A major new look at how Africa’s geological history, climate, geography and biology resulted in the wonderful diversity of life found there. It is also the story of how it was the crucible for the evolution most extraordinary species on Earth – Homo sapiens.
Africa has properties that ensure that most of human evolution could have occurred nowhere else. A greater diversity of mammal, bird and many other forms of life has forced more and more species to squeeze into narrower and narrower niches. Human complexity has evolved directly in response to this, the most complex of continents. On offer here is an intensely personal portrait of a continent bolstered by Jonathan Kingdon’s own animal senses, the same excited set of senses he was born in Africa with. Senses that look, listen, scent and grasp at the mother-continent. Not just his personal motherland but the birthplace of all humanity.
Jonathan Kingdon was born in Tanganyika and has spent the better part of his life in Africa. He has been acclaimed as both a leading academic and a prominent artist. He is an acknowledged authority on African mammals and is the author of numerous books on the subject. He is also the founding and senior editor of the award-winning, 6-volume Mammals of Africa.
”'Magnificent. So rich, moving with ease through deep time and biological place, using a lifetime of thought” - Redmond O’Hanlon
”'Africa from the inside … Extremely good stuff” - Paul Theroux
”'Lovely … and the pictures are magnificent” - Richard Dawkins
Praise for Jonathan Kingdon -
'Jonathan Kingdon's work is one of the things that make the present day such an exciting time for anyone with the slightest intellectual curiosity. His subject matter is our profound and thrilling human origins, and his stance toward it makes his work unique and priceless' Philip Pullman -
'Jonathan Kingdon is a subtle amalgam of artist and scientist. He has a deep and up-to-date knowledge of human prehistory, and of the topology and geography of Africa, the continent where most of human prehistory happened. But he is also our leading zoological artist, and I think it must be his artist's eye that gives his writing style its vividness' Richard Dawkins, Times Literary Supplement -