Why the Reckless Survive: And Other Secrets of Human Nature

Why the Reckless Survive: And Other Secrets of Human Nature

by Melvin Konner

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
To his training in anthropology and medicine, Konner adds an inherent skill at writing uncluttered prose, as he discusses such complicated issues as brain surgery, the diet of paleolithic humans, the function of orgasm and the relationship between psychosis and creativity. Calling upon his diverse interests and experiences--as a young anthropologist living among the !Kung San people of the Kalahari Desert, as a father, as a student of neuropsychology--he explores the territory in which cultural conventions and ``hardwired'' behaviors meld. ``Trancendental Medication'' focuses on the shamanistic healing practices of the !Kung; ``Cuisine Sauvage'' details the risks assumed in reporting anthropological projects; ``Everyman'' considers the response of a group of Nigerian tribal elders to the tale of Hamlet. Konner ( Becoming a Doctor ) felicitously combines humor and a facility for viewing material in a wide perspective with the stuff of technology and biological science in these essays of unfailing interest. (July)
Library Journal - Library Journal
This collection of essays puts this reviewer in mind of the Beatles' ditty, ``Her Majesty's a pretty nice girl, but she doesn't have a lot to say.'' Konner is a fine writer, but since publication of his genuinely original The Tangled Wing (LJ 9/15/82), he hasn't had much new to tell us about using Darwinian theory to explain human behavior. These essays recapitulate the work of others and strive relentlessly to fit them into the paradigm of sociobiology. But Konner works in a genre, the popularization of science, shaped by two giants, Stephen Jay Gould and Lewis Thomas, and his work seems somewhat ephemeral in contrast to theirs, which continues to enlighten and edify.-- Glenn Petersen, CUNY Graduate Center

Product Details

Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 5.00(h) x 1.00(d)

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