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Download The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health, and Disease Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health, and Disease Audiobook, by Daniel E. Lieberman Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Daniel E. Lieberman Narrator: Sean Runnette Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2013 ISBN: 9780307990075
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In this landmark book of popular science, Daniel E. Lieberman—chair of the department of human evolutionary biology at Harvard University and a leader in the field—gives us a lucid and engaging account of how the human body evolved over millions of years, even as it shows how the increasing disparity between the jumble of adaptations in our Stone Age bodies and advancements in the modern world is occasioning this paradox: greater longevity but increased chronic disease.
 
The Story of the Human Body brilliantly illuminates as never before the major transformations that contributed key adaptations to the body: the rise of bipedalism; the shift to a non-fruit-based diet; the advent of hunting and gathering, leading to our superlative endurance athleticism; the development of a very large brain; and the incipience of cultural proficiencies. Lieberman also elucidates how cultural evolution differs from biological evolution, and how our bodies were further transformed during the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions.
 
While these ongoing changes have brought about many benefits, they have also created conditions to which our bodies are not entirely adapted, Lieberman argues, resulting in the growing incidence of obesity and new but avoidable diseases, such as type 2 diabetes. Lieberman proposes that many of these chronic illnesses persist and in some cases are intensifying because of “dysevolution,” a pernicious dynamic whereby only the symptoms rather than the causes of these maladies are treated. And finally—provocatively—he advocates the use of evolutionary information to help nudge, push, and sometimes even compel us to create a more salubrious environment.

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Quotes & Awards

  • No one understands the human body like Daniel Lieberman or tells its story more eloquently. He's found a tale inside our skin that's riveting, enlightening, and more than a little frightening. Christopher McDougall, author of Born to Run
  • Monumental: The Story of the Human Body, by one of our leading experts, takes us on an epic voyage that reveals how the past six million years shaped every part of us—our heads, limbs, and even our metabolism. Through Lieberman’s eyes, evolutionary history not only comes alive, it becomes the means to understand, and ultimately influence, our body’s future. Neil Shubin, author of Your Inner Fish
  • These are not debates to gloss over or reduce to simple statements of cause and effect — they are stories with scientific complexity and tremendous, sometimes contradictory accumulations of evidence and detail. The Story of the Human Body does full justice to those stories, to that evidence and to that detail, and brings them to bear on daily health and well-being, individual and collective.
    Washington Post
  • [Lieberman] is a true expert in a system where architecture and history intersect: the human foot. He ably describes how behavior and anatomy can lead to foot injuries in long-distance runners. Wall Street Journal
  • In thoughtful, lucid prose backed up by a hard-to-fathom amount of research, Lieberman gives us the language to understand the history of our ancestors—the history that lives on in our minds and in our bodies . . . The Story of the Human Body, expertly researched and told in an original voice, will make you look at your own body more critically—and perhaps treat it with a little more respect. After all, we sit at the edge of millions of years of small refinements that stretched this part and shortened that piece. Lieberman shows how it all fits together and that it was no accident. Everyday eBook
  • Eloquent and precise . . . Lieberman is the first to point out that modern living and technology have made our lives better in many ways. Still, a look back at where we came from can tell us a lot about where we’re headed, he says—and how we might alter that course for the better. Grist
  • In thoroughly enjoyable and edifying prose, Lieberman . . . leads a fascinating journey through human evolution. He comprehensively explains how evolutionary forces have shaped the human species as we know it . . . . He balances a historical perspective with a contemporary one . . . while asking how we might control the destiny of our species. He argues persuasively that ‘cultural evolution is now the dominant force of evolutionary change acting on the human body.’ Publishers Weekly (starred review)
  • Lieberman holds nothing back . . . He cleverly and comprehensively points out the perils of possessing Paleolithic anatomy and physiology in a modern world and bemoans ‘just how out of touch we have become with our bodies’. . . If we want to continue our phenomenal run as a species, it is essential to understand (and embrace) our evolutionary legacy. Booklist 
  • “No one understands the human body like Daniel Lieberman or tells its story more eloquently. He’s found a tale inside our skin that’s riveting, enlightening, and more than a little frightening.”

