Transcendence: How Humans Evolved Through Fire, Language, Beauty, and Time


Product Details

$30.00  $27.90
Basic Books
Publish Date
6.3 X 1.4 X 9.3 inches | 1.23 pounds
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About the Author

Gaia Vince is a science writer and broadcaster. In 2015, she was the first woman to win the Royal Society Insight Investment Science Book prize solo for her debut, Adventures in the Anthropocene. She has held senior editorial posts at Nature and New Scientist, and writes for Science, the Guardian, and others. She lives in London.


"A wondrous, visionary work."--Tim Flannery, scientist and author of The Weather Makers
"This book goes from the Big Bang to the Hundred Thousand Genome Project to make a convincing case that Homo sapiens has become a super-organism. I learned a lot from it and so will you."--Steve Jones, Emeritus Professor of Human Genetics UCL and author of Here Comes the Sun
"Captivating... A provocative, highly readable take on our astonishing emergence from the primordial soup."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Science writer Vince looks at human evolution in terms of four elements -- dubbed Fire, Word, Beauty, and Time -- in this stimulating account... Even those broadly familiar with humanity's story will find new information and insights in Vince's fascinating study."
--Publishers Weekly
"An imaginative and inspiring adventure into the origins and evolution of what we hold most dear: our human culture."--Uta Frith, emeritus professor of cognitive development UCL

"Transcendence is a beautifully imaginative overview of the biological and cultural evolution of humans. Richly informed by the latest research, Vince's colorful survey fizzes like a zip-wire as it tours our species' story from the Big Bang to the coming age of hyper-cooperation."--Richard Wrangham, professor of biological anthropology at Harvard University and author of The Goodness Paradox
A best book of the year (Times of London)
"An engaging, well-researched book for anyone curious about the development of humanity as approached through a social lens."--Library Journal
"History doesn't get much bigger than this epic sweep through human progress....Vince takes dizzying leaps, making connections between archaeology, anthropology, genetics, and psychology."--Tom Whipple, Times of London
"Any story that begins with the words '14 billion years ago' is bound to be epic, and Transcendence is no exception... An impressive breadth of research from paleoarchaeology to genetics to anthropology."--M.R. O'Connor, Undark
"A hugely enjoyable sprint through human evolutionary history... and a good story."--Tim Radford, Nature