Into the Past

Phillip Valentine Tobias

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01 October 2013

The original edition of Into the Past, published in 2005, focused on the first 40 years of Tobias’s life, and contained vivid accounts of his interactions with some of the great names in twentieth-century science as well as their impact on him.

In this memorial edition, material from an unfinished second volume of Tobias’s memoir is contained in an Epilogue. It describes his collaboration with Louis and Mary Leakey on the fossil remains of Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. The challenges Tobias and the Leakeys collectively posed to the international scientific community, and the far-reaching consequences their analysis of the finds would have on our understanding of Africa as the birthplace of modern humans, are recounted in Tobias’s inimitable style, and they make for fascinating reading.

A prologue by long-time collaborator, palaeoanthropologist Ron Clarke, provides a moving and at times humorous reflection on the legacy of one of South Africa’s most loved scholars and humanists.