage of small children, and pidgin languages, and on recent discoveries in paleoanthropology, Bickerton shows how a primitive "protolanguage" could have offered Homo erectus a novel ecological niche. He goes on to demonstrate how this protolanguage could have developed into the languages we speak today.

"You are drawn into [Bickerton's] appreciation of the dominant role language plays not only in what we say, but in what we think and, therefore, what we are."—Robert Wright, New York Times Book Review

"The evolution of language is a fascinating topic, and Bickerton's Language and Species is the best introduction we have."—John C. Marshall, Nature

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A Legend for the Legendary
The Origin of the Baseball Hall of Fame
James A. Vlasich
University of Wisconsin Press, 1990

The origins of baseball are controversial. James A. Vlasich discusses the debates between two men intimately involved in nineteenth-century baseball, Henry Chadwick and Albert G. Spalding. Abner Graves of the Mills Commission claimed that Abner Doubleday had invented the game and he had done it in Cooperstown, New York. This claim was scrutinized at the time but the myth became etched into baseball history.
    Through the years, however, some critics have questioned the Mills Commission report. The problem is that the Baseball Hall of Fame is built on this shaky foundation. The lack of diligence on the part of Spalding’s self-appointed committee has led to a credibility gap for the baseball shrine that continues a half century after its dedication. Indeed, the story of the building of the Baseball Hall of Fame is filled with intrigue worthy of a political thriller.


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Life in the Cosmos
From Biosignatures to Technosignatures
Manasvi Lingam and Avi Loeb
Harvard University Press, 2021

A rigorous and scientific analysis of the myriad possibilities of life beyond our planet.

“Are we alone in the universe?” This tantalizing question has captivated humanity over millennia, but seldom has it been approached rigorously. Today the search for signatures of extraterrestrial life and intelligence has become a rapidly advancing scientific endeavor. Missions to Mars, Europa, and Titan seek evidence of life. Laboratory experiments have made great strides in creating synthetic life, deepening our understanding of conditions that give rise to living entities. And on the horizon are sophisticated telescopes to detect and characterize exoplanets most likely to harbor life.

Life in the Cosmos offers a thorough overview of the burgeoning field of astrobiology, including the salient methods and paradigms involved in the search for extraterrestrial life and intelligence. Manasvi Lingam and Avi Loeb tackle three areas of interest in hunting for life “out there”: first, the pathways by which life originates and evolves; second, planetary and stellar factors that affect the habitability of worlds, with an eye on the biomarkers that may reveal the presence of microbial life; and finally, the detection of technological signals that could be indicative of intelligence. Drawing on empirical data from observations and experiments, as well as the latest theoretical and computational developments, the authors make a compelling scientific case for the search for life beyond what we can currently see.

Meticulous and comprehensive, Life in the Cosmos is a master class from top researchers in astrobiology, suggesting that the answer to our age-old question is closer than ever before.


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Life through Time and Space
Wallace Arthur
Harvard University Press, 2017

All humans share three origins: the beginning of our individual lives, the appearance of life on Earth, and the formation of our planetary home. Life through Time and Space brings together the latest discoveries in both biology and astronomy to examine our deepest questions about where we came from, where we are going, and whether we are alone in the cosmos.

A distinctive voice in the growing field of astrobiology, Wallace Arthur combines embryological, evolutionary, and cosmological perspectives to tell the story of life on Earth and its potential to exist elsewhere in the universe. He guides us on a journey through the myriad events that started with the big bang and led to the universe we inhabit today. Along the way, readers learn about the evolution of life from a primordial soup of organic molecules to complex plants and animals, about Earth’s geological transformation from barren rock to diverse ecosystems, and about human development from embryo to infant to adult. Arthur looks closely at the history of mass extinctions and the prospects for humanity’s future on our precious planet.

Do intelligent aliens exist on a distant planet in the Milky Way, sharing the three origins that characterize all life on Earth? In addressing this question, Life through Time and Space tackles the many riddles of our place and fate in the universe that have intrigued human beings since they first gazed in wonder at the nighttime sky.


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The Limits of Ancient Christianity
Essays on Late Antique Thought and Culture in Honor of R. A. Markus
William E. Klingshirn and Mark Vessey, Editors
University of Michigan Press, 1999
Once considered a period of decline, Late Antiquity (third through eighth centuries C.E.) is now seen as a creative period of transition between the ancient and medieval worlds. Ostensibly an "otherworldly" religion, Christianity became a powerful worldly cultural force. But this power was shaped and severely limited by a large number of factors, including its own highly diverse traditions, scriptures, practices, and theologies.
William Klingshirn and Mark Vessey have assembled some of the most influential scholars in the study of Late Antiquity to test the limits of Christianity. The sixteen essays in this collection investigate the ways in which the concept of "limits" (temporal, spatial, ideological, social, and cultural) can help us to understand the texture of Christianity during this formative period. Taken together, the essays in this volume constitute as yet the most sustained study of cultural transformations evoked by Robert Markus's phrase "the end of ancient Christianity."
This timely volume will interest students of early Christian history and theology, as well as historians of the Roman empire and early middle ages. Because it examines a formative period of western civilization, it will also speak to anyone who wonders why Christianity takes the form it does today.
Contributors include Gerald Bonner, Peter Brown, Virginia Burrus, John Cavadini, Elizabeth Clark, Paula Fredriksen, Sidney Griffith, David Hunter, Conrad Leyser, Paul Meyvaert, Oliver Nicholson, James O'Donnell, Philip Rousseau, Frederick Russell, Carole Straw, and Robert Wilken.
William E. Klingshirn is Associate Professor of Greek and Latin, The Catholic University of America. Mark Vessey is Associate Professor of English, University of British Columbia.

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Losing a Lost Tribe
Native Americans, DNA, and the Mormon Church
Simon G. Southerton
Signature Books, 2004
 For the past 175 years, the Latter-day Saint Church has taught that Native Americans and Polynesians are descended from ancient seafaring Israelites. Recent DNA research confirms what anthropologists have been saying for nearly as many years, that Native Americans are originally from Siberia and Polynesians from Southeast Asia. In the current volume, molecular biologist Simon Southerton explains the theology and the science and how the former is being reshaped by the latter.

In the Book of Mormon, the Jewish prophet Lehi says the following after arriving by boat in America in 600 BCE:

Wherefore, I, Lehi, have obtained a promise, that inasmuch as those whom the Lord God shall bring out of the land of Jerusalem shall keep his commandments, they shall prosper upon the face of this land; and they shall be kept from all other nations, that they may possess this land unto themselves (2 Ne. 1:9).


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Luther. The Origin of Modern Self-Consciousness
Reiner Schürmann Lecture Notes
Edited by Michael Heitz and Sabine Schulz
Diaphanes, 2020
If we are to understand the specifically modern function of self-consciousness, we must first look to the origins of the concept. Among the key thinkers who elaborated on self-consciousness was the German monk and theologian Martin Luther. Reiner Schuermann’s writings and lectures on Luther therefore offer an innovative reading of the systematic role of self-consciousness in both premodern and modern cultures.

This volume in a planned twenty-nine-part series, Reiner Schuermann: Luther. The Origin of Modern Self-Consciousness sees Schuermann tracing Luther’s conception of the rise of self-consciousness as the subjective reference point. Schuermann then explores this conception in conversation with both the Cartesian cogito and Kantian apperception.

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The Mermaid’s Tale
Four Billion Years of Cooperation in the Making of Living Things
Kenneth M. Weiss and Anne V. Buchanan
Harvard University Press, 2009

Even after 150 years, Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection is irresistibly compelling. But how can this idea—in which competition prevails—be consistent with all that we know about the thoroughly cooperative nature of life at the genetic and cellular level? This book reconciles these discrepancies.

