Books: Born in Violence

AFRICAN GENESIS (380 pp.)—Robert Ardrey—Atheneum ($6.95).

When Robert Ardrey was a small boy in Chicago, his family attended services at a neighborhood church, while the young congregated in the basement for Sunday school. "A new member or two would be initiated," says Ardrey, "and if injured seriously, helped home to his mother. There would be a short prayer and a shorter benediction. And we would turn out all the lights and in total darkness hit each other with chairs. It was my Sunday-school class in Chicago, I believe, that prepared me for African anthropology.''

That preparation has resulted in a curious book, African...

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