National Book Award Finalist: “This man’s ideas may be the most influential, not to say controversial, of the second half of the twentieth century.”—Columbus Dispatch
At the heart of this classic, seminal book is Julian Jaynes's still-controversial thesis that human consciousness did not begin far back in animal evolution but instead is a learned process that came about only three thousand years ago and is still developing. The implications of this revolutionary scientific paradigm extend into virtually every aspect of our psychology, our history and culture, our religion—and indeed our future.
“Don’t be put off by the academic title of Julian Jaynes’s The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind. Its prose is always lucid and often lyrical…he unfolds his case with the utmost intellectual rigor.”—The New York Times
“When Julian Jaynes . . . speculates that until late in the twentieth millennium BC men had no consciousness but were automatically obeying the voices of the gods, we are astounded but compelled to follow this remarkable thesis.”—John Updike, The New Yorker
“He is as startling as Freud was in The Interpretation of Dreams, and Jaynes is equally as adept at forcing a new view of known human behavior.”—American Journal of Psychiatry