Assembling a set of general principles, authors Kenneth Weiss and Anne Buchanan build a comprehensive, unified theory that applies on the evolutionary time scale but also on the developmental and ecological scales where daily life is lived, and cells, organisms, and species interact. They present this story through a diversity of examples spanning the fundamental challenges that organisms have faced throughout the history of life. This shows that even very complex traits can be constructed simply, based on these principles. Although relentless competitive natural selection is widely assumed to be the primary mover of evolutionary change, The Mermaid’s Tale shows how life more generally works on the basis of cooperation. The book reveals that the focus on competition and cooperation is largely an artifact of the compression of time—a distortion that dissolves when the nature and origins of adapted life are viewed primarily from developmental and evolutionary time scales.


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Mother of Writing
The Origin and Development of a Hmong Messianic Script
William A. Smalley, Chia Koua Vang, and Gnia Yee Yang
University of Chicago Press, 1990
In February of 1971, in the Laotian village of Nam Chia, a forty-one year old farmer named Shong Lue Yang was assassinated by government soldiers. Shong Lue claimed to have been descended of God and given the mission of delivering the first true Hmong alphabet. Many believed him to be the Hmong people's long-awaited messiah, and his thousands of followers knew him as "Mother (Source) of Writing."

An anthropological linguist who has worked among the Hmong, William A. Smalley joins Shong Lue's chief disciple, Chia Koua Vang, and one of his associates, to tell the fascinating story of how the previously unschooled farmer developed his remarkable writing system through four stages of increasing sophistication. The uniqueness of Shong Lue's achievement is highlighted by a comparison of Shong Lue's writing system to other known Hmong systems and to the history of writing as a whole.

In addition to a nontechnical linguistic analysis of the script and a survey of its current use, Mother of Writing provides an intriguing cultural account of Shong Lue's life. The book traces the twenty-year-long struggle to disseminate the script after Shong Lue's death, first by handwriting, then by primitive moveable type, an abortive attempt to design a wooden typewriter, and finally by modern wordprocessing. In a moving concluding chapter, Smalley discusses his own complex feelings about his coauthors' story.

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Muhammad and the Believers
At the Origins of Islam
Fred M. Donner
Harvard University Press, 2012

The origins of Islam have been the subject of increasing controversy in recent years. The traditional view, which presents Islam as a self-consciously distinct religion tied to the life and revelations of the prophet Muhammad in western Arabia, has since the 1970s been challenged by historians engaged in critical study of the Muslim sources.

In Muhammad and the Believers, the eminent historian Fred Donner offers a lucid and original vision of how Islam first evolved. He argues that the origins of Islam lie in what we may call the "Believers' movement" begun by the prophet Muhammad—a movement of religious reform emphasizing strict monotheism and righteous behavior in conformity with God's revealed law. The Believers' movement thus included righteous Christians and Jews in its early years, because like the Qur'anic Believers, Christians and Jews were monotheists and agreed to live righteously in obedience to their revealed law. The conviction that Muslims constituted a separate religious community, utterly distinct from Christians and Jews, emerged a century later, when the leaders of the Believers' movement decided that only those who saw the Qur'an as the final revelation of the One God and Muhammad as the final prophet, qualified as Believers. This separated them decisively from monotheists who adhered to the Gospels or Torah.


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Not By Genes Alone
How Culture Transformed Human Evolution
Peter J. Richerson and Robert Boyd
University of Chicago Press, 2004
Humans are a striking anomaly in the natural world. While we are similar to other mammals in many ways, our behavior sets us apart. Our unparalleled ability to adapt has allowed us to occupy virtually every habitat on earth using an incredible variety of tools and subsistence techniques. Our societies are larger, more complex, and more cooperative than any other mammal's. In this stunning exploration of human adaptation, Peter J. Richerson and Robert Boyd argue that only a Darwinian theory of cultural evolution can explain these unique characteristics.

Not by Genes Alone offers a radical interpretation of human evolution, arguing that our ecological dominance and our singular social systems stem from a psychology uniquely adapted to create complex culture. Richerson and Boyd illustrate here that culture is neither superorganic nor the handmaiden of the genes. Rather, it is essential to human adaptation, as much a part of human biology as bipedal locomotion. Drawing on work in the fields of anthropology, political science, sociology, and economics—and building their case with such fascinating examples as kayaks, corporations, clever knots, and yams that require twelve men to carry them—Richerson and Boyd convincingly demonstrate that culture and biology are inextricably linked, and they show us how to think about their interaction in a way that yields a richer understanding of human nature.

In abandoning the nature-versus-nurture debate as fundamentally misconceived, Not by Genes Alone is a truly original and groundbreaking theory of the role of culture in evolution and a book to be reckoned with for generations to come.

“I continue to be surprised by the number of educated people (many of them biologists) who think that offering explanations for human behavior in terms of culture somehow disproves the suggestion that human behavior can be explained in Darwinian evolutionary terms. Fortunately, we now have a book to which they may be directed for enlightenment . . . . It is a book full of good sense and the kinds of intellectual rigor and clarity of writing that we have come to expect from the Boyd/Richerson stable.”—Robin Dunbar, Nature

Not by Genes Alone is a valuable and very readable synthesis of a still embryonic but very important subject straddling the sciences and humanities.”—E. O. Wilson, Harvard University


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On the Origin of Language
Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Johann Gottfried Herder
University of Chicago Press, 1986
This volume combines Rousseau's essay on the origin of diverse languages with Herder's essay on the genesis of the faculty of speech. Rousseau's essay is important to semiotics and critical theory, as it plays a central role in Jacques Derrida's book Of Grammatology, and both essays are valuable historical and philosophical documents.

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On the Origin of Phyla
James W. Valentine
University of Chicago Press, 2004
Owing its inspiration and title to On the Origin of Species, James W. Valentine's ambitious book synthesizes and applies the vast treasury of theory and research collected in the century and a half since Darwin's time. By investigating the origins of life's diversity, Valentine unlocks the mystery of the origin of phyla.

One of the twentieth century's most distinguished paleobiologists, Valentine here integrates data from molecular genetics, evolutionary developmental biology, embryology, comparative morphology, and paleontology into an analysis of interest to scholars from any of these fields. He begins by examining the sorts of evidence that can be gleaned from fossils, molecules, and morphology, then reviews and compares the basic morphology and development of animal phyla, emphasizing the important design elements found in the bodyplans of both living and extinct phyla. Finally, Valentine undertakes the monumental task of developing models to explain the origin and early diversification of animal phyla, as well as their later evolutionary patterns.

Truly a magnum opus, On the Origin of Phyla will take its place as one of the classic scientific texts of the twentieth century, affecting the work of paleontologists, morphologists, and developmental, molecular, and evolutionary biologists for decades to come.

"A magisterial compendium . . . . Valentine offers a judicious evaluation of an astonishing array of evidence."—Richard Fortey, New Scientist

"Truly a magnum opus, On the Origin of Phyla has already taken its place as one of the classic scientific texts of the twentieth century, affecting the work of paleontologists, morphologists, and developmental, molecular, and evolutionary biologists for decades to come."—Ethology, Ecology & Evolution

"Valentine is one of the Renaissance minds of our time. . . . Darwin wisely called his best-known work On the Origin of the Species; the origin of the phyla is an even stickier problem, and Valentine deserves credit for tackling it at such breadth . . . . A magnificient book."—Stefan Bengtson, Nature 

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On the Origin of Species
A Facsimile of the First Edition
Charles Darwin
Harvard University Press, 1992

It is now generally recognized that the publication of Darwin's Origin of Species in 1859 not only decisively altered the basic concepts of biological theory but had a profound and lasting influence on social, philosophic, and religious thought. This work is rightly regarded as one of the most important books ever printed.

