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Publisher's Summary

Although we usually think of technology as something unique to modern times, our ancestors began to create the first technologies millions of years ago in the form of prehistoric tools and weapons. Over time, eight key technologies gradually freed us from the limitations of our animal origins.

The fabrication of weapons, the mastery of fire, and the technologies of clothing and shelter radically restructured the human body, enabling us to walk upright, shed our body hair, and migrate out of tropical Africa. Symbolic communication transformed human evolution from a slow biological process into a fast cultural process. The invention of agriculture revolutionized the relationship between humanity and the environment, and the technologies of interaction led to the birth of civilization. Precision machinery spawned the industrial revolution and the rise of nation-states; and in the next metamorphosis, digital technologies may well unite all of humanity for the benefit of future generations.

Synthesizing the findings of primatology, paleontology, archeology, history, and anthropology, Richard Currier reinterprets and retells the modern narrative of human evolution that began with the discovery of Lucy and other Australopithecus fossils. But the same forces that allowed us to integrate technology into every aspect of our daily lives have also brought us to the brink of planetary catastrophe. Unbound explains both how we got here and how human society must be transformed again to achieve a sustainable future.

Technology: "The deliberate modification of any natural object or substance with forethought to achieve a specific end or to serve a specific purpose."

©2015 Richard L. Currier (P)2015 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Unbound

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Start at Chapter 8

unless you are an anthropologist, the book is dry until chapter 8... then it gets relevant and interesting in a way that can be applied to our current day life. the title "Unbound" made me think the book would be a bit more entertaining. a more appropriate title may have been, "The history and evolution of mankind". Very well researched by an obvious pro.

3 people found this helpful

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Good facts, not much else

This is the book Jared Diamond would have written, had Jared Diamond been deprived of vision or originality. It covers the cultural and, to a significant degree, the physical evolution of hominids from earlier life forms till the hopes and fears of the future. It is a successful compilation of good information and accepted theory, with a lot of well articulated declarations of the obvious, and, here and there, some juicy surprises. But lacking is any interesting focus or vision, other than, if we choose wisely, we can survive; if not... well, you know. It's the grandeur of human evolution in pedestrian wrap. I learned many good things, but I wish there had been more.

6 people found this helpful

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Interesting but not mind blowing

I was hoping for more, it was neat but I didn't have any goosebump moments

2 people found this helpful

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Did we need another white cis western history?

Casually Misogynistic. Western white biased version of the linear progression of human history that ignores major contributions of other cultures. (Like the old trope of Gutenberg being the spark of the Renaissance, not all the displaced Jews in Venice translating Arabic texts on mathematics, science, & Ancient Greek)

1 person found this helpful

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Missing an important fact

This book is very interesting and enlightening. However, he speaks of the rise of pollution and mentions the causes - plastic, fossil fuel consumption, deforestation. He does not even mention animal agriculture, that is a leading cause for environmental catastrophe.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Very good until the last two chapters.

The author assumes, in the last two chapters, that in the past, and in
some future "global culture", that people will have no problems maintaining their family, clan, tribal, village, and regional identities.

What fantasy history has he been reading? In the last several centuries, Eurocentric cultures have been diligently attempting to 'civilize' innumerable clans, tribes and entire nations.
It seems to be in the nature of most dominant cultures to assume that they are the best culture, and to convert others to that belief at gunpoint.

1 person found this helpful

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Should be renamed intro to anthropology

Very basic information. Nothing anyone who ever took an intro to Anthropology class covering early humans wouldn’t have learned.

1 person found this helpful

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Irritatingly tedious

the narrator sounds like an asperger stilted person . it's impossible to listen to. there is no flow it's way too choppy .it offends the mind.
the author is only reiterating that which we already know and offers no solutions. he's a fear monger only.

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Worthwhile

Thought provoking, in that you realize how impactful certain events in history have Ben. And an easy listen, which I appreciate more and more.

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Early chapters better than later chapters

A little preachy in the later chapters and a lot less well organized than I'd expected from a book that purports to follow a chronologically-based list format. I enjoyed the early chapters on early modern humans because that's where my current interest lies more than the later chapters.