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Summary

A bold, provocative exploration of the tension between our evolutionary history and our modern woes and what we can do about it.

We are living through the most prosperous age in all of human history, yet we are listless, divided and miserable. Wealth and comfort are unparalleled, but our political landscape is unmoored, and rates of suicide, loneliness and chronic illness continue to skyrocket. How do we explain the gap between these truths? And how should we respond?

For evolutionary biologists Heather Heying and Bret Weinstein, the cause of our woes is clear: the modern world is out of sync with our ancient brains and bodies. We evolved to live in clans, but today many people don't even know their neighbours' names. Survival in our earliest societies depended on living in harmony with nature, but today the food we eat, the work we do, even the light we absorb is radically different from what our minds and bodies evolved to expect.

In this book, Heying and Weinstein draw on decades of their work teaching in college classrooms and exploring earth's most biodiverse ecosystems to confront today's pressing social ills from widespread sleep deprivation and dangerous diets to damaging parenting styles and backward education practices. A Hunter-Gatherer's Guide to the 21st Century outlines science-based worldview that will empower you to live a better, wiser life.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2021 Heather Heying (P)2021 Faber Audio

What listeners say about A Hunter-Gatherer’s Guide to the 21st Century

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More of the same

One morning, on a mild October day, I sat down to do some design work as I often do and decided to start listening to this book. By the end of that same day I had finished the book without once wanting to remove my earpieces (except for meals, toilet breaks and a short walk when the sun appeared for about an hour at 2pm). You might think that such a response would constitute a 5 star review across the board. However, I can say that I have been a great fan of Heather and Bret for a long time and have particularly enjoyed every episode of their Darkhorse podcast. In light of this, it seems my excitement for this book was slightly overhyped... but that is entirely my own fault. If you already know Bret and Heathers way then there is nothing revelatory, new or astonishing in this book. It is more of the same (and that is by no means a bad thing!) their clear cutting, well analysed and prudently applied evolutionary lens is always a treat to behold. So if you want more of the same, plus some touching stories from their past, then this book is most likely tailored for you. If on the other hand you are not familiar with the biological power-couple. Then I implore you - read this book. The evolutionary lens is one of several spyglass' supreme through which everyone needs to be able to peep... in short, this book is a must.

32 people found this helpful

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Do not recommend

Evolutionary psychology is not scientifically legit. Plus a lot of agenda pushing. Returned.
...and I hate "niche" pronounced like this.

20 people found this helpful

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Excellent material but reading is too fast.

Excellent very educational material but the authors reading is too fast to have time to digest interesting material

16 people found this helpful

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half-baked ev psych ideas and preachy advice

I really wanted to like this book. But it was mostly preachy advice on how to be more like the authors.

12 people found this helpful

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Thought provoking and enjoyable

Outstanding and brave book. It opens many topics that others avoid. What it also brings is a scientific and evidence research. That explains in details many phenomenas discussed in this book. Another interesting angle is the fact both authors travelled together to parts of the world that are not usually frequented by tourists and documented the wisdom and observations. Nice work, thank you Heather & Bret.

12 people found this helpful

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Pseudoscientific nonsense

Sounds sciencey but in fact it’s not. Don’t give these people your hard earned money.

10 people found this helpful

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Gets a little preachy

Some good aspects and challenges the modern world.

However, not enough “science” evidence to back up some pretty big statements when dismissing some lifestyle choices/decisions. Definitely gets a little preachy as it does on.

9 people found this helpful

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Timely and Much Needed

Very pertinent and logically argued. We are going to need many more works like this if we are to overcome the suicide cult of modernity and consumerism. Well done Heather and Bret.

On a technical note I think audio books are always better when read by professional voice over artists. Mostly because in the war of ideas, though it pains my greatly to admit it, modern sapiens have been conditioned to respond more favourablely to neutral accents, and I would want as many people as possible to hear your arguments.

8 people found this helpful

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refreshingly free of political ideology

teaching you how to think instead of what to think - a must read

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Utter pseudoscience and misinformation

In the first 10 minutes of so I am slapped in the face with transphobia, but I decided to ignore it in hopes of having misunderstood it. Then we get various sciency-sounding theories presented as facts that may sound convincing to the laymen, but in reality they are simply conspiracy theories believed by no reputable scientists.
I should've checked out Heying's Wiki page before, to see her previous involvement in "scientific" activities such as anti-vaccination Covid misinformation.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Emily Munton
  • 03-02-22

Connecting with our true selves

On beginning to eat carnivore about 18 months ago, I sensed that emulating the diet of my ancestors reflected more accurate nutrition for me - a human animal. This led to several benefits: 20 kgs of weight loss, resolution of lymphodema, and a significant reduction in anxiety.

I began to wonder about purpose and if it could link back to these ancestral roots. How men would gather on the adventure of hunting - the risk and the reward, the provision for the group and the deep appreciation of life and death. The women who would gather, create hearth and home and raise children in community.

The dramatic difference between this historical base and our lonely lives today - often isolated in single parent households, in small apartments is striking. It is little wonder that football games have become a proxy for the hunt and why so much emotion is invested in the outcome.

It is essential to recognise our roots and to begin to reintegrate elements of our past into our present. Our kids need to run bare foot on the earth and eat more meat and animal fat. They do indeed need to play, role play, explore and take risks. They need to join scouts, we need to hike and hunt and preserve and expand natural environments.

Thanks Heather and Brett.

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  • Aleksandar Bozic
  • 05-10-21

Would Strongly Recommend

Heather has a much nicer voice than Bret but great to listen to still.
More books like this need to be popularised.