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Mother Nature: Maternal Instincts and How They Shape the Human Species (英語) ペーパーバック – 2000/9/5

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Maternal instinct--the all-consuming, utterly selfless love that mothers lavish on their children--has long been assumed to be an innate, indeed defining element of a woman's nature. But is it? In this provocative, groundbreaking book, renowned anthropologist (and mother) Sarah Blaffer Hrdy shares a radical new vision of motherhood and its crucial role in human evolution.

Hrdy strips away stereotypes and gender-biased myths to demonstrate that traditional views of maternal behavior are essentially wishful thinking codified as objective observation. As Hrdy argues, far from being "selfless," successful primate mothers have always combined nurturing with ambition, mother love with sexual love, ambivalence with devotion. In fact all mothers, in the struggle to guarantee both their own survival and that of their offspring, deal nimbly with competing demands and conflicting strategies.

In her nuanced, stunningly original interpretation of the relationships between mothers and fathers, mothers and babies, and mothers and their social groups, Hrdy offers not only a revolutionary new meaning to motherhood but an important new understanding of human evolution. Written with grace and clarity, suffused with the wisdom of a long and distinguished career, Mother Nature is a profound contribution to our understanding of who we are as a species--and why we have become this way.


"Sarah Hrdy's magisterial survey of childbearing through the ages sets a new standard for the graceful blending of scholarship, field research and personal experience. As meticulously documented as the book is, it never loses the human touch...Mother Nature is one of those landmark books that forces you to rethink everything you thought you knew about human nature..."
-- San Francisco Chronicle

"This is a superb book. It is beautifully and clearly written, by one of the nation's leading primatologists and sociobiologists, without sacrificing intellectual rigor; it is the best introduction I know to both fields. It establishes more convincingly than any other work with which I am familiar the relevance of the study of (other) primates and of human evolution, to urgent current issues of public policy involving women, children, and the family."
-- Richard Posner, Chief Judge, US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

"A magnificent synthesis of ideas about motherhood, this is a book brimming with warmth, wisdom, and wit. It is not easy in a polarised academic world to keep a foot in the feminist camp and another in evolutionary psychology, nor to bridge the arts and sciences so effortlessly. But Sarah Blaffer Hrdy achieves these feats."
-- Matt Ridley, author of The Origins of Virtue : Human Instincts and the Evolution of Cooperation

"Hrdy has given us a truly monumental work, as elegant as it is insightful. It took a woman scientist to find the rightful place of our species in the matrix of the animal kingdom, and Hrdy has done so brilliantly. This is by no means the usual psychobabble or hodge podge of animal behavior that other authors so often use to define us -- here is a clear and telling examination of a hitherto almost unknown organism -- the human female. Any woman wanting to know who she really is will find out in the pages of this tremendously important work of real science by a real scientist."
-- Elizabeth Marshall Thomas

"This is a brilliant, liberating book on a profoundly important subject. Sarah Hrdy, the leading scientific authority on motherhood, is also, to the benefit of us all, one of the best stylists now writing on any subject in science."
-- E.O. Wilson

"Mother Nature is a pioneering reassessment of key assumptions in debates about human evolution. By demonstrating how female strategies as mates and mothers have shaped the evolutionary process throughout nature, Hrdy succeeds in overturning some of the most entrenched theories in this scientific domain. A worthy companion to Darwin's Descent of Man, and an endlessly fascinating read, Mother Nature reflects a lifetime of bold research and judicious thought by one of the foremost primatologists of our day."
-- Frank Sulloway

"Mother Nature is a stunning achievement. The book reveals the highest scholarship with an unparalleled breadth in the use of the comparative method. Hrdy expertly uses the comparative method. Hrdy expertly uses the comparative method to illustrate her points by contrasting biology and behavior across species and orders, and by making full use of human variation both through evolutionary and historical time and across space and cultures. This book is a very accessible, scientific discussion of the evolutionary history of maternal care written by a first rate scientist."--Jane B. Lancaster, Editor of Human Nature

"By demolishing superstitions that have long clouded our true natures, Sarah Hrdy shows how knowledge may be our best tool for achieving justice among women, men, and the generations that follow. Clear-eyed science can equip us for this liberating journey, far better than any rigid ideology. Mother Nature takes us one bold step along that road."
-- David Brin, author of Glory Season and The Transparent Society