    Christopher McDougall, New York Times bestselling author of Born to Run

  • A massive review of where we came from and what ails us now . . . Would that industry and governments take heed. Kirkus Reviews
  • “Friedrich Nietzsche called the human body ‘a big sagacity; a plurality with one sense; a war and a peace; a flock and a shepherd.’ All those functions and battles come alive in this popular science book that traces the evolution of humankind in functions, health, and disease. Contemporary readers will be especially intrigued by Lieberman's account of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, and heart disease as instances of ‘dysfunction’ in action. Harvard professor Lieberman is a graceful writer whose insights and remedies carry persuasive force.”

    Barnes&Noble.com, editorial review

  • “These are not debates to gloss over or reduce to simple statements of cause and effect—they are stories with scientific complexity and tremendous, sometimes contradictory accumulations of evidence and detail. The Story of the Human Body does full justice to those stories, to that evidence and to that detail, and brings them to bear on daily health and well-being, individual and collective.”

    Washington Post

  • “[Lieberman] is a true expert in a system where architecture and history intersect: the human foot.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “In thoroughly enjoyable and edifying prose, Lieberman…leads a fascinating journey through human evolution. He comprehensively explains how evolutionary forces have shaped the human species as we know it…He balances a historical perspective with a contemporary one…while asking how we might control the destiny of our species. He argues persuasively that ‘cultural evolution is now the dominant force of evolutionary change acting on the human body.’”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Lieberman holds nothing back…He cleverly and comprehensively points out the perils of possessing Paleolithic anatomy and physiology in a modern world and bemoans ‘just how out of touch we have become with our bodies’…If we want to continue our phenomenal run as a species, it is essential to understand (and embrace) our evolutionary legacy.”

    Booklist

  • “Lieberman gracefully combines paleontology, anatomy, physiology, and experimental biomechanics to clarify how the human body has evolved, from the emergence of bipedalism to the growth of modern cultural abilities. Now, he shows, we are troubled by dysevolution as our long-evolved bodies fail to fit the contemporary world and respond by developing diseases like diabetes.”

    Library Journal

  • “A massive review of where we came from and what ails us now…Would that industry and governments take heed.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Monumental…Takes us on an epic voyage that reveals how the past six million years shaped every part of us—our heads, limbs, and even our metabolism. Through Lieberman’s eyes, evolutionary history not only comes alive, it becomes the means to understand, and ultimately influence, our body’s future.” 

    Neil Shubin, author of Your Inner Fish

  • “Seasoned narrator Sean Runnette gives a solid and engaging performance.”

    Library Journal (audio review)

  • “Sean Runnette reads with a low-key, clear voice that conveys the information well, leaving room for the occasional wry observation to hit its mark. Much of the book details how evolution worked, but the latter chapters offer practical thoughts on its effects…This is an interesting look at how the body works.”

    AudioFile

  • A New York Times bestseller
  • An Amazon Top 100 Book of 2013
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About the Author

Daniel Lieberman is professor of human evolutionary biology and the Edwin M. Lerner II Professor of Biological Sciences at Harvard. He has written more than one hundred articles, many appearing in the journals Nature and Science. He is especially well known for his research on the evolution of the human head and on the evolution of running, including barefoot running, earning him the nickname the Barefoot Professor. His research and discoveries have been highlighted widely in newspapers, magazines, books, news programs, and documentaries.

About the Narrator

Sean Runnette, an Earphones Award–winning narrator, has also directed and produced more than two hundred audiobooks, including several Audie Award winners. He is a member of the American Repertory Theater company and has toured the United States and internationally with ART and Mabou Mines. His television and film appearances include Two If by Sea, Cop Land, Sex and the City, Law & Order, the award-winning film Easter, and numerous commercials.