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The Kingdom of Speech

Tom Wolfe

Tom Wolfe, whose legend began in journalism, takes us on an eye-opening journey that is sure to arouse widespread debate. The Kingdom of Speech is a captivating, paradigm-shifting argument that speech — not evolution — is responsible for humanity’s complex societies and achievements. From Alfred Russel Wallace, the Englishman who beat Darwin to the theory of natural selection but later renounced it, and through the controversial work of modern-day anthropologist Daniel Everett, who defies the current wisdom that language is hard-wired in humans, Wolfe examines the solemn, long-faced, laugh-out-loud zig-zags of Darwinism, old and Neo, and finds it irrelevant here in the Kingdom of Speech.

Rave Reviews

The author’s own prose is, as ever, a marvelous mix of gleeful energy and whip-around-the-neck control, and his book is a gas to read.

Charles C. MannWall Street Journal

….a hundred years from now, the one whose work will still be read — whose work will remain imperishable in the face of any new discoveries — is Wolfe. In the long game, the kingdom belongs to him.

Caitlin FlanaganNew York Times Book Review

Tom Wolfe aims his unparalleled wit at evolution, arguing that complex language is the singular superpower that allows humans to rule the planet.

Harper’s Bazaar

This being Tom Wolfe, the ponderous debate over language and evolution takes on a kind of pop-art pizzazz…. A curiously entertaining little book.

James SullivanBoston Globe