Wired for Culture : The Natural History of Human Cooperation, Paperback

Wired for Culture : The Natural History of Human Cooperation Paperback

2 out of 5 (1 rating)


"Expresses an infectious sense of wonder at the uniqueness of our species; it is hard not to be affected by his enthusiasm". ("Sunday Times"). What explains the staggering diversity of cultures in the world?

Why are there so many languages, even within small areas?

Why do we rejoice in rituals and wrap ourselves in flags?

In "Wired for Culture" Mark Pagel, the world's leading expert on human development, reveals how our facility for culture is the key to what makes us who we are.

Shedding light on everything from art, morality and affection to jealousy, self-interest and prejudice, Pagel shows that we developed culture - cooperating together and passing on knowledge - in order to survive.

Our minds are hardwired for culture, and it still determines how we speak, who we love, why we kill and what we think today. "Human evolution may be the hottest area in popular science writing.

Within this field, "Wired for Culture" stands out for both its sweeping erudition and its accessibility ...richly rewarding". ("Financial Times"). "Impressive for its detail, accuracy and vivacity". ("Guardian"). "Pioneering, vivid ...the best popular science book on culture so far". ("Nature").


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Social & cultural anthropology
  • ISBN: 9780141031606



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I really struggled with this book. It deals with the evolutionary aspects of cooperation and language and related issues; the author is an expert in the field, and it is a subject in which I have a strong interest.But the problem was in the writing. The author just fails to present his topic in a way that engages the mind of the reader. The logic fails to flow. There are no felicitous anecdotal examples that paint the picture.I found myself checking how many pages to the end of the chapter from about chapter 2. By the end I was skippy reading. It is sad. I'm sure the author is capable of a better book. But it wasn't this one.Read (mostly) Feb 2015.