Human Origins: Booklist for Adults

Part of Hall of Human Origins.

  • Before the Dawn: Recovering the Lost History of our Ancestors

    by Nicholas Wade
    A New York Times science reporter weaves stories of discovery with scientific analysis to relate how researchers know what they do about the characteristics of long-vanished hominids.
    Penguin Press, 2006. ISBN 1594200793

  • Dawn of Man: The Story of Human Evolution

    by Robin McKie
    This lavishly illustrated book is an accessible introduction to the fossil study of human origins. It accompanies a 2000 BBC/Learning Channel television series.
    Dorling Kindersley Publishing, 2000. ISBN 0789462621

  • Human Natures: Genes, Cultures, and the Human Prospect

    by Paul Ehrlich 
    The Stanford population scientist attempts to answer the question “What is human nature?” in this chronicle of cultural evolution, which addresses both genetic and environmental factors.
    Penguin, 2000. ISBN 0142000531

  • Human Origins: What Bones and Genomes Tell us about Ourselves

    by Rob DeSalle and Ian Tattersall
    The companion volume to the Spitzer Hall of Human Origins explores what it means to be human using the latest genetic and paleontological research.
    Texas A & M University Press Consortium, March 2007. ISBN 9781585445677

  • Jane Goodall: The Woman Who Redefined Man

    by Dale Peterson
    A bibliography of the pioneering primate field researcher, whose work is essential to our understanding of apes and humans, by her frequent coauthor and editor. 
    Houghton Mifflin, 2006. ISBN 9780395854051

  • Lucy: The Beginning of Humankind

    by Donald Johanson and Maitland Edey
    Anyone curious about the discovery of the famed fossil can turn to this chronicle by Johanson, one of Lucy’s discoverers. It offers a behind-the-scenes look at fossil hunting, explores the geological setting of her skeleton, and sets the finding into historical context.
    Simon and Schuster, 1981. ISBN 0446388009

  • The Monkey in the Mirror: Essays on the Science of What Makes Us Human

    by Ian Tattersall
    A curator of the new Spitzer Hall of Human Origins extrapolates on why evolution is misunderstood, the lives of Neanderthals, the origins of cognition, and other aspects of hominid evolution.
    Harvest Books, 2003. ISBN 9780156027069

  • The Singing Neanderthals: Origins of Music, Language, Mind and Body

    by Steven Mithen
    This book investigates the biological roots and evolution of our creative and communicative abilities, presenting them in a conversational style.
    Harvard University Press, 2006. ISBN 0674021924

  • Smithsonian Intimate Guide to Human Origins

    by Carl Zimmer
    A concise introduction to the most important and the most recent discoveries that further our understanding of the timeline of human evolution.
    HarperCollins, 2005. ISBN 0060829613

  • The Third Chimpanzee: Evolution and Future of the Human Animal

    by Jared Diamond
    This book teases apart the science and implications of how the tiny genetic difference between humans and chimpanzees has enabled our species to dominate all life on the planet.
    Harper Perennial Publishers, 2006. ISBN 0060984031

  • Upright: The Evolutionary Key to Becoming Human

    by Craig Stanford

    Upright explores the anatomical significance of the bipedal posture and its effect on human behavior.
    Houghton Mifflin, 2003. ISBN 0618302476

  • Welcome to the Genome: A User’s Guide to the Genetic Past, Present, and Future

    By Rob DeSalle and Michael Yudell
    This Museum-produced book considers the boundless potential of the human genome as well as the ethical issues it raises. Includes sections on nature vs. nurture, genetics and race, and what genes can reveal about the tree of life.
    John Wiley & Sons, 2005. ISBN 0471453315