The Drunken Monkey: Why We Drink and Abuse Alcohol

The Drunken Monkey: Why We Drink and Abuse Alcohol

by Robert Dudley

Hardcover(First Edition)

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Alcoholism, as opposed to the safe consumption of alcohol, remains a major public health issue. In this accessible book, Robert Dudley presents an intriguing evolutionary interpretation to explain the persistence of alcohol-related problems. Providing a deep-time, interdisciplinary perspective on today’s patterns of alcohol consumption and abuse, Dudley traces the link between the fruit-eating behavior of arboreal primates and the evolution of the sensory skills required to identify ripe and fermented fruits that contain sugar and low levels of alcohol. In addition to introducing this new theory of the relationship of humans to alcohol, the book discusses the supporting research, implications of the hypothesis, and the medical and social impacts of alcoholism.

The Drunken Monkey is designed for interested readers, scholars, and students in comparative and evolutionary biology, biological anthropology, medicine, and public health.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780520275690
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 05/01/2014
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 184
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Robert Dudley is Professor of Integrative Biology at the University of California, Berkeley, and Research Associate at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. His research on the evolutionary origins of alcohol consumption has appeared in numerous journals.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations



1. Introduction

2. The Fruits of Fermentation

3. On the Inebriation of Elephants

4. Aping About in the Forest

5. A First-Rate Molecule

6. Alcoholics Aren’t Anonymous

7. Winos in the Mist


Sources and Recommended Reading


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