New Book by Dudley on Alcohol

Professor Robert Dudley has published a new book (The Drunken Monkey: Why We Drink and Abuse Alcohol; University of California Press, 2014) that assesses the evolutionary origins of attraction to alcohol. Providing a deep-time, interdisciplinary perspective on today’s patterns of alcohol consumption and abuse in humans, he traces connections between fermentation of tropical fruits by yeasts, frugivory in arboreal primates and human ancestors, and the evolution of the sensory skills required to identify ripe fruits that contain sugar and low levels of alcohol.  The book also addresses patterns of excessive alcohol consumption in today's demand-limited nutritional environments that provide essentially unlimited access to booze.  Preferably read with a glass in hand, this book will be of interest to anyone who either drinks alcohol or who knows someone who drinks to excess.