Alcoholism, as opposed to the safe consumption of alcohol, remains a major public health issue. In this accessible book, Robert Dudley presents an intriguing evolutionary interpretation to explain the persistence of alcohol-related problems. Providing a deep-time, interdisciplinary perspective on today’s patterns of alcohol consumption and abuse, Dudley traces the link between the fruit-eating behavior of arboreal primates and the evolution of the sensory skills required to identify ripe and fermented fruits that contain sugar and low levels of alcohol. In addition to introducing this new theory of the relationship of humans to alcohol, the book discusses the supporting research, implications of the hypothesis, and the medical and social impacts of alcoholism.
The Drunken Monkey is designed for interested readers, scholars, and students in comparative and evolutionary biology, biological anthropology, medicine, and public health.
"Persuasive and engaging."—Library Journal
"Well constructed and clearly written."—Nature
"The well-organized, highly informative, and lucidly detailed work is an example of excellent scientific writing."—CHOICE
List of Illustrations
2. The Fruits of Fermentation
3. On the Inebriation of Elephants
4. Aping About in the Forest
5. A First-Rate Molecule
6. Alcoholics Aren’t Anonymous
7. Winos in the Mist
Sources and Recommended Reading
About the Author:
Robert Dudley is Professor of Integrative Biology at the University of California, Berkeley, and Research Associate at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. His research on the evolutionary origins of alcohol consumption has appeared in numerous journals.