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What’s our line?

Henry Gee, 27 January 1994

The Neandertals: Changing the Image of Mankind 
by Eric Trinkaus and Pat Shipman.
Cape, 454 pp., £20, April 1993, 0 224 03648 3
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In Search of the Neanderthals: Solving the Puzzle of Human Origins 
by Christopher Stringer and Clive Gamble.
Thames and Hudson, 247 pp., £18.95, May 1993, 0 500 05070 8
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Self-Made Man and His Undoing 
by Jonathan Kingdon.
Simon and Schuster, 369 pp., £20, March 1993, 0 671 71140 7
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... self-delusion in vogue at any given moment. This is the theme that preoccupies Eric Trinkaus and Pat Shipman in their account of how the image of the Neanderthals has evolved over the years since their discovery. The Neandertals is thoroughly readable, in the breathless style native to American science journalism. Inevitably in a book of this ...
African Exodus: The Origins of Modern Humanity 
by Chris Stringer and Robin McKie.
Cape, 267 pp., £18.99, March 1996, 0 224 03771 4
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Humans before Humanity 
by Robert Foley.
Blackwell, 238 pp., £25, December 1995, 0 631 17087 1
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The Day before Yesterday: Five Million Years of Human History 
by Colin Tudge.
Cape, 390 pp., £18.99, January 1996, 0 224 03772 2
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The Wisdom of Bones: In Search of Human Origins 
by Alan Walker and Pat Shipman.
Weidenfeld, 270 pp., £18.99, April 1996, 0 297 81670 5
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The Neanderthal Enigma: Solving the Mystery of Modern Human Origins 
by James Shreeve.
Viking, 369 pp., £20, May 1996, 0 670 86638 5
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... Humanity is fissile: everywhere it goes, it forms clans, Yoruba and Yanomamo, Mods and Rockers; so powerful is the urge to diverge, even shared ethnicity is optional. No wonder humanity is so hard to define. Taxonomy, designed to resolve such issues, is helpless where it matters most. Every species of animal and plant is uniquely defined as such on the basis of an objective description of its form and habits ...

The Wickedest Woman in Paris

Colm Tóibín, 6 September 2007

Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins 
by Rupert Everett.
Abacus, 406 pp., £7.99, July 2007, 978 0 349 12058 4
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... and began to sing protest songs between scenes. ‘There are limits!’ said Freddy [Piers Flint-Shipman, one of the other actors], when ‘Lemon Tree, Very Pretty’ began. Colin was visibly pained by our superficiality. Later, Rupert got further revenge when he worked with Firth on The Importance of Being Earnest. ‘As part of my research, I was smoking ...

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