The first edition had a freshness and uncompromising directness that were considerably weakened in subsequent editions. Nearly all reprints were based on the greatly modified sixth edition (1872), and the only modern reprint changes pagination, making references to the original very difficult. Clearly, there has been a need for a facsimile reprint. Professor Mayr's introduction has a threefold purpose: to list passages in the first edition that Darwin altered in later editions; to point out instances in which Darwin was clearly pioneering; and to call attention to neglected passages that show Darwin as a much deeper thinker than has been recognized. No one can fail to be impressed by the originality of Darwin's treatment and by the intellectual challenge his work presents even to the modern reader.


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On the Origin of Stories
Evolution, Cognition, and Fiction
Brian Boyd
Harvard University Press, 2009

A century and a half after the publication of Origin of Species, evolutionary thinking has expanded beyond the field of biology to include virtually all human-related subjects—anthropology, archeology, psychology, economics, religion, morality, politics, culture, and art. Now a distinguished scholar offers the first comprehensive account of the evolutionary origins of art and storytelling. Brian Boyd explains why we tell stories, how our minds are shaped to understand them, and what difference an evolutionary understanding of human nature makes to stories we love.

Art is a specifically human adaptation, Boyd argues. It offers tangible advantages for human survival, and it derives from play, itself an adaptation widespread among more intelligent animals. More particularly, our fondness for storytelling has sharpened social cognition, encouraged cooperation, and fostered creativity.

After considering art as adaptation, Boyd examines Homer’s Odyssey and Dr. Seuss’s Horton Hears a Who! demonstrating how an evolutionary lens can offer new understanding and appreciation of specific works. What triggers our emotional engagement with these works? What patterns facilitate our responses? The need to hold an audience’s attention, Boyd underscores, is the fundamental problem facing all storytellers. Enduring artists arrive at solutions that appeal to cognitive universals: an insight out of step with contemporary criticism, which obscures both the individual and universal. Published for the bicentenary of Darwin’s birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of Origin of Species, Boyd’s study embraces a Darwinian view of human nature and art, and offers a credo for a new humanism.


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On the Origin of Superheroes
From the Big Bang to Action Comics No. 1
Chris Gavaler
University of Iowa Press, 2015
Most readers think that superheroes began with Superman’s appearance in Action Comics No. 1, but that Kryptonian rocket didn’t just drop out of the sky. By the time Superman’s creators were born, the superhero’s most defining elements—secret identities, aliases, disguises, signature symbols, traumatic origin stories, extraordinary powers, self-sacrificing altruism—were already well-rehearsed standards. Superheroes have a sprawling, action-packed history that predates the Man of Steel by decades and even centuries. On the Origin of Superheroes is a quirky, personal tour of the mythology, literature, philosophy, history, and grand swirl of ideas that have permeated western culture in the centuries leading up to the first appearance of superheroes (as we know them today) in 1938.

From the creation of the universe, through mythological heroes and gods, to folklore, ancient philosophy, revolutionary manifestos, discarded scientific theories, and gothic monsters, the sweep and scale of the superhero’s origin story is truly epic. We will travel from Jane Austen’s Bath to Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Mars to Owen Wister’s Wyoming, with some surprising stops along the way. We’ll meet mad scientists, Napoleonic dictators, costumed murderers, diabolical madmen, blackmailers, pirates, Wild West outlaws, eugenicists, the KKK, Victorian do-gooders, detectives, aliens, vampires, and pulp vigilantes (to name just a few). Chris Gavaler is your tour guide through this fascinating, sometimes dark, often funny, but always surprising prehistory of the most popular figure in pop culture today. In a way, superheroes have always been with us: they are a fossil record of our greatest aspirations and our worst fears and failings.

front cover of The Origin and Development of Scholarly Historical Periodicals
The Origin and Development of Scholarly Historical Periodicals
Margaret F. Stieg
University of Alabama Press, 2005

"This is a pioneering study and represents a major undertaking. . . . Stieg succeeds in making intelligible the diffuse and highly diversified nature of the historical periodical. At minimum, this title should be required reading of all history graduate students in methodology courses. Many senior historians would also benefit from a review of its contents. . . . Information and library science students specializing in scholarly communication should digest the entire study." —Journal of Education for Library and Information Science


front cover of The Origin and Development of the Pueblo Katsina Cult
The Origin and Development of the Pueblo Katsina Cult
E. Charles Adams
University of Arizona Press, 1991
Although the age and origin of katsina ceremonialism have long fascinated scholars, the reasons for its development have remained unexplored until now. E. Charles Adams here examines the concept of the katsina and the religion that developed around it, focusing on what makes katsinas unique, why the concept was developed, and what adaptive value it had for prehistoric Pueblo culture.

front cover of The Origin and Distribution of Birds in Coastal Alaska and British Columbia
The Origin and Distribution of Birds in Coastal Alaska and British Columbia
The Lost Manuscript of Ornithologist Harry S. Swarth
Christopher W. Swarth
Oregon State University Press, 2022
At the time of his death in 1935, Harry S. Swarth, head of the Mammalogy and Ornithology Departments at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, had been preparing a manuscript reflecting on twenty-five years of his research in coastal Alaska and British Columbia. “The Distribution and Migrations of Birds in Adjacent Alaska and British Columbia” summarized Swarth’s research, ideas, and conjectures on the bird life in the region, including theories about when and how birds populated this vast territory after the retreat of glaciers near the end of the Pleistocene. Drawing on his field experiences and his forty published scientific papers, Swarth’s manuscript represented state-of-the-art science for the time. And his ideas hold up; his papers are still cited by ornithologists today.

In 2019, Christopher Swarth, Harry’s grandson and a scientist in his own right, discovered the forgotten manuscript. This book includes the original unpublished manuscript, accompanied by contextual essays from contemporary ornithologists who examine the impact and relevance of Swarth’s research on coastal bird diversity, fox sparrow migration, and the systematic puzzle of the timberline sparrow. Expedition maps display field camps and exploration routes, and species checklists illustrate the variety of birds observed at key field sites. To bring additional color and insight, The Origin and Distribution of Birds in Coastal Alaska and British Columbia also includes excerpts from Harry Swarth’s field notes, a comprehensive list of Harry Swarth’s publications, and a glossary with historic and contemporary bird names. Naturalists, ornithologists, birders, and all those who want to learn more about the natural history of the region will delight in the rediscovery of this long-lost treasure.

front cover of Origin and Evolution of Planetary and Satellite Atmospheres
Origin and Evolution of Planetary and Satellite Atmospheres
Edited by S. K. Atreya, J. B. Pollack, and M.S. Matthews
University of Arizona Press, 1989
An integrated discussion of the similarities and differences between the atmospheres of various bodies of the solar system, including the Earth.

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The Origin of Empire
Rome from the Republic to Hadrian
David Potter
Harvard University Press, 2019

Beginning with the Roman army’s first foray beyond its borders and concluding with the death of Hadrian in 138 CE, this panoramic history of the early Roman Empire recounts the wars, leaders, and social transformations that lay the foundations of imperial success.

Between 264 BCE, when the Roman army crossed into Sicily, and the death of Hadrian nearly three hundred years later, Rome became one of the most successful multicultural empires in history. In this vivid guide to a fascinating period, David Potter explores the transformations that occurred along the way, as Rome went from republic to mercenary state to bureaucratic empire, from that initial step across the Straits of Messina to the peak of territorial expansion.

