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Download Before the Dawn: Recovering the Lost History of Our Ancestors Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Before the Dawn: Recovering the Lost History of Our Ancestors Audiobook, by Nicholas Wade Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (1,021 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Nicholas Wade Narrator: Alan Sklar Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2006 ISBN: 9781400172320
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Based on a groundbreaking synthesis of recent scientific findings, critically acclaimed New York Times science reporter Nicholas Wade tells a bold and provocative new story of the history of our ancient ancestors and the evolution of human nature. Just in the last three years a flood of new scientific findings-driven by revelations discovered in the human genome-has provided compelling new answers to many long-standing mysteries about our most ancient ancestors-the people who first evolved in Africa and then went on to colonize the whole world. Nicholas Wade weaves this host of news-making findings together for the first time into an intriguing new history of the human story before the dawn of civilization. Sure to stimulate lively controversy, he makes the case for novel arguments about many hotly debated issues such as the evolution of language and race and the genetic roots of human nature, and reveals that human evolution has continued even to today. In wonderfully lively and lucid prose, Wade reveals the answers that researchers have ingeniously developed to so many puzzles: When did language emerge? When and why did we start to wear clothing? How did our ancestors break out of Africa and defeat the more physically powerful Neanderthals who stood in their way? Why did the different races evolve, and why did we come to speak so many different languages? When did we learn to live with animals and where and when did we domesticate man's first animal companions, dogs? How did human nature change during the thirty-five thousand years between the emergence of fully modern humans and the first settlements? This will be the most talked about science book of the season. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “By far the best book I have ever read on humanity’s deep history.”

    E. O. Wilson, New York Times bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize winner for On Human Nature

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katie | 2/17/2014

    " If I didn't major in Biology, I would have chosen Anthropology. This stuff fascinates me. And it's a very well-written, interesting book also. I'm not sure Wade makes a stunning new insights, but it's a good introduction for anyone who's interested in pre-history. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pamela | 1/25/2014

    " Who knew people were millions of years old? This is a very interesting and scientific review . I really enjoyed it! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nancy | 1/17/2014

    " A run-down of what scientists are learning about human evolution and pre-history in light of the genetic discoveries of the last several years, made possible in large part by the sequencing of the human genome. The book covers a lot of ground, maybe too much. For me the biggest revelation is that I've been wrong in assuming we stopped evolving, that we were no longer subject to the forces or mechanisms of evolution. Just not true. Read the book to find out how... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Heather | 1/13/2014

    " if you have to read about evolution....he's an interesting writer "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christopher Heard | 1/12/2014

    " I learned so much from this book that I don't even know where to begin. N. Wade is a science journalist, not a scientist, but he sure seems to have done his homework and to be reporting the facts straight. On issues where there are real controversies (in attempts to reconstruct prehistoric languages, for example), he seems to give a fair and balanced hearing to all comers. I got this book in audio format from Audible.com, and there's nothing quite like learning more about hominid evolution while you mow the front lawn. I gave the book four stars instead of five only because it seemed a bit repetitive or too-drawn-out in more than one of its many interesting discussions. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christine | 1/10/2014

    " I learned so much from this book. It puts Darwinism into perspective but still leaves us with so many unanswered questions about why we are the way we are and how cultures have evolved around the world. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eric | 1/8/2014

    " really good read.. loved the blending of evolution and history "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marsha | 12/25/2013

    " The author has a real gift for making the distant past of our ancestors come alive. His explanations of the hows and the whys were vivid and accessible. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Teri | 12/21/2013

    " My non-fiction contribution - I find human evolution fascinating, and the way we humans figured out how it happened is interesting in itself. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sherwood | 12/4/2013

    " Great compendium of recent research on human evolution. I highly recommend it as a good read and one you will quote from endlessly. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Richard | 11/17/2013

    " Very interesting recap of genetic and linguistic research which contributes to the broad overview of human evolution and early history. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Liz | 11/28/2011

    " So interesting & thought-provoking, I'm tempted to buy it. One of those great integrational synopses that will take awhile to fully digest & will not become obsolete too quickly. A pleasure to read as well for being well-written, an increasingly rare thing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Neal | 6/19/2011

    " The great story of how modern DNA technology is unraveling the mysteries of our common human ancestors. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Thom | 4/28/2011

    " published 2006. Chapter on Mitochondrial Eve and descendants. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stacie | 3/27/2011

    " Interesting, if a bit dry at times, and it ended with a nod to Science Fiction (even if it was just to point out the biggest thing that Sci-Fi gets wrong) which made me happy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Matt | 2/12/2011

    " Wade's book is filled with intriguing research and interesting facts about the depths of human history. Clears up a number of misconceptions about human evolution, read this if you think evolution no longer affects the human race. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nestor | 1/27/2011

    " This is one of the best books I've read about molecular phylogenetic from a layman's standpoint. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karen | 1/24/2011

    " Got 3/4 of the way through it and got a bit bored. Though it was an interesting book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patmcclain | 11/14/2010

    " Great reconstruction of how early humans possibly lived. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David | 7/18/2010

    " Nicholas Wade does a great job of stitching together major findings re the history of man from different scientific disciplines. It is also a great intro to what the human genome project has added to our understanding of man's history. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mohammed | 4/28/2010

    " as a history lover i really needed this book so much , it was informative , especially i knew a lot about Home ( AFRICA) . "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Bramble | 2/17/2010

    " Pretty damn low standards of evidence: trying to tell a story before the facts are all in. But what a story! Wade presents lots of new material, so worth the read in spite of his misplaced certainties. And in spite of creepy right-wing, racist and sexist undertones. "

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About the Author
Author Nicholas WadeNicholas Wade received a BA in natural sciences from King’s College, Cambridge. He was the deputy editor of Nature magazine in London and then became that journal’s Washington correspondent. He joined Science magazine in Washington as a reporter and later moved to The New York Times, where he has been an editorial writer, concentrating on issues of defense, space, science, medicine, technology, genetics, molecular biology, the environment, and public policy, a science reporter, and a science editor.
About the Narrator

Alan Sklar, a graduate of Dartmouth, has excelled in his career as a freelance voice actor. He began narrating audiobooks in 1996, winning seven AudioFile Earphones Awards and earning several “Best Voice” awards. He has also worked as a stage actor and as a promo announcer at WPIX-TV in New York City. His dream is to be an opera singer, a role for which he hones his bass-baritone operatic skills in the upstairs shower of his home.