The Kingdom of Speech

The Kingdom of Speech

3.51 (1,623 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

'A great journalist with a whip-like satirical prose style... Wolfe's great gift is to make the heavy seem light and this book is such an entertaining polemic that I read it in a day and immediately wanted to read it again.' - Bryan Appleyard, Sunday Times

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 our Kingdom of Speech.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 160 pages
  • 144 x 222 x 22mm | 350g
  • Jonathan Cape Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1911214195
  • 9781911214199
  • 122,026

Review Text

"The style is instantly recognisable, and the book hurtles on for 160 pages of wicked, opinionated, high-velocity prose."
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Review quote

"A great journalist with a whip-like satirical prose style... Wolfe's great gift is to make the heavy seem light and this book is such an entertaining polemic that I read it in a day and immediately wanted to read it again." -- Bryan Appleyard * Sunday Times * "You're in the hands of a master who has never written a dull word in his life. Tom Wolfe, America's greatest man of letters, is 85 and still fizzing with energy and insight... Wolfe packs a lot in it, [The Kingdom of Speech] writing with the fluency and vigour of a man one-third his age." -- James Delingpole * Mail on Sunday * "The style is instantly recognisable, and the book hurtles on for 160 pages of wicked, opinionated, high-velocity prose." -- Alun Anderson * New Scientist * "A marvelous mix of gleeful energy and whip-around-the-neck control, and his book is a gas to read." -- Charles Mann * Wall Street Journal (Europe) * "It is clear how much we have missed him... The wonder of his book is its point of view. He is a polemicist, a slayer of reputation and pretension... It is wonderful to have him back." -- Philip Delves Broughton * Financial Times * "[Kingdom of Speech is] vastly entertaining... compulsively readable." -- Muhammad Idrees Ahmad * National * "It is a riveting read." -- Alun Anderson * New Scientist * "The story of an academic dispute in the world of linguistics is beautifully told by a world-class storyteller." * i *
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About Tom Wolfe

Tom Wolfe (1930-2018) was the author of more than a dozen books, among them The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, The Right Stuff, The Bonfire of the Vanities, A Man in Full, I Am Charlotte Simmons and Back to Blood. He received the National Book Foundation's 2010 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.
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Rating details

1,623 ratings
3.51 out of 5 stars
5 21% (333)
4 33% (537)
3 29% (468)
2 12% (199)
1 5% (86)
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