Lucy, the beginnings of humankind

by Donald C. Johanson

Other authorsMaitland Armstrong Edey (Joint Author.)
Paper Book, 1981



Call number

GN283.25 .J63


New York : Simon and Schuster, c1981.


"A glorious success...The science manages to be as exciting and spellbinding as the juiciest gossip" (San Franscisco Chronicle) in the story of the discovery of "Lucy"--the oldest, best-preserved skeleton of any erect-walking human ancestor ever found. When Donald Johanson found a partical skeleton, approximately 3.5 million years old, in a remote region of Ethiopia in 1974, a headline-making controversy was launched that continues on today. Bursting with all the suspense and intrigue of a fast paced adventure novel, here is Johanson's lively account of the extraordinary discovery of "Lucy." By expounding the controversial change Lucy makes in our view of human origins, Johanson provides a vivid, behind-the-scenes account of the history of pealeoanthropology and the colorful, eccentric characters who were and are a part of it. Never before have the mystery and intricacy of our origins been so clearly and compellingly explained as in this astonighing and dramatic book.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member keylawk
Lucy walked upright, but her shoulders resembled the chimpanzee. It becomes obvious that brachiating ambulation "teaches" the hand to form an opposed thumb. In turn, the development of bipedalism then freed the hand to carry the branch -- now club and spear -- which had previously carried the creature.
LibraryThing member LydiaHD
I read this at least a decade ago - probably closer to 20 years ago - and I don't remember much of the information in it, but I do remember really, really enjoying reading it.
LibraryThing member unclebob53703
This is the best book on the subject of early humans that I've ever read. First rate background information, then it takes off like a great detective story! Was recently able to find this signed copy on Abe Books.
LibraryThing member leesclubhaarenjb
very well written; page turner. Got it from a friend who owned two copies; finished it the nexth day.


Original publication date


Physical description

409 p.; 24 cm


0671250361 / 9780671250362


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