“For millions of years we have survived as hunters. In the few short millennia since our divorce from that necessity there has been no time for significant biological change - anatomical, physiological, or behavioral. Today we have small hope of comprehending ourselves and our world unless we understand that man still, in his inmost being, remains a hunter.”
From this premise, supported by the accumulated research and observations of two decades of anthropological investigation, Robert Ardrey guides the reader on a remarkable journey of discovery through twenty million years of man’s prehistory: from the days when his ancestors first emerged from the forests of Africa during the benevolent warmth and rains of the Miocene, through the unremitting drought of the Pliocene, and the dramatic climactic shifts of the Pleistocene, down to those few thousand years past when man emerged at last onto the stage of recorded history, a fully evolved hunting animal.
In this, Ardrey’s fourth book on the subject of man’s origins and nature, the author addresses himself with bold logic and insights to that basic question that haunts the cellars of our conscious mind: Why is man man?
Praise for the 1976 edition:
“Ardrey is back, and even his most scandalized critics will once again find it hard to resist reading him. By sheer wit, audacity, and timing he will entertain a large audience… [He is] the lyric poet of evolution, a superb writer…”
- E O Wilson
“This is easily the best of Robert Ardrey’s books. It is brilliant in its summary of recent findings, it is wonderfully persuasive in its argument about our essential human nature, and it makes a satisfying unity out of Ardrey’s thinking in all his books.”
- Max Lerner
“If I believe that Robert Ardrey’s books are the most important to be written since WWII and arguably in the 20th century, it is because he has satisfied to a quite unbelievable degree the demands of the ignorant layman and the requirements of the responsible scientist. The Hunting Hypothesis is not so much a sequel to the three previous books as the culmination of them. He draws on twenty years of wide reading and deep thinking, of predictable objection and surprising corroboration, to produce a unique and beautiful account of the making of man.”
- Antony Jay