Rome was shaped by endless political and diplomatic jockeying. As other Italian city-states relinquished sovereignty in exchange for an ironclad guarantee of protection, Rome did not simply dominate its potential rivals—it absorbed them by selectively offering citizenship and constructing a tiered membership scheme that allowed Roman citizens to maintain political control without excluding noncitizens from the state’s success. Potter attributes the empire’s ethnic harmony to its relative openness.

This imperial policy adapted and persisted over centuries of internal discord. The fall of the republican aristocracy led to the growth of mercenary armies and to the creation of a privatized and militarized state that reached full expression under Julius Caesar. Subsequently, Augustus built a mighty bureaucracy, which went on to manage an empire ruled by a series of inattentive, intemperate, and bullying chief executives. As contemporary parallels become hard to ignore, The Origin of Empire makes clear that the Romans still have much to teach us about power, governance, and leadership.


front cover of The Origin of Higher Taxa
The Origin of Higher Taxa
Palaeobiological, Developmental, and Ecological Perspectives
T. S. Kemp
University of Chicago Press, 2015
In the grand sweep of evolution, the origin of radically new kinds of organisms in the fossil record is the result of a relatively simple process: natural selection marching through the ages. Or is it? Does Darwinian evolution acting over a sufficiently long period of time really offer a complete explanation, or are unusual genetic events and particular environmental and ecological circumstances also involved? With The Origin of Higher Taxa, Tom Kemp sifts through the layers of paleobiological, genetic, and ecological evidence on a quest to answer this essential, game-changing question of biology.

Looking beyond the microevolutionary force of Darwinian natural selection, Kemp enters the realm of macroevolution, or evolution above the species level. From the origin of mammals to the radiation of flowering plants, these large-scale patterns—such as the rise of novel organismal design, adaptive radiations, and lineage extinctions—encompass the most significant trends and transformations in evolution. As macroevolution cannot be studied by direct observation and experiment, scientists have to rely on the outcome of evolution as evidence for the processes at work, in the form of patterns of species appearances and extinctions in a spotty fossil record, and through the nature of species extant today. Marshalling a wealth of new fossil and molecular evidence and increasingly sophisticated techniques for their study, Kemp here offers a timely and original reinterpretation of how higher taxa such as arthropods, mollusks, mammals, birds, and whales evolved—a bold new take on the history of life.

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The Origin of Others
Toni Morrison
Harvard University Press, 2017

America’s foremost novelist reflects on the themes that preoccupy her work and increasingly dominate national and world politics: race, fear, borders, the mass movement of peoples, the desire for belonging. What is race and why does it matter? What motivates the human tendency to construct Others? Why does the presence of Others make us so afraid?

Drawing on her Norton Lectures, Toni Morrison takes up these and other vital questions bearing on identity in The Origin of Others. In her search for answers, the novelist considers her own memories as well as history, politics, and especially literature. Harriet Beecher Stowe, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Flannery O’Connor, and Camara Laye are among the authors she examines. Readers of Morrison’s fiction will welcome her discussions of some of her most celebrated books—Beloved, Paradise, and A Mercy.

If we learn racism by example, then literature plays an important part in the history of race in America, both negatively and positively. Morrison writes about nineteenth-century literary efforts to romance slavery, contrasting them with the scientific racism of Samuel Cartwright and the banal diaries of the plantation overseer and slaveholder Thomas Thistlewood. She looks at configurations of blackness, notions of racial purity, and the ways in which literature employs skin color to reveal character or drive narrative. Expanding the scope of her concern, she also addresses globalization and the mass movement of peoples in this century. National Book Award winner Ta-Nehisi Coates provides a foreword to Morrison’s most personal work of nonfiction to date.


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The Origin of Table Manners
Mythologiques, Volume 3
Claude Lévi-Strauss
University of Chicago Press, 1990
"The Origin of Table Manners is the third volume of a tetralogy devoted to American Indian mythology. Unlike the first two volumes (The Raw and the Cooked, From Honey to Ashes), which are devoted to South American myths, the present one establishes relations with North America, which is the subject of the fourth (The Naked Man). . . . In the course of the analysis, the myths link up with ideas of more general interest. Thus, we find discussions of numeration, of morals, and of the origin of the novel. . . . The Origin of Table Manners is thus of special interest to students of American Indian mythology, although it contains ideas of interest to other fields and even to the general reader."—Daniel C. Raffalovich, American Anthropologist

"An immense anthropological erudition is here wielded by one of the world's finest minds, and the myths themselves have never been taken more seriously. . . . [Lévi-Strauss] raises issues and then resolves them with the suspenseful cunning of a mystery novelist."—John Updike, New Yorker

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Origin of the Earth and Moon
Edited by R. M. Canup and K. Righter
University of Arizona Press, 2000
The age-old question of how our home planet and its satellite originated has in recent times undergone a minor revolution. The emergence of the "giant impact theory" as the most successful model for the origin of the Moon has been difficult to reconcile with some aspects of the Earth, and the development of an integrated model for the origin of the Earth-Moon system has been difficult for this reason. However, recent technical advances in experimental and isotopic work, together with intensified interest in the modeling of planetary dynamics, have produced a wealth of new results requiring a rethinking of models for the origin of the Earth and Moon.

This book is intended to serve as a resource for those scientists working closely in this field, while at the same time it provides enough balance and depth to offer an introduction for students or technically minded general readers. Its thirty chapters address isotopic and chemical constraints on accretion, the dynamics of terrestrial planet formation, the impact-triggered formation of the Earth-Moon system, differentiation of the Earth and Moon, the origin of terrestrial volatiles, and conditions on the young Earth and Moon.

Covering such subjects as the history and origin of the Moon's orbit, water on the Earth, and the implications of Earth-Moon interactions for terrestrial climate and life, the book constitutes a state-of-the-art overview of the most recent investigations in the field. Although many advances have been made in our ability to evaluate competing models of the formation of the Earth-Moon system, there are still many gaps in our understanding. This book makes great strides toward closing those gaps by highlighting the extensive progress that has been made and pointing toward future research.

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The Origin of the Fighter Aircraft
Jon Guttman
Westholme Publishing, 2009

From Scouts to Balloon-busters, the Emergence of Air-to-Air Combat in World War I
When World War I began in August 1914, the airplane had already proven its worth as an intelligence gathering “eye-in-the-sky.” These scouting aircraft soon became indispensable to armies on both sides, and the attempt to drive enemy planes away began in earnest. Local air superiority was incorporated into battlefield strategy, and the use of aircraft to conduct offensive operations would change warfare as dramatically as the first firearms 300 years before. By the end of 1915, the basic formula of the armed scout settled on a single-seater with a machine gun synchronized to fire through its propeller blades. This heavily armed aircraft became the first true fighter plane whose primary function was to destroy enemy aircraft, whether scouts, balloons, bombers, or other fighters. A new glamorized “knight of the air” was born: the ace, a fighter pilot who brought down five or more opponents. From 1916 on, as the combatants relied on airplanes more, flying tactics and strategy—including mass formations—were developed for what would become a deadly struggle for complete air superiority. By 1918, the final year of the war, air battles could be as sprawling as those on the ground.

In The Origin of the Fighter Aircraft, historian Jon Guttman tells the engrossing story of how one of the most amazing inventions became a integral component of warfare. Balancing technical description, personalities, and battle accounts, the author demonstrates that by the end of World War I most of the fundamentals for modern aerial combat had been established.


