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Bones & Cannibalism

Roy A. Meals & Bill Schutt

Warwick’s presents
Roy A. Meals & Bill Schutt

Bones & Cannibalism

Thursday, October 22, 2020 - 4:00pm PDT

On Thursday, October 22nd at 4:00pm Warwick's will host Roy A. Meals and Bill Schutt as they discuss their books, Bones: Inside and Out and Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History. Roy A. Meals, MD, is a clinical professor of orthopedic surgery at UCLA. The author of several medical books, he has practiced, researched, and taught hand surgery for forty years.  He has served as president of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand and has also been on the editorial board of the Journal of Hand Surgery for most of his career. He lives in Los Angeles, California. Bill Schutt is a professor of biology at LIU Post and a research associate in residence at the American Museum of Natural History. He received his PhD in zoology from Cornell University and did his post-doctoral work at the AMNH, where he was a recipient of a Theodore Roosevelt Grant. His first book, Dark Banquet: Blood and the Curious Lives of Blood-Feeding Creatures, was selected as a Best Book of 2008 by Library Journal. Schutt lives with his family on Long Island.

About Bones: Inside and Out: Human bone is versatile and entirely unique: it repairs itself without scarring, it's lightweight but responds to stresses, and it's durable enough to survive for millennia. Meals explores and extols this amazing material that both supports and records vertebrate life. He examines the biological makeup of bones; demystifies how they grow, break, and heal; and compares the particulars of human bone to variations throughout the animal kingdom. In engaging and clear prose, he debunks familiar myths - humans don't have exactly 206 bones - and illustrates common bone diseases, like osteoporosis and arthritis, and their treatments. Along the way, he highlights the medical innovations - from the first X-rays to advanced operative techniques - that enhance our lives and introduces the giants of orthopedic surgery who developed them. With enthusiasm and humor, he also investigates the diverse roles bone has played in human culture throughout history. He highlights allusions to bone in religion and literature, from Adam's rib to Hamlet's skull, and uncovers its enduring presence as fossils, technological tools, and musical instruments ranging from the Tibetan thighbone kangling horn to everyday drumsticks. From the dawn of civilization through to the present day, humankind has repurposed bone to serve and protect, and even to teach, amuse, and inspire. Approachable and entertaining, this illustrated book richly illuminates our bodies' essential framework.

About Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History: For centuries, cannibalism has been written off as a bizarre phenomenon. Its presence in nature was dismissed as a desperate response to starvation or other life-threatening circumstances. In the mainstream world, it was sensationalized in horror movies and tabloids. But the true nature of cannibalism - the role it plays in evolution as well as human culture - is much more compelling. Schutt sets the record straight, debunking common myths and exploring the most remarkable aspects of anthropology, evolution, and biology in the most in depth and engaging history yet written about this fascinating behavior. He surveys the cutting-edge research, investigating such questions as why some amphibians consume their mother’s skin; why certain insects bite the heads off their partners after mating; why, up until the end of the twentieth century, Europeans regularly ingested human body parts as medical curatives; and how cannibalism might be linked to the extinction of Neanderthals. Schutt takes readers from Arizona’s Chiricahua Mountains, where he waded through ponds full of tadpoles devouring their own siblings, to the Sierra Nevadas, where he joined researchers whose scientific approach to the most infamous cannibalism-related event in American history has shed new light on what really happened to The Donner Party. Schutt even met with an expert on the preparation and consumption of human placenta (and, yes, he tried it himself!). On his journey, Schutt invites us to challenge our own preconceived notions about this perfectly natural behavior, and to open our minds to why it both scares and fascinates us.

Bones: Inside and Out Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9781324005322
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Please contact store to confirm availability)
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - October 20th, 2020

Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781616207434
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Please contact store to confirm availability)
Published: Algonquin Books - January 30th, 2018