KINGDOM OF SPEECH


KINGDOM OF SPEECH

TOM WOLFE    Book Number: 86485    Product format: Hardback

"Language in all its forms advanced man far beyond the boundaries of natural selection, allowing him to think abstractly and plan ahead; measure things and record measurements for later; comprehend space and time, God, freedom and immortality; and remove items from Nature to create artefacts, whether axes or algebra. No animal could even begin to do any such thing. Darwin's doctrine of natural selection couldn't deal with artefacts, which were by definition unnatural, or with the mother of all artefacts, which was the Word. The inexplicable power of the Word - speech, language - was driving him crazy." The bestselling novelist discovers the captivating, paradigm-shifting argument that speech, not evolution, is responsible for humanity's complex societies and achievements. From Alfred Russel Wallace, the self-taught Englishman who beat Charles Darwin to the theory of natural selection that later renounced it for its inability to explain human speech, to the neo-Darwinists, who for years argued that there is a language 'organ' in the human brain, Wolfe explains how science has repeatedly failed to account for man's gift of the gab. Flash forward to the controversial work of another outsider, anthropologist Daniel Everett. After 30 years of studying a tribe isolated in the jungles deep in the Amazon, Everett revealed a people whose prehistoric level of speech has led to a society without religion, ceremonies, hierarchies, marriage or ornaments, and without the ability to plan ahead or to consider a past beyond personal lifetimes, thus defying the current wisdom that language is hardwired in humans. With trenchant and uproarious humour, Wolfe cracks open the secretive, solemn, long faced, laugh-out-loud zig-zags of Darwinism and overturns our most cherished ideas about ourselves. 185pp, US first edition, remainder mark.
Published price: $26
Bibliophile price: £4.00


Additional product information

ISBN 9780316404624
Browse these categories as well: First Editions, Word Books and Dictionaries

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