An Instinct for Dragons

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Psychology Press, 2002 - Social Science - 188 pages
3 Reviews
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First published in 2002. The image of a dragon- magnificent, terrifying, voracious and powerful- is ingrained in our culture. But where di it originate? And how is that people from Africa to China to America picture it the same? An Instinct for Dragons is anthropologist David E. Jones' account of his search for the mysterious birth of this ubiquitous monster. Nit only does virtually every culture in the world have a name for dragons- smok in Polish, tatsu in Japanese, unktena in Cherokee- but dragons everywhere share many of the same characteristics: multiple heads, blazing eyes, earth-shaking roars, fiery breath, and the abduction of princesses. Spanning dragon lore from all paces and periods, Jones scrutinizes sightings and references from dragon inscriptions on cave walls, cliffs and pots to the Loch Ness monster to the Internet. Jones' research is erudite, and his conclusion is stunning; not only is our fear and fascination with dragons a direct result of the predators who threatened our evolution, but humankind is essentially 'hardwired' to believe in the dragon. This book will fascinate any reader interested in the cultural history of this most venerable of monsters.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - waltzmn - LibraryThing

Generally, the idea of a race is to get to the finish line, not to see how far you can go beyond it. The book opens with the observation that vervet monkeys, and some other primates, seem to have ... Read full review

An instinct for dragons

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Jones (anthropology, Univ. of Central Florida) contends that the dragon, a universal image of a creature that does not exist, is a direct result of the evolutionary process. Guided by the tenets of ... Read full review


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About the author (2002)

David E. Jones is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Central Florida. He is the author of such engaging and well-received books as: Sanapia: ComancheMedicine Woman, Visions of Time, and Women Warriors. He lives in Orlando, Florida

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