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Origin of the German Trauerspiel
Walter Benjamin
Harvard University Press, 2019

Origin of the German Trauerspiel was Walter Benjamin’s first full, historically oriented analysis of modernity. Readers of English know it as “The Origin of German Tragic Drama,” but in fact the subject is something else—the play of mourning. Howard Eiland’s completely new English translation, the first since 1977, is closer to the German text and more consistent with Benjamin’s philosophical idiom.

Focusing on the extravagant seventeenth-century theatrical genre of the trauerspiel, precursor of the opera, Benjamin identifies allegory as the constitutive trope of the Baroque and of modernity itself. Allegorical perception bespeaks a world of mutability and equivocation, a melancholy sense of eternal transience without access to the transcendentals of the medieval mystery plays—though no less haunted and bedeviled. History as trauerspiel is the condition as well as subject of modern allegory in its inscription of the abyssal.

Benjamin’s investigation of the trauerspiel includes German texts and late Renaissance European drama such as Hamlet and Calderón’s Life Is a Dream. The prologue is one of his most important and difficult pieces of writing. It lays out his method of indirection and his idea of the “constellation” as a key means of grasping the world, making dynamic unities out of the myriad bits of daily life. Thoroughly annotated with a philological and historical introduction and other explanatory and supplementary material, this rigorous and elegant new translation brings fresh understanding to a cardinal work by one of the twentieth century’s greatest literary critics.


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The Origin of the World
Science and Fiction of the Vagina
Jelto Drenth
Reaktion Books, 2004
The Origin of the World is a revealing, intimate, and ultimately liberating study of female sexuality at its heart: the vagina. Working from the assumption that sex is pleasurable and fulfilling insofar as its participants fully understand how it works, sexologist Jelto Drenth gives readers a guided tour of the complex, challenging, and often misunderstood "origin of the world."

Drenth describes the workings of the vagina in simple language, enriching his description throughout the book with the imagery, mythology, lore, and history that has surrounded the vagina since the Middle Ages. The Origin of the World moves from basic physiognomic facts to the realms of anthropology, art history, science fiction, and feminist literature-all in the service of mapping the dark continent. Drenth's journey takes him from Renaissance woodcuts to vibrators, clitoridectomies to "virginity checks," fears of the vagina (the vagina dentata) to its celebration. Part medical exposition covering the function of female genitalia from orgasm to pregnancy and part cultural history discussing contemporary and historical views of such aspects of the feminine as pubic hair, Freud's theories of coitus, and slang terms for the vagina, The Origin of the World is encyclopedic in its breadth, fascinating in its content, and familiar in its subject.

This lightly written exploration can be seen as both an owner's manual and a guide for the perplexed. Women and men alike will benefit from its entertaining erudition and from its fundamental mission of demystifying sex and sexuality in the service of greater understanding and, from that understanding, greater pleasure.

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Original Signs
Gesture, Sign, and the Sources of Language
David F. Armstrong
Gallaudet University Press, 2002
Now available in paperback; ISBN 1-56368-133-1

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The Origins of Agriculture
An International Perspective
Edited by C. Wesley Cowan and Patty Jo Watson
University of Alabama Press, 2006

The eight case studies in this book -- each a synthesis of available knowledge about the origins of agriculture in a specific region of the globe -- enable scholars in diverse disciplines to examine humanity's transition to agricultural societies. Contributors include: Gary W. Crawford, Robin W. Dennell, and Jack R. Harlan.


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Origins of the Ñuu
Archaeology in the Mixteca Alta, Mexico
Stephen A. Kowalewski
University Press of Colorado, 2009
Combining older findings with new data on 1,000 previously undescribed archaeological sites, Origins of the Ñuu presents the cultural evolution of the Mixteca Alta in an up-to-date chronological framework.

The ñuu - the kingdoms of the famous Mixtec codices - are traced back through the Postclassic and Classic periods to their beginnings in the first states of the Terminal Formative, revealing their origin, evolution, and persistence through two cycles of growth and collapse. Challenging assumptions that the Mixtec were peripheral to better-known peoples such as the Aztecs or Maya, the book asserts that the ñuu were a major demographic and economic power in their own right.

Older explanations of multiregional or macroregional systems often portrayed civilizations as rising in a cradle or hearth and spreading outward. New macroregional studies show that civilizations are products of more complex interactions between regions, in which peripheries are not simply shaped by cores but by their interactions with multiple societies at varying distances from major centers. Origins of the Ñuu is a significant contribution to this emerging area of archaeological research.


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A Brief History of Life
Ian Tattersall
Templeton Press, 2010

"Endlessly absorbing and informative. It would be hard to imagine a better introduction to this most important and fascinating field.”—Bill Bryson, author of A Short History of Nearly Everything

Paleontology: A Brief History of Life is the fifth title published in the Templeton Science and Religion Series, in which scientists from a wide range of fields distill their experience and knowledge into brief tours of their respective specialties.

In this volume, Ian Tattersall, a highly esteemed figure in the fields of anthropology, archaeology, and paleontology, leads a fascinating tour of the history of life and the evolution of human beings.
Starting at the very beginning, Tattersall examines patterns of change in the biosphere over time, and the correlations of biological events with physical changes in the Earth’s environment. He introduces the complex of evolutionary processes, situates human beings in the luxuriant diversity of Life (demonstrating that however remarkable we may legitimately find ourselves to be, we are the product of the same basic forces and processes that have driven the evolutionary histories of all other creatures), and he places the origin of our extraordinary spiritual sensibilities in the context of the exaptational and emergent acquisition of symbolic cognition and thought.
Concise and yet comprehensive, historically penetrating and yet up-to-date, responsibly factual and yet engaging, Paleontology serves as the perfect entrée to science's greatest story.



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Possessing Polynesians
The Science of Settler Colonial Whiteness in Hawai`i and Oceania
Maile Arvin
Duke University Press, 2019
From their earliest encounters with Indigenous Pacific Islanders, white Europeans and Americans asserted an identification with the racial origins of Polynesians, declaring them to be racially almost white and speculating that they were of Mediterranean or Aryan descent. In Possessing Polynesians Maile Arvin analyzes this racializing history within the context of settler colonialism across Polynesia, especially in Hawai‘i. Arvin argues that a logic of possession through whiteness animates settler colonialism, by which both Polynesia (the place) and Polynesians (the people) become exotic, feminized belongings of whiteness. Seeing whiteness as indigenous to Polynesia provided white settlers with the justification needed to claim Polynesian lands and resources. Understood as possessions, Polynesians were and continue to be denied the privileges of whiteness. Yet Polynesians have long contested these classifications, claims, and cultural representations, and Arvin shows how their resistance to and refusal of white settler logic have regenerated Indigenous forms of recognition.

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Prehistoric Food Production in North America
Edited by Richard I. Ford
University of Michigan Press, 1985
As Richard I. Ford explains in his preface to this volume, the 1980s saw an “explosive expansion of our knowledge about the variety of cultivated and domesticated plants and their history in aboriginal America.” This collection presents research on prehistoric food production from Ford, Patty Jo Watson, Frances B. King, C. Wesley Cowan, Paul E. Minnis, and others.

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Protostars and Planets
Tom Gehrels
University of Arizona Press, 1979
Unique source book on star formation and the origin of planetary systems from some 35 distinguished authors. Topics include the formation of stars from the cloudy to the stellar to the planetary state. Special emphasis on stars believed capable of producing planets.

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Protostars and Planets II
David C. Black
University of Arizona Press, 1985

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Protostars and Planets VI
Edited by Henrik Beuther, Ralf S. Klessen, Cornelis P. Dullemond, and Thomas Henning
University of Arizona Press, 2014
The revolutionary discovery of thousands of confirmed and candidate planets beyond the solar system brings forth the most fundamental
question: How do planets and their host stars form and evolve? Protostars and Planets VI brings together more than 250 contributing authors at the forefront of their field, conveying the latest results in this research area and establishing a new foundation for advancing our understanding of stellar and planetary formation.

