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July 21, 1978


Author Affiliations

Veterans Administration Hospital Nashville, Tenn

JAMA. 1978;240(3):279. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03290030097037

Everyone would like to know why we exist on this planet. How did we get here? Where are we going? Of all the books purporting to answer these questions, this one by Farb is certainly one of the best. His information is well selected, his arguments are clear, but each person must judge for himself if his conclusions are sound.

Farb paints a broad picture of the development of civilization. He reviews primate life, the evolution of early man, and the transition from hunting to farming. He brings man to the present with a discussion of industrialization, urban life, and modern adaptions around the world. Using this as a base of information, Farb then discusses various capacities and characteristics of the human species, such as the difference between races (minor) and between sexes (major). A section of the book that reviews perception, language, and memory is interesting and informative but