Spring 1963 • Vol. XXV No. 2 Book Reviews |

The Thinker as Playwright

Wilton Dillon THE THINKER AS PLAYWRIGHT THE HUMAN FACTOR IN CHANGING AFRICA by Mel- ville J. Herskovits. Alfred A. Knopf, $6.95. IF MELvIu HERSKOVITS WERE A playwright instead of an anthro- pologist, his monumental new work would serve as a careful draft-a polished sketch-for a dIrama of heroic proportions. By putting Africa in a world setting in the first chapter-and then asserting that "the evolutionary gap between the Australiopithecines of perhaps a million years ago and the con- temporary Africans is precisely that found between these forms and all other contemporary living hu- man groups"-the author sets a stage and offers his au(dience a geological time perspective mindful of Thornton Wilder's The Skin of Our Teeth. Though the book is not intended as entertainment, it offers the America-centered reader a dramat-WILTON DILLON 365 ic surprise right in the first para- graph: It is as incorrect to think of Africa as having been for centuries iso- lated from the rest of the world

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