Continuing the tradition of the Protostars and Planets series, this latest volume uniquely integrates the cross-disciplinary aspects of this broad field. Covering an extremely wide range of scales, from the formation of large clouds in our Milky Way galaxy down to small chondrules in our solar system, Protostars and Planets VI takes an encompassing view with the goal of not only highlighting what we know but, most importantly, emphasizing the frontiers of what we do not know.

As a vehicle for propelling forward new discoveries on stars, planets, and their origins, this latest volume in the Space Science Series is an indispensable resource for both current scientists and new students in astronomy, astrophysics, planetary science, and the study of meteorites.

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Race and Police
The Origin of Our Peculiar Institutions
Ben Brucato
Rutgers University Press, 2024
In the United States, race and police were founded along with a capitalist economy dependent on the enslavement of workers of African descent. Race and Police builds a critical theory of American policing by analyzing a heterodox history of policing, drawn from the historiography of slavery and slave patrols. Beginning by tracing the historical origins of the police mandate in British colonial America, the book shows that the peculiar institution of racialized chattel slavery originated along with a novel, binary conception of race. On one side, for the first time Europeans from various nationalities were united in a single racial category. Inclusion in this category was necessary for citizenship. On the other, Blacks were branded as slaves, cast as social enemies, and assumed to be threats to the social order. The state determined not only that it would administer slavery, but that it would regulate slaves, authorizing the use of violence by agents of the state and white citizens to secure the social order. In doing so, slavery, citizenship, and police mutually informed one another, and together they produced racial capitalism, a working class defined and separated by the color line, and a racial social order.
Race and Police corrects the Eurocentrism in the orthodox history of American police and in predominating critical theories of police. That orthodoxy rests on an origin story that begins with Sir Robert Peel and the London Metropolitan Police Service. Predating the Met by more than a century, America’s first police, often called slave patrols, did more than maintain order—it fabricated a racial order. Prior to their creation, all white citizens were conscripted to police all Blacks. Their participation in the coercive control of Blacks gave definition to their whiteness. Targeted as threats to the security of the economy and white society, being policed defined Blacks who, for the first time, were treated as a single racial group. The boundaries of whiteness were first established on the basis of who was required to regulate slaves, given a specific mandate to prevent Black insurrection, a mandate that remains core to the police role to this day.

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Religion, History, and Place in the Origin of Settled Life
Ian Hodder
University Press of Colorado, 2018
This volume explores the role of religion and ritual in the origin of settled life in the Middle East, focusing on the repetitive construction of houses or cult buildings in the same place. Prominent archaeologists, anthropologists, and scholars of religion working at several of the region’s most important sites—such as Çatalhöyük, Göbekli Tepe, Körtik Tepe, and Aşıklı Höyük—contend that religious factors significantly affected the timing and stability of settled economic structures.
Contributors argue that the long-term social relationships characteristic of delayed-return agricultural systems must be based on historical ties to place and to ancestors. They define different forms of history-making, including nondiscursive routinized practices as well as commemorative memorialization. They consider the timing in the Neolithic of an emerging concern with history-making in place in relation to the adoption of farming and settled life in regional sequences. They explore whether such correlations indicate the causal processes in which history-making, ritual practices, agricultural intensification, population increase, and social competition all played a role.
Religion, History, and Place in the Origin of Settled Life takes a major step forward in understanding the adoption of farming and a settled way of life in the Middle East by foregrounding the roles of history-making and religious ritual. This work is relevant to students and scholars of Near Eastern archaeology, as well as those interested in the origins of agriculture and social complexity or the social role of religion in the past.
Contributors: Kurt W. Alt, Mark R. Anspach, Marion Benz, Lee Clare, Anna Belfer-Cohen, Morris Cohen, Oliver Dietrich, Güneş Duru, Yilmaz S. Erdal, Nigel Goring-Morris, Ian Hodder, Rosemary A. Joyce, Nicola Lercari, Wendy Matthews, Jens Notroff, Vecihi Özkaya, Feridun S. Şahin, F. Leron Shults, Devrim Sönmez, Christina Tsoraki, Wesley Wildman

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Revolutionary Social Change in Colombia
The Origin and Direction of the FARC-EP
James J. Brittain
Pluto Press, 2010

This book presents an insider's account of Columbia's internal conflict. At the forefront are the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People's Army (FARC-EP).

Although they are one of the most powerful military forces in Latin American history, little is known about the FARC-EP. James J. Brittain explains where and why this political military movement came into existence and assesses whether the methods employed by the insurgency have the potential to free those marginalised in Colombia.

As democratic socialism develops in Venezuela and Bolivia, Brittain's fascinating study assesses the relevance of armed struggle to 21st century Latin American politics. This is an essential title for those wishing to develop a full understanding of the continent.

By evaluating the FARC-EP's actions, ideological construction, and their theoretical placement, the book gauges how this guerrilla movement relates to revolutionary theory and practice and through what tangible mechanisms, if any, they are creating a new Colombia.


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Revolutions at Home
The Origin of Modern Childhood and the German Middle Class
Emily C. Bruce
University of Massachusetts Press, 2021
How did we come to imagine what "ideal childhood" requires? Beginning in the late eighteenth century, German child-rearing radically transformed, and as these innovations in ideology and educational practice spread from middle-class families across European society, childhood came to be seen as a life stage critical to self-formation. This new approach was in part a process that adults imposed on youth, one that hinged on motivating children's behavior through affection and cultivating internal discipline. But this is not just a story about parents' and pedagogues' efforts to shape childhood. Offering rare glimpses of young students' diaries, letters, and marginalia, Emily C. Bruce reveals how children themselves negotiated these changes.

Revolutions at Home analyzes a rich set of documents created for and by young Germans to show that children were central to reinventing their own education between 1770 and 1850. Through their reading and writing, they helped construct the modern child subject. The active child who emerged at this time was not simply a consequence of expanding literacy but, in fact, a key participant in defining modern life.

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Rivers of Change
Essays on Early Agriculture in Eastern North America
Bruce D. Smith
University of Alabama Press, 2007

Organized into four sections, the twelve chapters of Rivers of Change are concerned with prehistoric Native American societies in eastern North America and their transition from a hunting and gathering way of life to a reliance on food production. Written at different times over a decade, the chapters vary both in length and topical focus. They are joined together, however, by a number of shared “rivers of change.”


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The Roots of Theatre
Rethinking Ritual and Other Theories of Origin
Eli Rozik
University of Iowa Press, 2002
The topic of the origins of theatre is one of the most controversial in theatre studies, with a long history of heated discussions and strongly held positions. In The Roots of Theatre, Eli Rozik enters the debate in a feisty way, offering not just another challenge to those who place theatre’s origins in ritual and religion but also an alternative theory of roots based on the cultural and psychological conditions that made the advent of theatre possible.
Rozik grounds his study in a comprehensive review and criticism of each of the leading historical and anthropological theories. He believes that the quest for origins is essentially misleading because it does not provide any significant insight for our understanding of theatre. Instead, he argues that theatre, like music or dance, is a sui generis kind of human creativity—a form of thinking and communication whose roots lie in the spontaneous image-making faculty of the human psyche.
Rozik’s broad approach to research lies within the boundaries of structuralism and semiotics, but he also utilizes additional disciplines such as psychoanalysis, neurology, sociology, play and game theory, science of religion, mythology, poetics, philosophy of language, and linguistics. In seeking the roots of theatre, what he ultimately defines is something substantial about the nature of creative thought—a rudimentary system of imagistic thinking and communication that lies in the set of biological, primitive, and infantile phenomena such as daydreaming, imaginative play, children’s drawing, imitation, mockery (caricature, parody), storytelling, and mythmaking.

