The Neandertal enigma : solving the mystery of modern human origins

by James Shreeve

Paper Book, 1995



Call number



New York : Avon Books, 1996, c1995.


Challenges the belief that the Neandertal was the first true human species, revealing the existence of humans fifty thousand years earlier, and considering why the Neandertal species died out.

User reviews

LibraryThing member Devil_llama
Although necessarily out of date, this book provides a good introduction to what was known about Neandertals at the time; the history is detailed, including details of the many controversies surrounding Neandertal society and human evolution. One thing that stands out loud and clear through the
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pages of this book is the problem that occurs in science when political correctness, whether the kind that assumes western Europeans must be superior or the kind that assumes all are inherently equal, becomes a guiding factor. The inability to envision a possible hypothesis because it offends your sensitivities is a weakness few scientists can afford, and some of the nonsensical twists and turns that try to fit inconvenient facts into your preferred theory are described in gory detail in this book. The author treats his subject, and the scientists, with affection and respect, and that helps him say the things he needs to say. In addition, he adopts an almost poetic prose in many places which serves his subject well.
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LibraryThing member jerry-book
The journalist surveys the existing literature and experts on what we know about Neandertal man and what happened to this species. It was fascinating that this species came to a dead end 30,000 years ago.


Original publication date


Physical description

x, 369 p.; 23 cm


0380728818 / 9780380728817


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