Academic journal article Journal of Australian Political Economy

Claudio Tuniz and Patrizia Tiberi Vipraio: Humans: An Authorised Biography

Academic journal article Journal of Australian Political Economy

Claudio Tuniz and Patrizia Tiberi Vipraio: Humans: An Authorised Biography

Article excerpt

Claudio Tuniz and Patrizia Tiberi Vipraio

Humans: An Authorised Biography

Springer, AG Switzerland, translated from Italian for the English edition, 2015, pp. 124, paperback edition, $51.85.

This great little book deserves to be read by all people concerned to understand where we, as a species, came from and how the challenges we now face reflect that long historical evolution. Serious engagement with understanding our 'deep history' takes us into the realms of anthropology, archaeology, natural history, geology and geography. But political economy is right there 'in the mix' too because the focus is on the influences that have shaped the material conditions of our existence. One of the authors is an economist, the other a distinguished scientist; and their joint work, written originally in Italian, is now available in an English edition. In a mere 124 pages, it traverses the state of knowledge about the origins of humans, going back over millennia. The authors raise fundamental questions about whether humans should be regarded as diverse species. They consider the significance in this evolution of different types of food, clothing, making tools, types of burial procedure and the role of warfare.

Reading the book shows the inherently exploratory nature of scientific inquiry and its essentially open-ended character (mainstream economists please note). It is like being invited on two great journeys--one following the evolution of species and another exploring how scientists have analysed that evolution. …

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