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Rules of Origin in International Trade
A Comparative Study
Edwin Vermulst, Jacques Bourgeois, and Paul Waer, Editors
University of Michigan Press, 1994
This title was formally part of the Studies in International Trade Policy Series, now called Studies in International Economics.

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Show of Hands
A Natural History of Sign Language
David F. Armstrong
Gallaudet University Press, 2011

Most scholarly speculation on the origin of human language has centered around speech. However, the growing understanding of sign languages on human development has transformed the debate on language evolution. David F. Armstrong’s new book Show of Hands: A Natural History of Sign Language casts a wide net in history and geography to explain how these visible languages have enriched human culture in general and how their study has expanded knowledge of the human condition.

Armstrong addresses the major theories of language evolution, including Noam Chomsky’s thesis of an innate human “organ” for language and Steven Pinker’s contention that there is language and not-language without any gradations between gesture and language. This engrossing survey proceeds with William C. Stokoe’s revival of the early anthropological cognitive-linguistic model of gradual development through the iconicity of sign languages. Armstrong ranges far to reveal the nature of sign languages, from the anatomy of early human ancestors to telling passages by Shakespeare, Dickens, and Pound, to the astute observations of Socrates, Lucretius, and Abbé de l’Epée on sign communication among deaf people. Show of Hands illustrates the remarkable development of sign languages in isolated Bedouin communities and among Australian indigenous peoples. It also explores the ubiquitous benefits of “Deaf Gain” and visual communication as they dovetail with the Internet and its mushrooming potential for the future.


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The Simian Tongue
The Long Debate about Animal Language
Gregory Radick
University of Chicago Press, 2007
In the early 1890s the theory of evolution gained an unexpected ally: the Edison phonograph. An amateur scientist used the new machine—one of the technological wonders of the age—to record monkey calls, play them back to the monkeys, and watch their reactions. From these soon-famous experiments he judged that he had discovered “the simian tongue,” made up of words he was beginning to translate, and containing the rudiments from which human language evolved. Yet for most of the next century, the simian tongue and the means for its study existed at the scientific periphery. Both returned to great acclaim only in the early 1980s, after a team of ethologists announced that experimental playback showed certain African monkeys to have rudimentarily meaningful calls.

Drawing on newly discovered archival sources and interviews with key scientists, Gregory Radick here reconstructs the remarkable trajectory of a technique invented and reinvented to listen in on primate communication. Richly documented and powerfully argued, The Simian Tongue charts the scientific controversies over the evolution of language from Darwin’s day to our own, resurrecting the forgotten debts of psychology, anthropology, and other behavioral sciences to the Victorian debate about the animal roots of human language.

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Social Origins Of Islam
Mind, Economy, Discourse
Mohammed Bamyeh
University of Minnesota Press, 1999

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The Space Within
Interior Experience as the Origin of Architecture
Robert McCarter
Reaktion Books, 2016
Alvar Aalto once argued that what mattered in architecture wasn’t what a building looks like on the day it opens but what it is like to live inside it thirty years later. In this book, architect and critic Robert McCarter persuasively argues that interior spatial experience is the necessary starting point for design, and the quality of that experience is the only appropriate means of evaluating a work after it has been built.
            McCarter reveals that we can’t really know a piece of architecture without inhabiting its spaces, and we need to counter our contemporary obsession with exterior views and forms with a renewed appreciation for interiors. He explores how interior space has been integral to the development of modern architecture from the late 1800s to today, and he examines how architects have engaged interior space and its experiences in their design processes, fundamentally transforming traditional approaches to composition. Eloquently placing us within a host of interior spaces, he opens up new ways of thinking about architecture and what its goals are and should be.

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Super Imperialism
The Origin and Fundamentals of U.S. World Dominance
Michael Hudson
Pluto Press, 2003

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Systematics and the Origin of Species from the Viewpoint of a Zoologist
With a New Introduction by the Author
Ernst Mayr
Harvard University Press, 1999

Ernst Mayr is perhaps the most distinguished biologist of the twentieth century, and Systematics and the Origin of Species may be one of his greatest and most influential books. This classic study, first published in 1942, helped to revolutionize evolutionary biology by offering a new approach to taxonomic principles and correlating the ideas and findings of modern systematics with those of other life science disciplines. This book is one of the foundational documents of the “Evolutionary Synthesis.” It is the book in which Mayr pioneered his new concept of species based chiefly on such biological factors as interbreeding and reproductive isolation, taking into account ecology, geography, and life history.

In his new Introduction for this edition, Mayr reflects on the place of this enduring work in the subsequent history of his field.


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Toward an Evolutionary Biology of Language
Philip Lieberman
Harvard University Press, 2006

In this forcefully argued book, the leading evolutionary theorist of language draws on evidence from evolutionary biology, genetics, physical anthropology, anatomy, and neuroscience, to provide a framework for studying the evolution of human language and cognition.

Philip Lieberman argues forcibly that the widely influential theories of language's development, advanced by Chomskian linguists and cognitive scientists, especially those that postulate a single dedicated language "module," "organ," or "instinct," are inconsistent with principles and findings of evolutionary biology and neuroscience. He argues that the human neural system in its totality is the basis for the human language ability, for it requires the coordination of neural circuits that regulate motor control with memory and higher cognitive functions. Pointing out that articulate speech is a remarkably efficient means of conveying information, Lieberman also highlights the adaptive significance of the human tongue.

Fully human language involves the species-specific anatomy of speech, together with the neural capacity for thought and movement. In Lieberman's iconoclastic Darwinian view, the human language ability is the confluence of a succession of separate evolutionary developments, jury-rigged by natural selection to work together for an evolutionarily unique ability.


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Tree of Origin
What Primate Behavior Can Tell Us about Human Social Evolution
Frans B. M. de Waal
Harvard University Press, 2002

How did we become the linguistic, cultured, and hugely successful apes that we are? Our closest relatives--the other mentally complex and socially skilled primates--offer tantalizing clues. In Tree of Origin nine of the world's top primate experts read these clues and compose the most extensive picture to date of what the behavior of monkeys and apes can tell us about our own evolution as a species.

It has been nearly fifteen years since a single volume addressed the issue of human evolution from a primate perspective, and in that time we have witnessed explosive growth in research on the subject. Tree of Origin gives us the latest news about bonobos, the "make love not war" apes who behave so dramatically unlike chimpanzees. We learn about the tool traditions and social customs that set each ape community apart. We see how DNA analysis is revolutionizing our understanding of paternity, intergroup migration, and reproductive success. And we confront intriguing discoveries about primate hunting behavior, politics, cognition, diet, and the evolution of language and intelligence that challenge claims of human uniqueness in new and subtle ways.

Tree of Origin provides the clearest glimpse yet of the apelike ancestor who left the forest and began the long journey toward modern humanity.


