The case for evolution leads off the seasonal offerings...

Book Briefs

December 08, 1996|By Peter Gorner | Peter Gorner,Chicago Tribune

The case for evolution leads off the seasonal offerings about nature and science, with top honors going to Donald Johanson, whose fossil finds, particularly Lucy, the first hominid to walk erect, keep him among the most provocative scientists of the day.

His latest book "From Lucy to Language: The Record of Human Evolution," written with Blake Edgar (Simon & Schuster, 272 pages, $50) is a stunning documentary of human life, eloquently written, gloriously photographed (chiefly by David Brill) and packed with the latest discoveries.

"Chronicle of the World: The Ultimate Record of World History" (DK Publishing, 1,175 pages, $59.95) tells the story of Lucy's demise as if there had been a journalist around to cover it: "Walking hominid 'Lucy' dies at the age of 25 years." It's just one of thousands of stories about newsworthy events from 3.5 million years B.C. to the present presented as journalism with sparkling graphics.

"The Great Apes: Our Face in Nature's Mirror," by Michael Leach (Blandford/Sterling Publishing, 176 pages, $29.95).

This work celebrates the great apes and argues correctly that it has taken too long to dispel myths about cuddly chimps, bloodthirsty gorillas and slothful orangs.

Pub Date: 12/08/96

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