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A Natural History

Regular price $12.95 CAD
  • ISBN: 9781926685410
  • Tags: David Bainbridge, Science,
  • Published On: 01/07/2009
  • 364 Pages


A biological, anthropological, zoological, and cultural study of human adolescence that explains how teenagers are the pinnacle of human achievement.

This book will change the way people think about teenagers. No longer society's scourge, the teenager emerges from David Bainbridge's fascinating study as an aweinspiring phenomenon that should evoke reverence and wonder. Taking a ""zoological"" approach, Bainbridge -- a veterinarian and anatomist -- suggests that the second decade is the most important in the human life cycle.

In lively prose, he explains the science behind the changes that occur in the teenage body and deep within the teenage brain-from stinky feet, lanky limbs, and unpredictable skin to falling in love and irritating grumpiness to the irresistible allure of sex, drugs, and rock'n'roll.

Observed through a scientific lens, these biological transformations and behavioral anomalies snap into focus as a sequence of interwoven steps along the path to adulthood. Bainbridge explains how, in evolutionary terms, this dynamic period is the key factor in the success of our species and how the teenage years are the most dramatic, intense, and exciting of our lives. He provides a lively counter to the stereotype of hooded layabouts and translates scientific facts and observations into a compelling story for the nonscientist.

If you live with a teenager or ever were one, you will want to read this book. You'll come away convinced that the teenager is the most amazing-and most necessary-creature on the planet.


David Bainbridge is the Clinical Veterinary Anatomist at Cambridge University (UK). He trained as a veterinary surgeon and has carried out research at the Institute of Zoology at Regent's Park, the Royal Veterinary College, and Cornell, Sydney and Oxford Universities. His previous popular science books include Making Babies: The Science of Pregnancy, The X in Sex: How the X Chromosone Controls Our Lives, and Beyond the Zonules of Zinn: A Fantastic Journey Through Your Brain (all published by Harvard University Press). He lives in Suffolk, UK with his wife and their three children, who are edging inexorably towards adolescence.


"Bainbridge takes a zoological approach to suggest that the teenage years are the most important in the human cycle." -Hamilton Spectator

"He has a knack for a telling phrase and a killer fact." -Vancouver Sun

"In his book, Teenagers . . . Bainbridge contends that adolescence is the is the key to survival of our species, with the teenage brain 'the central phenomenon of the human race'." -Winnipeg Free Press