Blueprints: Solving the Mystery of Evolution

Blueprints: Solving the Mystery of Evolution
by Edey, Maitland A., and Donald C. Johanson

Little Brown & Company, Inc.
C-T, GA **


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This book by the authors of the 1981 work, Lucy: The Beginnings of Humankind (NY: Simon & Schuster, 1981) is excellent. The scope is broad--namely, the history of general evolutionary theory. It is scholarly, comprehensively researched, and exceedingly lucid. The bulk of the work summarizes the history of theories of heredity up to the cracking of the genetic code in the 1960s. This is preceded by a discourse on Darwiniana and followed by a brief review of theories of the origin of life. The text concludes with a long chapter on human evolution (updating, in a sense, Lucy) and a philosophical touch. The style is slightly recursive, with the authors sometimes addressing the reader and sometimes addressing each other. Edey and Johanson successfully communicate their ideas to a lay audience, with little obvious sacrifice in content. While this book may not have the broad appeal of Lucy, it will interest a general audience. It should also prove useful in introductory anthropology classes.

--Reviewed by Jonathan Marks in Science Books and Films, 25/4 (March/April 1990), p. 204.