Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors

Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors

Cosmos, the widely acclaimed book and television series by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan, was about where we are in the vastness of space and time. Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors is an exploration of who we are. How were we shaped by life's adventure on this planet, by a mysterious past that we are only just beginning to piece together? "We humans are like a newborn baby left on a doorstep, " they write, "with no note explaining who it is, where it came from, what hereditary cargo of attributes and disabilities it might be carrying, or who its antecedents might be." This book is one version of the orphan's file. Sagan and Druyan take us back to the birth of the Sun and its planets and the first stirrings of life; to the origins of traits central to our current predicament: sex and violence, love and altruism, hierarchy, consciousness, language, technology, and morality. Many thoughtful people fear that our problems have become too big for us, that we are for reasons at the heart of human nature unable to deal with them, that we have lost our way. How did we get into this mess? How can we get out? Why are we so quick to mistrust those different from ourselves, so given to unquestioning obedience to authority? What is male and female? Why are we so anxious to distance ourselves from the other animals? What obligations, if any, do we owe to them? Is there something within us that condemns us to selfishness and violence? When Sagan and Druyan first undertook this exploration it was "almost with a sense of dread. We found instead reason for hope." This book presents important ideas with the clarity for which the authors are famous. Daring, passionate, with a breathtaking sweep. Shadows is a quest for a new perspective - one that integrates the insights of science into a vision of where we came from, who we are, and what our fate might be.

Title:Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors
ISBN:9780345384720
Format Type:

    Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors Reviews

  • Bakari

    This is the fourteenth book I've read for my 52 in 52 project, and it's the only one so far that I finished reading in about one day. Saying that I could hardly put the book down is pretty accurate. B...

  • Jordan

    This was an excellent book. I've been a big fan of Carl Sagan for the last couple of years now, he's a very good writer and scientist. It's amazing to me that despite how old his work is, it's still c...

  • Diane S ?

    3.5 thoughts soon....

  • Al Rankin

    Carl Sagan forever lays to rest any doubts I had that Christianity and all religions in general are frauds, fakes, and myths. The need to grovel before imaginary gods and the need to have some of thos...

  • Kevin Cecil

    Carl Sagan is my Jesus....

  • Tanja Berg

    This book is written to put human beings in their right place in the animal kingdom. It spans creation of earth, evolution and is a solid attempt at explaining how it is that we are the way we are. It...

  • Yaru Lin

    If intelligence is our most marked distinction, then all the more reason there is to to acknowledge the more savage sides of our primate nature and how our social configurations have evolved to contai...

  • Timothy Davis

    After I read The Dragons of Eden, I learned that Carl Sagan explored more than cosmology. He also explored evolutionary biology-stimulated by his wife, the biologist Ann Druyan. Shadows of Forgotten A...

  • mark

    Shadows Of Forgotten Ancestors: A search for who we are (1992) Carl Sagan and Ann DruyanCarl Sagan and his wife attempt to inform “we” (humans) as to just who we are, how we came to be here, and w...

  • Lord_Humungus

    Review in English and Spanish (below):Somewhat disappointing, I'm afraid. How you like a book depends a lot on how old you are when you read it and what books have you previously read.Carl Sagan is pr...