In 1871 Charles Darwin published pretty much his first and last word about human evolution: The Descent of Man. It’s a marvelous, but sometimes maddening book. Darwin did a remarkably good job of hypothesizing how humans evolved, especially when you consider that barely any hominid fossils had yet been found. But Darwin packed the book with detail, a lot of it having to do with all sorts of animals other than Homo sapiens. I’ve selected some key portions of the book for what I and my publisher are calling “the concise edition.” Admittedly, at 448 pages it may not immediately conjure up the word concise, but the full book is many hundreds of pages longer. Also bear in mind that this edition also contains commentary I’ve written for each section, in which I put the book in its historical context and reflect on how recent discoveries have either supported or overturned Darwin’s arguments. And to top it off, it comes with a forward by noted primatologist Frans de Waal.