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Books: Paleopersonalities Volume 54 Number 3, May/June 2001
by Mark Rose

New books offer the thrill of discoveries and clash of egos in the quest for our ancestors.

Dipping into the never-ending stream of books about the search for our earliest ancestors, one usually fishes out volumes extolling the latest fossil discovery, which, to believe the book jacket, will change everything we know about human evolution. The current catch, however, is different. In The Man Who Found the Missing Link--about Eugène Dubois, who discovered "Java Man" in the early 1890s--Pat Shipman has given us a readable, authoritative biography of a pioneering paleoanthropologist. Java Man, by Carl Swisher, III, Garniss Curtis, and Roger Lewin, is a chronicle of the recent redating of long-known Javanese fossils of Homo erectus (as the early human Dubois found is now known). It has lively accounts of fieldwork in Java. Well worth reading is Jon Kalb's Adventures in the Bone Trade, a memoir of paleoanthropology in Ethiopia told against a background of internal strife and international politics following the overthrow of Emperor Haile Sellassie in 1974.

The Man Who Found the Missing Link: Eugène Dubois and His Lifelong Quest to Prove Darwin Right
Pat Shipman
New York: Simon & Schuster, 2001
$28.00 (cloth); 514 pages
ISBN 0-684-85581-X
Java Man: How Two Geologists' Dramatic Discoveries Changed Our Understanding of the Evolutionary Path to Modern Humans
Carl C. Swisher III, Garniss H. Curtis, and Roger Lewin
New York: Scribner, 2000
$27.50 (cloth); 256 pages
ISBN 0-684-80000-4
Adventures in the Bone Trade: The Race to Discover Human Ancestors in Ethiopia's Afar Depression
Jon Kalb
New York: Copernicus, 2001
$29.00 (cloth); 389 pages
ISBN 0-387-98742-8

Mark Rose is managing editor of ARCHAEOLOGY.

ARCHAEOLOGY's bookstore

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© 2001 by the Archaeological Institute of America
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