African genesis; a personal investigation into the animal origins and nature of man.

by Robert Ardrey




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Publisher Unknown


African Francophone Writing presents a comprehensive overview of African writing in the Francophone literary world. It explores the work of important classic and contemporary African writers from the 1950s to the present who, until recently, have received little critical attention. The contributors view their subjects from a diverse range of critical perspectives -- historical, thematic, psychoanalytic, feminist and post-colonial -- to provide a variety of theoretically sophisticated analyses of Francophone writing. A comprehensive introduction and an extensive chronological table are included. African Francophone literature is rapidly becoming a major discipline in universities in Britain and North America. This book will provide much needed critical material for students at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. [Well-known authors studied in this book include: Chraïbi, Memmi and Boudjedra in the Maghreb; Sembène, Kourouma and Adiaffi in sub-Saharan Africa; Begag and Cherif from the 'Beur' community; and women writers such as Debèche, Fall and Bâ.]… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member monado
I very much enjoyed this book when I was younger. It was good, interesting, innovative, and a fine summary of what we knew at that time. Ardrey supports both the warlike nature of man and ancestry among the gracile austraopithecenes. The latter is now out of favour, but the writing is still good
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and the author gives a good history of the personalities and fossils behind the hunt for humankind's ancestors. For a book that is 45 years old this holds up remarkably well.
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LibraryThing member parp
An irresistible story of Homo sapiens coming into being.
LibraryThing member keylawk
When I was in college, our Professors challenged our idealism and assumptions by exposing us to uncomfortable facts, of all sorts. For example, Darwin's views of Race, and Marx’s view that human history is part of natural history. And animal ethnologists and modern mechanical materialists who
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claimed that we are simply “naked apes”, often implying that the faults of society can be blamed on our genes, our inherited animal make up. Robert Ardrey was one of these authors. For example, in African Genesis, he gives an account of human origins:

"Hierarchy is an institution among all social animals and the drive to dominate one’s fellows an instinct three or four million years old ... The human drive to acquire possessions is the simple expression of an animal instinct many hundreds of years older than the human race itself ... The roots of nationalism are dug firmly in the social territory of almost every species of our related primate family ... Status seekers are responding to animal instincts equally characteristic of baboons, jackdaws, rock cod and men."

Ardrey was quite prescient. His description of our primate legacy is a remarkable profile of a certain bankrupt casino owner who borrowed millions of dollars from President Putin and led a world charge against republics and democracy. Who knew that thugs would garner significant political support?
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LibraryThing member rybie2
I can do no better than to quote Robert Ardrey's powerful, eloquent perspective: "Humans were born of risen apes, not fallen angels, and the apes were armed killers besides. And so what shall we wonder at? Our murders and massacres and missiles? Or our treaties whatever they may be worth; our
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symphonies however seldom they may be played; our peaceful acres however frequently they may be turned into battlefields. The miracle of man is not how far he has sunk, but how magnificently he has risen. We are known among the stars by our poems, not our corpses."
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