A roving philosophical journey into what makes us human
In We, Hominids, one of Holland’s greatest non-fiction writers hunts down answers to humanity’s most fundamental questions: Who are we? What makes us different from animals? With an ancient skull as his starting point, he travels the globe, tracing the search for the first human being: the missing link between humans and apes.
Westerman introduces us to the world of skull hunters – leading experts in our fossil ancestry – and astutely reconsiders the work of illustrious anthropologists, in the light of new DNA technology and the rise of female scientists. In this utterly original book, Westerman discovers a plethora of origin hypotheses and shows how any theory of who we are and where we come from is coloured by the zeitgeist. He urges for a more critical approach, so that we are no longer doomed to continuously review what we think we know. Still, Westerman emphasises the importance of evidence: “The facts cling to me and I cling to the facts. I will continue to pick them up, turn them around and illuminate them with the headlamp of my imagination.”
We, Hominids is a compelling mixture of reportage, travelogue and essay – reminiscent of Bruce Chatwin or Ryszard Kapuściński – written by a brilliant storyteller and thinker.