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The Truth about Language
What It Is and Where It Came From
Michael C. Corballis
University of Chicago Press, 2017
Evolutionary science has long viewed language as, basically, a fortunate accident—a crossing of wires that happened to be extraordinarily useful, setting humans apart from other animals and onto a trajectory that would see their brains (and the products of those brains) become increasingly complex.
But as Michael C. Corballis shows in The Truth about Language, it’s time to reconsider those assumptions. Language, he argues, is not the product of some “big bang” 60,000 years ago, but rather the result of a typically slow process of evolution with roots in elements of grammatical language found much farther back in our evolutionary history. Language, Corballis explains, evolved as a way to share thoughts—and, crucially for human development, to connect our own “mental time travel,” our imagining of events and people that are not right in front of us, to that of other people. We share that ability with other animals, but it was the development of language that made it powerful: it led to our ability to imagine other perspectives, to imagine ourselves in the minds of others, a development that, by easing social interaction, proved to be an extraordinary evolutionary advantage.

Even as his thesis challenges such giants as Chomsky and Stephen Jay Gould, Corballis writes accessibly and wittily, filling his account with unforgettable anecdotes and fascinating historical examples. The result is a book that’s perfect both for deep engagement and as brilliant fodder for that lightest of all forms of language, cocktail party chatter.

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Universe in Creation
A New Understanding of the Big Bang and the Emergence of Life
Roy R. Gould
Harvard University Press, 2018

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. He offers 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.


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Wallace, Darwin, and the Origin of Species
James T. Costa
Harvard University Press, 2014

Charles Darwin is often credited with discovering evolution through natural selection, but the idea was not his alone. The naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace, working independently, saw the same process at work in the natural world and elaborated much the same theory. Their important scientific contributions made both men famous in their lifetimes, but Wallace slipped into obscurity after his death, while Darwin's renown grew. Dispelling the misperceptions that continue to paint Wallace as a secondary figure, James Costa reveals the two naturalists as true equals in advancing one of the greatest scientific discoveries of all time.

Analyzing Wallace's "Species Notebook," Costa shows how Wallace's methods and thought processes paralleled Darwin's, yet inspired insights uniquely his own. Kept during his Southeast Asian expeditions of the 1850s, the notebook is a window into Wallace's early evolutionary ideas. It records his evidence-gathering, critiques of anti-evolutionary arguments, and plans for a book on "transmutation." Most important, it demonstrates conclusively that natural selection was not some idea Wallace stumbled upon, as is sometimes assumed, but was the culmination of a decade-long quest to solve the mystery of the origin of species.

Wallace, Darwin, and the Origin of Species also reexamines the pivotal episode in 1858 when Wallace sent Darwin a manuscript announcing his discovery of natural selection, prompting a joint public reading of the two men's papers on the subject. Costa's analysis of the "Species Notebook" shines a new light on these readings, further illuminating the independent nature of Wallace's discoveries.


front cover of Warless Societies and the Origin of War
Warless Societies and the Origin of War
Raymond C. Kelly
University of Michigan Press, 2000
Warless Societies and the Origin of War employs a comparative ethnographic analysis of warless and warlike hunting and gathering societies to isolate distinctive features of peaceful preagricultural people and to develop a theoretical model of the origin of war and the early coevolution of war and society. Examining key Upper Paleolithic cave paintings and burials that document lethal violence, Raymond Kelly's illumination of the transition from warlessness to warfare in several specific locales in Europe and the Middle East confounds understandings of the origin of war prevalent today.
Kelly addresses fundamental questions concerning the trinity of interrelationship between human nature, war, and the constitution of society: Is war a primordial and pervasive feature of human existence or a set of practices that arose at a certain time in our recent prehistoric past? Are there peaceful societies in which war is absent and, if so, what are they like and how do they differ from warlike societies? Do the critical differentiating features pertain to child-rearing practices, to modes of conflict resolution, to social and economic inequality, to resource competition, or to the constitution of social groups?
As the conclusions of such an inquiry are central to our conceptions of human nature, the book will interest a wide range of readers, from those curious about the origins of collective violence to those studying the roles social institutions play in society.
Raymond C. Kelly is Professor of Anthropology, University of Michigan.

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Why Parties?
The Origin and Transformation of Political Parties in America
John H. Aldrich
University of Chicago Press, 1995
Why did the United States develop political parties? How and why do party alignments change? Are the party-centered elections of the past better for democratic politics than the candidate-centered elections of the present? In this landmark book, John Aldrich goes beyond the clamor of arguments over whether American political parties are in resurgence or decline and undertakes a wholesale reexamination of the foundations of the American party system.

Surveying three critical episodes in the development of American political parties—from their formation in the 1790s to the Civil War—Aldrich shows how parties serve to combat three fundamental problems of democracy: how to regulate the number of people seeking public office; how to mobilize voters; and how to achieve and maintain the majorities needed to accomplish goals once in office. Overcoming these obstacles, argues Aldrich, is possible only with political parties.

Aldrich brings this innovative account up to date by looking at the profound changes in the character of political parties since World War II. In the 1960s, he shows, parties started to become candidate-centered organizations that are servants to their office seekers and officeholders. Aldrich argues that this development has revitalized parties, making them stronger, and more vital, with well-defined cleavages and highly effective governing ability.

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Winds from the North
Tewa Origins and Historical Anthropology
Scott G. Ortman
University of Utah Press, 2012

Winner of the Don D. and Catherine S. Fowler Prize

Winner of the Linda S. Cordell Prize

The “abandonment” of Mesa Verde and the formation of the Rio Grande Pueblos represent two classic events in North American prehistory. Yet, despite a century of research, no consensus has been reached on precisely how, or even if, these two events were related. In this landmark study, Scott Ortman proposes a novel and compelling solution to this problem through an investigation of the genetic, linguistic, and cultural heritage of the Tewa Pueblo people of New Mexico.

Integrating data and methods from human biology, linguistics, archaeology, and cultural anthropology, Ortman shows that a striking social transformation took place as Mesa Verde people moved to the Rio Grande, such that the resulting ancestral Tewa culture was a unique hybrid of ideas and practices from various sources. While addressing several long-standing questions in American archaeology, Winds from the North also serves as a methodological guidebook, including new approaches to integrating archaeology and language based on cognitive science research. As such, it will be of interest to researchers throughout the social and human sciences.


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Zuni Origins
Toward a New Synthesis of Southwestern Archaeology
Edited by David A. Gregory and David R. Wilcox; Foreword by William H. Doelle
University of Arizona Press, 2007
A Choice Outstanding Academic Title

The Zuni are a Southwestern people whose origins have long intrigued anthropologists. This volume presents fresh approaches to that question from both anthropological and traditional perspectives, exploring the origins of the tribe and the influences that have affected their way of life. Utilizing macro-regional approaches, it brings together many decades of research in the Zuni and Mogollon areas, incorporating archaeological evidence, environmental data, and linguistic analyses to propose new links among early Southwestern peoples.

The findings reported here postulate the differentiation of the Zuni language at least 7,000 to 8,000 years ago, following the initial peopling of the hemisphere, and both formulate and test the hypothesis that many Mogollon populations were Zunian speakers. Some of the contributions situate Zuni within the developmental context of Southwestern societies from Paleoindian to Mogollon. Others test the Mogollon-Zuni hypothesis by searching for contrasts between these and neighboring peoples and tracing these contrasts through macro-regional analyses of environments, sites, pottery, basketry, and rock art. Several studies of late prehistoric and protohistoric settlement systems in the Zuni area then express more cautious views on the Mogollon connection and present insights from Zuni traditional history and cultural geography. Two internationally known scholars then critique the essays, and the editors present a new research design for pursuing the question of Zuni origins.

By taking stock and synthesizing what is currently known about the origins of the Zuni language and the development of modern Zuni culture, Zuni Origins is the only volume to address this subject with such a breadth of data and interpretations. It will prove invaluable to archaeologists working throughout the North American Southwest as well as to others struggling with issues of ethnicity, migration, incipient agriculture, and linguistic origins.

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