"This is a deep and brilliant work, a masterful account of mother nature and the nature of motherhood, with a superb selection of photos, built on a powerful logic by someone who easily and clearily sees life both from the inside and the outside."
-- Robert Trivers, Professor of Anthropology and Biological Sciences, Rutgers University


  • ペーパーバック: 752ページ
  • 出版社: Ballantine Books (2000/9/5)
  • 言語: 英語
  • ISBN-10: 0345408934
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345408938
  • 発売日: 2000/9/5
  • 商品パッケージの寸法: 15.4 x 3.2 x 23.3 cm
  • おすすめ度: 5つ星のうち 3.5  レビューをすべて見る (2件のカスタマーレビュー)
  • Amazon ベストセラー商品ランキング: 洋書 - 166,123位 (洋書のベストセラーを見る)
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5つ星のうち 3.5


4 人中、4人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。 投稿者 shorebird 投稿日 2003/8/11
形式: ハードカバー
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フィードバックありがとうございました。 このレビューが不適切である場合は、当社までお知らせください。
投稿者 シン 投稿日 2015/3/1
形式: ペーパーバック Amazonで購入
 個人的な感想ではあるが、多岐にわたることがかえって論点を鮮明にすることを妨げていると思う。せっかちだとの非難を恐れずに言えば、で何が言いたいの? と言いたくなる個所が多く見られる。本を厚くするためとは考えたくないが、論点をもっと簡潔にしてほしかった。
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Amazon.com で最も参考になったカスタマーレビュー (beta)

