Feb 4, 2014

Book Review: The Story of Human Body by Daniel Lieberman

The Story of Human Body: Evolution, Heath and Disease by Daniel Lieberman was waiting for me in my bookshelf for a month. I really looked forward to this book. So much that I had to hurry with previous books, to get this started. It turned out to be an excellent book, just different way that I had imagined.

Daniel Lieberman is professor of biological sciences and the chair of department of Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University. This gives him the credibility that is needed to write about evolution, which has many aspects that have to be guessed. Basically only bones, some tools and DNA we have left from old generations to study the evolution, but still there needs to be much speculation about behavior and other body parts to tell the full story. I believe in these days, Daniel Lieberman is the man who can make the best guesses.

I have to admit, that I looked forward to this book from few articles and videos from Daniel Lieberman about barefoot running. I guess I'm not the only one, since that's the part that made him famous to non-biologists. This book is so much more than barefoot running. From 350 pages, there's about 10 pages about barefoot running. When I realized that, I felt bit disappointed, but the book turned out to be full gold. It will definitely be one of those books that made me understand the world and myself much better in the future.

The book goes through the whole human evolution starting from the time bit earlier than we divided from the apes. It goes through all the sides of the story. It really digs deep on what happened and why it happened. Then the book walks from times before homo sapiens through hunter gatherers to farming and also to the cultural evolution what we are facing currently. It is a story all of us should know.

Then at final part of the book, it goes through why we are fat, why we are sick and why we die on cancer and heart diseases. It opened my eyes to really understand what we should be doing to keep healthy. I feel currently that this book changed my life forever, but of course I can't be sure.

Unfortunately book isn't easy to digest reading. It requires concentration and interest towards the topic. It is longish book, but it is full of excellent and important information. I recommend it to everyone. With some of the thoughts in this book, we could improve so many lifes. I am realistic and know that too few will ever read this. I'm so happy that I did.

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

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