by Robin Dunbar

Harvard University Press, $27.95, 302 pages

Author Robin Dunbar is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Liverpool. The catchy and clever title of his book refers to Dunbar’s Number, 150, which is understood to be the number of people any one person is able to interact with in their lives. These 150 friendships range from intensely personal in nature to people you might only know on sight. The ideas discussed only begin with Dunbar’s Number and extend through all human behavior, comparing it to that of animals and commenting on the evolutionary significance. This and other aspects of the unique human mind are further discussed in terms of archaeology, psychology, philosophy, sociology, geography, anthropology, and the cognitive and evolutionary sciences.

|The author has created this volume from a series of popular science articles he wrote for New Scientist magazine and also for the Scotsman newspaper, all between the years of 1994 and 2008, making this some of the most current research available. It is an entertaining as well as informative read.

Reviewed by Rosalie West