Amazon.com: 51 件のカスタマーレビュー
44 人中、41人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
I have been recommending this book to everyone 2000/7/13
投稿者 S. Kruger - (Amazon.com)
形式: ハードカバー
As a wildlife biologist by training, I have often been leery of sociobiologists and the analogies they draw between human behavior and that of, say, ducks. With this in mind, I devoured this book until I had to return it to the library. I then haunted the library until it had gone through all 13 holds before I could get it back, several months later. Sarah Blaffer Hrdy takes a cross-cultural, historical and biological look at human and primate mothers. She makes it very clear that humans have used many, many ways to solve problems of childcare and the conflicts for resources between mothers and their infants and other older children. She uses other primate species not as proof of human ways so much as to re-evaluate and reflect on those human ways. She is a biologist, and she is very clear about not confusing what some primates do as proof for what humans do, whether closely or distantly related. "Mother Nature" gave me great insight into my relationship with my mother, my two younger brothers, my male partner, and my decision to delay reproduction. I enjoy my designation as an "allo-mother" (someone other than the mother who helps with childcare), and am pleased to learn that the level of protectiveness that I feel for the girls and young women in my Girl Scout troops have been biologically based: those who care for children, beyond the birth mothers, will have elevated levels of the hormone prolactin. I find it fascinating that my enjoyment of environmental education has a biological base!
This book also elevated my concern for the girls I work with who are teens, coming from teen mothers (who also came from teen mothers), who seem to be fast careening towards motherhood without the resources and the patience that are critical to successful rearing of children. I liked her discussion of how girls change from pre-adolescence to adolesence in foraging societies: The pre-adolescents are the girls who are more interested in learning childcare, as opposed to the adolescents, who are more interested in dating. Anecdotally, I would confirm this! In foraging societies, girls do not gain enough fat until their late adolescence to their early twenties, and thus they do not reproduce as early as their well-fed American counterparts. For me, this is all the more reason to take measures to mentor kids, so that they have children when they will it and are ready, rather than simply because they may be biologically capable of it.
22 人中、21人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
A brilliant, must-read synthesis 2000/9/20
投稿者 Judith L. Latta - (Amazon.com)
形式: ハードカバー
The reader of Mother Nature is in for a thorough treat. In its most fundamental essentials, the game of life comes down to competitive reproduction: which individuals--which lineages--produce the most young that also survive and reproduce. Sara Hrdy presents fascinating facts relating to motherhood, many little known or appreciated, that reveals the essentials of the human struggle to produce offspring and keep them alive. How has striving for power and status by females been critical to the survival of their lineages? Why does breast-feeding prevent pregnancy sometimes but not others? What about genetic changes affecting reproductive behavior in humans? There have been roughly 400 generations of humans since the Neolithic, and it has been proven (in fish, for example) that significant evolutionary changes can occur in the DNA of a species in only 40 generations; what sorts of changes may have occurred in reproducing humans? What are the causes of infanticide, by males and mothers? By presenting the research behind such facts in roughly historical sequence and because of her personal acquaintance with many of the primary researchers and theoreticians, readers get not only answers to the questions, but a wonderful sense of how science works and a feeling for the personalities who have toiled to find the truth as opposed to myth. SEX: Is it true that "Women are from Venus. Men are from Mars?" Hrdy's brilliant synthesis of over a hundred years of primarily biological and anthropological study explains how and why this catchy generalization does capture deep truth about the sexes. CHILDREN: Ever wanted to know what children need--what your child needs bare minimum--to grow into a confident caring adult with maximum potential for emotional and intellectual achievement? Assumptions of the past suggest the answer is a selfless, utterly devoted and caring mother. And we know what guilt is heaped on the head of any parent who even suspects he or she is denying this full-time, selfless sort of caretaking. But the answer, arduously won by the labors of hundreds if not thousands of biologists and anthropologists and explained by Hrdy with charming wit and style, is both astonishing and liberating. Here are three pivotal quotes: "All early caregivers become the emotional equivalent of kin." (p. 509) "Caretakers need not be the mother, or even one person, but they have to be the same caretakers." (p. 508, emphasis mine). "Any (committed) caretaker is capable of communicating the message infants desperately seek--'You are wanted and will not be set aside.'" (p. 509) Much of the book is an explanation and exploration of the basis for these provocative generalizations. If we want to create a social environment that is baby-friendly and human-friendly, what are the required fundamental ingredients for such a social world? If the goal is confident and caring adults, then Mother Nature is an extraordinary synthesis that, in my view, makes the outline of these needed ingredients quite clear. So the question now becomes, have we the will to provide the incentives--laws and resources--that will allow us to fill in the details and then act to move us toward that desired outcome? Mother Nature is a "must read" for anyone concerned with childhood and human development.
43 人中、38人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
Breathtaking 1999/11/25
投稿者 カスタマー - (Amazon.com)
形式: ハードカバー
Fantastic book that combines science with literature, history, HUMOR (great illustrations), personal stories, feminist critique, science critique, speculation, political polemic, and weird facts. I especially recommend the book for people interested in biology, history of humanity, feminism, and parenting. Hrdy is sure to win a major award for this book. I read every page.
40 人中、35人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
Factual, yet personal 2000/1/20
投稿者 カスタマー - (Amazon.com)
形式: ハードカバー
It's odd that some reviewers see this as an example of a feminist ignoring and bending facts to support feminist theory. I thought the author presented quite strong criticisms of feminism (for example, feminist claims that nursing is a socially constructed activity). In addition, one of the main points I took away from the book was decidedly UN-feminist: that male humans have been genetically selected to be LESS inclined to care for children than women are, because they can't be certain that any given child is really theirs. In contrast, since a woman knows that her child really is her child, she is MORE biologically inclined to care for it (depending on the circumstances, as Hrdy goes into at length). It did seem that Hrdy was herself not pleased with this conclusion, but discussed the issue at length nonetheless.
47 人中、40人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
The dominant paradigm takes a hit in the hypothalamus 2000/1/6
投稿者 A. P. Larson - (Amazon.com)
形式: ハードカバー
At long last, a book on the nurturing impulse has been written without sentimentality or wishful thinking. Blaffer Hrdy brings her scientific training, intellectual drive, and obvious warmth and humor to this project. If you're a woman who values your full human potential as much as, or more, than your ability to populate, and if anyone has ever tried to make you feel guilty about such an "unnatural" set of priorities, this is the book for you. Especially valuable is Blaffer Hrdy's openly avowed love for her spouse and children; it serves to remind the reader that you're not reading a political manifesto, but deeply thought-out, sensible scholarship by a caring, gifted individual. If you're looking for slick excuses for your point of view, whatever it is, don't look here. If you seek understanding of what you are -- and what we all are -- then read this enjoyable book. Anyone who wants children certainly should.
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