St. Martin's Griffin
Featured in The Wall Street Journal and on ABC’s Nightline, Manthropology is an entertaining and surprising look at manliness
Anthropologist Peter McAllister set out to prove once and for all that man today is the best man who has ever lived. But to his disappointment, in nearly every category he examined modern man was beaten by his ancestors.
Manthropology, then, is a look at male achievement—and underachievement. It kicks off in Ice Age France, where McAllister proves how a Neanderthal woman could beat even today’s strongest strongman at arm wrestling. He looks at medieval Slavic poets who could take 50 Cent to school in a rap battle. And he takes readers to the jungles of Africa, where Aka Pygmy men have taken fatherhood to such extremes that they even grow breasts to suckle their children.
For the modern man, the results aren’t always pretty. But Manthropology is unfailingly smart and entertaining.
How Does Modern Man Stack Up?
Ultimate Fighters routinely end up on a blood-soaked canvas. But what would a match in the Octagon look like next to the bouts of Ancient Greece: a battleground or a playground? [Page 77]
A modern army goes into battle with state-of-the-art technology. But could they have beaten Nero’s legions, who marched fifty miles a day for six straight days—each soldier carrying a hundred-pound pack? [Page 99]
Wilt Chamberlain is known for scoring on the court and off. He claimed to have had as many as 20,000 sexual encounters. But that’s nothing compared to the 32 million people today all descended from just one conqueror. [Page 248]
If you really want to see the trouble modern men are in, just drop in on an action figure (definitely not action doll) convention such as, say, “JoeCon 25”—the 2007 gathering for collectors of Hasbro’s G.I. Joe. The pointers aren’t so much in the audience—those grinning Gen-Xers from across the country who bought the “American Hero” registration package and have now packed into the Atlanta Marriott atrium to await the forty-seven-floor parachute drop of three hundred eight-inch Cobra Red Ninja figurines. The