“Missing Links: In Search of Human Origins” by John Reader (Oxford University Press, 2011)

Missing Links
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Missing Links was first published in 1981 and caused quite a sensation then with its findings and information, providing an in-depth and chronological coverage of our ancestry spanning millions of years.  In this new edition, John Reader has essentially written a whole new book, building on the old edition, updating and providing even more information to make Missing Links so very new and fascinating.  John Reader’s work as a writer and photographer for more than fifty years, crossing the globe in his coverage, has led to his appointment as an Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Anthropology at University College London.

The key to this new edition of Missing Links is that it is not just a book of anthropology and archaeology, but also covers the genres of history and biography.  The chapter titles run the gamut of our ancestral species, from Neanderthals to Java Man to Piltdown Man to Peking Man; from Australopithecus africanus to Homo habilis to Ardipithecus ramidus.  Reader doesn’t simply tell the full story of a particular ancestor, but also provides the latest evidence and science on it, as well as giving the biography of when the first bones of said ancestor were discovered, who was behind the discovery, and how it all happened.  Each chapter is its own complete and enriching tale.

Originally written on January 24, 2012 ©Alex C. Telander.

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12/22 On the Bookshelf . . . “Discount Armageddon,” “Crucible of Gold,” “The Iliad” & “Missing Links”

Discount Armageddon  Crucible of Gold  Iliad  Missing Links

Seems like Christmas came a little early for me this year, as I have two books I’ve been anxiously waiting for: Discount Armageddon by Seanan McGuire and Cruible of Gold by Naomi Novik, which don’t officially get released until March 2012.  Plus a pretty new translation of The Iliad by Stephen Mitchell, and a cool human origins book that looks fascinating.