In this introduction to man's evolutionary pre-history, the reader is dragged (by the hair, as it were) into the bushes of the past to view an adolescent male Australopithecus Africanus who is quaking in his bare feet as he is about to confront a charging jaguar and, with his superior intelligence, set pre-mankind ahead another few million years. Collier breaks into this scenario with the announcement that he, the writer, is going to lead you, the reader, along ""that wandering line through the four major stages in man's development"" (and some minor stages as well), through those ""achingly long millions of years."" And wander he does, through this achingly long 160 pages which detours into a diatribe against overpopulation, pollution, war and race prejudice. ""Our"" naked adolescent reappears from time to time with larger brain to show how our common ancestors developed. Though Collins attempts to give the reader ""helpful hints"" in understanding terminology, ""one of the biggest nuisances you are going to face in this book,"" a glossary might be of more use in understanding these ""jaw-crackers."" Possibly the reader may emerge with a general picture of primate life over the past 75 million years or so, but he is more likely to enjoy and profit from F. Clark Howell's Early Man in the Life Nature Library.