The Descent of the Child
“She is more scientific than Genesis, more up to date than Darwin, more fun than Ardrey, and she writes better than Desmond Morris.”
‘The Sunday Telegraph’
In 1972 Elaine Morgan’s first book, The Descent of Woman, a huge and instant best-seller, came as a reminder – much needed at the time – that no account of the ‘Emergence of Man’ could afford to confine its attention to one sex without falling into serious errors.
This brilliant new book points out the dangers of focusing too much attention on a single age group – adults. Infants, like women, have been there throughout our evolutionary history, their well-being equally vital to species survival. Yet, in the five million years in which the growing power of Homo sapiens has enabled us to dominate the planet, our babies have become increasingly helpless, immature and vulnerable. What is the relationship between these two facts? As Jean Piaget wrote: ‘The child explains the adult much more than the reverse.’
The Descent of the Child looks at evolution from the child’s point of view – from conception and the development of the foetus to birth, child rearing and parental roles. It not only throws new light on where we may have come from, adding new evidence to support the Aquatic Ape Theory of evolution against the Savannah Theory, but it also enables us to make a better informed assessment of urgent contemporary problems, such as the break-up of the family, abortion, infertility, over-population and women’s place in society.
The first study of its kind, this highly readable, scientifically-based book forces us to look at the human race in an entirely new way. It is certain to provoke widespread and heated debate.