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EVE

HOW THE FEMALE BODY DROVE 200 MILLION YEARS OF HUMAN EVOLUTION

Prodigious research informs a spirited history of humanity.

A capacious investigation of women throughout time.

Bohannon, who holds a doctorate in the study of the evolution of narrative and cognition, makes an engaging book debut with a sweeping history of the development of women’s bodies over the past 200 million years. Calling evolution “a complicated narrative, with a lot of whimsy and accident,” the author creates a jaunty, digressive, and often whimsical tale examining the origins of some defining features of womanhood: the ability to produce milk; gestate offspring in the womb; facilitate childbirth; experience menopause, which remains “one of the biggest mysteries in modern biology”; and forge “distinctive, complex, bizarre, and overpowering love bonds.” Bohannon considers how bipedalism, the use of tools, increased brain size, and language related particularly to females. Mammalian milk, she notes, originated more than 200 million years ago in a mammal the size of a field mouse. Placental mammals evolved 67 million to 63 million years ago, this time in a squirrel-like creature, the first to grow eggs inside her body, rather than drop them in a nest. Changes in seeing and hearing resulted from the development of primates, 66 million to 63 million years ago. “Primate Eves” lived in tree canopies for tens of millions of years before diverging to become bipedal, sometime between 5 million and 13 million years ago, a stance that affected pregnancy and childbirth. Bohannon makes a case for females being the first to use tools—“a set of behaviors…to change their relationship with the world around them”—some 2.5 million to 1.8 million years ago, arguing against the idea that innovation has “been driven by groups of men solving man-problems.” Combing scientific literature, the author finds no difference between the brains of men and women. Many species inhabit Bohannon’s fascinating chronicle, as she compares human evolution and life cycle to that of other creatures, great and small.

Prodigious research informs a spirited history of humanity.

Pub Date: Oct. 3, 2023

ISBN: 9780385350549

Page Count: 624

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: July 7, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2023

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KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON

THE OSAGE MURDERS AND THE BIRTH OF THE FBI

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Awards & Accolades

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  • Readers Vote
  • 27


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  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017


  • New York Times Bestseller


  • IndieBound Bestseller


  • National Book Award Finalist

Greed, depravity, and serial murder in 1920s Oklahoma.

During that time, enrolled members of the Osage Indian nation were among the wealthiest people per capita in the world. The rich oil fields beneath their reservation brought millions of dollars into the tribe annually, distributed to tribal members holding "headrights" that could not be bought or sold but only inherited. This vast wealth attracted the attention of unscrupulous whites who found ways to divert it to themselves by marrying Osage women or by having Osage declared legally incompetent so the whites could fleece them through the administration of their estates. For some, however, these deceptive tactics were not enough, and a plague of violent death—by shooting, poison, orchestrated automobile accident, and bombing—began to decimate the Osage in what they came to call the "Reign of Terror." Corrupt and incompetent law enforcement and judicial systems ensured that the perpetrators were never found or punished until the young J. Edgar Hoover saw cracking these cases as a means of burnishing the reputation of the newly professionalized FBI. Bestselling New Yorker staff writer Grann (The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession, 2010, etc.) follows Special Agent Tom White and his assistants as they track the killers of one extended Osage family through a closed local culture of greed, bigotry, and lies in pursuit of protection for the survivors and justice for the dead. But he doesn't stop there; relying almost entirely on primary and unpublished sources, the author goes on to expose a web of conspiracy and corruption that extended far wider than even the FBI ever suspected. This page-turner surges forward with the pacing of a true-crime thriller, elevated by Grann's crisp and evocative prose and enhanced by dozens of period photographs.

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Pub Date: April 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-385-53424-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Feb. 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

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NIGHT

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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