In Catching Fire, one of the most ambitious arguments about human evolution since Darwin's Descent of Man, renowned primatologist Richard Wrangham makes the claim that learning to cook food was the hinge on which human evolution turned. Eating cooked food, he argues, enabled us to evolve our large brains, and cooking itself became a primary focus of human social activity--in short, cooking made us the social, intelligent, and sexual species we are today. Path-breaking and provocative, Catching Fire will fascinate anyone interested in our ancient origins--or in our modern eating habits.
"Catching Fire is convincing in argument and impressive in its explanatory power. A rich and important book." --Michael Pollan, author of In Defense of Food and The Omnivore's Dilemma
"This is a daringly unorthodox book, and one that might just transform the way we understand ourselves." --Sunday Times (UK)
"The ambition of Wrangham's theory gives it great appeal: Cooking is a powerful biological force and the universal activity around which the rest of human history--the households and tribes, the migrations and wars, the religion and science--arranged itself. But the added treat of the I-cook-therefore-I-am idea is the counterintuitive light it sheds on one of our most intense cultural preoccupations--living the right life by eating naturally." --Slate
"An exhilarating book." --The Times (UK)
"A cogent and compelling argument." --Washington Post
"Absolutely fascinating." --Nigella Lawson