"'Culture is the secret of humanity’s success' sounds like the most vapid possible thesis. The Secret Of Our Success by anthropologist Joseph Henrich manages to be an amazing book anyway."
—Scott Alexander, Slate Star Codex
"Henrich presents a compelling case along with a thoroughly engaging read... This view of cultural evolution joins a growing chorus, along with some proponents of developmental biology, niche construction, and epigenetic inheritance, that challenges the received view of evolution."
—Jason Zinser, The Quarterly Review of Biology
"The title, The Secret of Our Success, may lead this book be mistaken for a self-help manual... But this is a far more serious book with a far larger canvas."
"The Secret of Our Success is a marvellous book, destined to become a core text in human evolution studies and to establish its author as an important contemporary thinker."
—Kevin N. Laland & Luke Rendell, Trends in Ecology & Evolution
"In The Secret of Our Success, Henrich . . . draws on the latest findings in anthropology, linguistics, behavioral economics and psychology, and evolutionary biology, to present a provocative alternative to the standard narrative about evolution. . . . Henrich’s book is immensely ambitious, informative, and important."
—Glenn Altschuler, Psychology Today
"Limber and lucid."
— Barbara Kiser, Nature "Books in Brief"
"Mind-stretching. . . . Henrich’s book will take you on a prodigious journey through human nature and society."
—Alun Anderson, New Scientist
"[I]ntriguing and paradoxical."
—Brian Gallagher, Nautilus
"Joseph Henrich . . . offers a compelling and comprehensive answer in his exceptional new book The Secret of Our Success: How Culture is Driving Human Evolution, Domesticating Our Species, and Making Us Smarter. It is an intellectual tour-de-force that offers an overview for the field of cultural evolution."
—Joe Brewer, This View of Life blog
"Culture sits upon a foundation of genetics and biology but is separate from it. Joseph Henrich wanted to upend this conventional narrative. . . . The implications of this new, continuing narrative for the way we think about people, societies, and even companies are both subtle and significant."
—David K. Hurst, Strategy + Business
"[A] pleasure for the biologically and scientifically inclined."
"The Secret of Our Success is a tour-de-force and a significant advancement of social science."
—Darwinian Business blog
Henrich presents a compelling case along with a thoroughly engaging read... This view of cultural evolution joins a growing chorus, along with some proponents of developmental biology, niche construction, and epigenetic inheritance, that challenges the received view of evolution."
—Jason Zinser, The Quarterly Review of Biology
"Henrich posits a unique approach to understanding human behavior, not in purely evolutionary terms, but as a process of cultural evolution."
—Jim Hahn, Library Journal
"I thought I understood cultural evolution. But in his new book, The Secret of Our Success, Joseph Henrich schooled me. I felt like I learned more from his book than from the last dozen books I’ve read."
—Robin Hanson, Overcoming Bias blog
" [C]hallenges commonly-held assumptions... The reading is long, but worth every page."
—Pedro De Abreu, on Medium
"[A] superbly thought provoking book, one that is far-ranging, frequently persuasive, and sneakily radical."
—Daniel Kelly & Patrick Hoburg, Philosophical Psychology
"Henrich confidently marches through topics from psychology and social learning to cognition, cooperation, incest taboos, menopause, religion, endurance running, morphological evolution and genetic adaptation... He describes this work clearly and in a manner that is understandable to casual readers while at the same time being a useful resource for students and researchers."
—Mark Pagel, Current Biology
"[A] masterpiece of original thought – every page pulses with fresh insights, superbly integrating across the life sciences in a coherent and compelling narrative."
" [The Secret of Our Success] succeeds in giving an exciting glimpse of the rapidly expanding academic literature on cultural evolution and will be sure to attract new enthusiasts to the topic."
—Ellen Clarke & Cecilia Hayes, Biology & Philosophy
"Social science is at the cusp of a revolution, incorporating a better understanding of how our capabilities and culture have evolved and how the interplay of social and political choices shape human experiences. Joseph Henrich has been at the forefront of this more holistic social science. In this wonderfully readable book, Henrich shows how our species is special and how our practices, beliefs, and instincts have emerged because of our cultural learning. This must-read book will be cherished and consulted for its ideas and insights.”
—Daron Acemoglu, coauthor of Why Nations Fail
“A delightful and engaging expedition into and all around the many different processes of genetic and cultural evolution that have made humans such ‘a puzzling primate.’”
—Michael Tomasello, codirector of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
“Joseph Henrich has written a magnificent book. With verve and clarity he sets out a compelling theory of the interactions between genes and culture, and defends the theory with a remarkable range of evidence from fields as varied as history, primatology, neuroscience, and the science of sport. This book provides an enthralling account of the secret of our success.”
—Stephen Stich, Rutgers University
“The Secret of Our Success provides a valuable new perspective on major issues in human evolution and behavior. Bringing together topics from such diverse areas as economics, psychology, neuroscience, and archaeology, this book will provoke vigorous debates and will be widely read.”
—Alex Mesoudi, Durham University
“Is the ability to acquire highly evolved culture systems like languages and technologies the secret of humans’ success as a species? This book convinces us that the answer is emphatically ‘yes.’ Moving beyond the sterile nature-nurture debates of the past, Joseph Henrich demonstrates that culture—as much a part of our biology as our legs—is an evolutionary system that works by tinkering with our innate capacities over time.”
—Peter J. Richerson, University of California, Davis
“In this accessible, authoritative book, Joseph Henrich explains why culture is essential for understanding human evolution. It is a must-read for anybody curious about why we are the way we are.”
—Robert Boyd, coauthor of How Humans Evolved