Anthropometry and biochanics. Edited by R. Easterby K. H. E. Kroemer and D. B. Chaffin. New York Plenum Press. 1983. x + 327 pp. figures tables references index. $42код для вставкиСкачать
328 BOOK REVIEWS gions are rural and a t a high altitude, and the isolation contributes to the slow pace of life. The societies are quite sexist, Barash notes, and are impoverished and have high infant and child mortality rates. Given the clear and repeated discrediting of extreme old age (either in individuals or of the community) that have been published by scientists who have studied these areas, it is surprising that Barash perpetuates these myths in a n otherwise excellent book. Perhaps it is because it makes such a good story: If we would go back to a simple, rural lifestyle of hard work and social stability, then we would live longer (i.e. live better). The idea has romantic appeal but unfortunately is not supported by fact. The rest of the book is back on track, discussing interesting features of treatment of the elderly in other cultures and the United States. Despite the flaws noted, this is a rather remarkable overview of gerontology. It is especially pleasing to find a writer in gerontology who produces a n original and lively integration of this disparate subject. ANTHROPOMETRY AND BIOMECHANICS. Edited by R. Easterby, K.H.E. Kroemer, and D.B. Chafin. New York: Plenum Press. 1983. x + 327 pp., figures, tables, references, index. $42.50 (cloth). The quality and content of the papers varies greatly. The emphasis tends to be occupational. Papers range from little more than a n abstract about work in progress to textbook generalities about the need for data on sex differences, the difficulties of getting good measurements, and truisms about fitting workplaces to operator body size. There are summaries of well-known approaches or studies as well as fairly detailed analyses of specific problems or examples of new approaches. Papers offering a novel conceptual approach to biomechanics or anthropometry are in the minority. As a source book it offers scope but lacks detail. As a review, it is dated and probably was even a t the time of the conference. This leaves both the practitioner and the researcher needing more. Educators may find it useful as a resource for student readings but many points of view are missing. There is little European, Japanese, Indian, or Australian content, for example, and American contributors predominate. (Perhaps conference organizers were restricted to NATO member countries.) Biomechanical contributions skirt around the need for three-dimensional models based on dynamic data incorporating more real life circumstances such as twisting. The limitations of smooth sagittal plane lifting are identified, as is the need for more data on materials characteristics, but the details of how this goal is being approached are largely absent. A number of papers provide thorough overviews of modern research areas in bio- This is a hard-bound edition of the proceedings of a NATO conference. The goals of the conference (held in July 1980) were to: 1) review the current status of anthropometric and biomechanical data; 2) consolidate theoretical and methodological advances; 3) evaluate computer-assisted data acquisition, presentation, and application; 4) provide a source book for researchers and practitioners. The book has sections on the following topics; data acquisition methods; anthropometric data bases; anthropometric models; maxium voluntary exertion; and biomechanical models. In addition, there are ten papers on “applications” as well as the usual “future needs and perspectives.” The printing and style of illustration varies from paper to paper, but it has the look of being typewritten rather than typeset. Nevertheless it is always readable. At least some of the papers have been published since the conference in more detail in journals such a s Human Factors and Ergonomics. Editorial comment is almost nonexistent and the role played by the editors seems to have been limited to putting the papers in sections and a predictable two-page histori cal preface; ‘‘ Golden sections were developed in Ancient India, . . .” etc. etc. . . . GARYA. BORKAN Normative Aging Study Veterans Administration Boston, Massachusetts BOOK REVIEWS mechanical measurement and analysis and human movement control. These surveys offer a concise resource but theoretical details and thorough data presentation must be sought elsewhere. Anthropometric contributions include discussion of computer models and databases and measurement problems. There is concern about what might be termed the “administration of data gathering.” Two papers address the anthroponietric needs of the disabled. One of the few European papers gives a n interesting and lucid descriptive review of newer models and techniques in both biomechanics and anthropometry. The “Applications” sections are useful and contain papers on manikins and their computer equivalents, seats and more seats, assessments of hand prosthetics, container and handle design, aircraft escape systems, and industrial and domestic needs for anthropometric data. Overall, some papers offer useful insights, but most authors seem to believe that statements of need are equivalent to coming to grips with the problem. Consequently there is the usual parade of “need” for three-dimensional dynamic models and more comprehensive computer-linked databases. Contributions seriously addressing these and other problems are few. For the most part, models remain simple and, at worst, lack 329 analytical rigour. H. P. Van Cott’s summarizing insight that, in anthropometry, measurement is outpacing theory and standardization, while in biomechanics, theory is outpacing measurement and empirical validation is gentle and pithy. The consequence for anthropometry is the tendency to amass indigestible detail. Van Cott identified and one or two papers discussed the need for common measurement standards and unified data bases. The consequence for biomechanics is a n over-concentration on static or two-dimensional models that are limited in their applications to reallife behaviour. If Van Cott’s summary had been taken as the point of departure for this book, then the result would have been greater cohesiveness. If the papers, with editorial comment, had been organized around the concerns he identifies, then this book would have been a better buy. As it is, the book reiterates familiar problems and ends as a fragmented collection of papers to dig through for the few nuggets. R.D.G. WEBB T.C. HEARN School of Human Biology University of Guelph Guelph, Ontario, Canada BOOKS RECEIVED Alcock, CJ (1984) Animal Behavior. Third ed. Sunderland, Massachusetts: Sinauer Associates. 596 pp. $25.00 (cloth). Allaby, M (1983) Dictionary o f t h p Environment. New York: New York TJniversity Press. Distributed by Columbia IJniversity Press. 529 pp. $50.00. Bennett, JH (ed.) (1983) Natural Selection, Heredity, and Eugenics. New York; Oxford University Press. 306 pp. $47.50 (cloth). Corning, PA (1983) The Synergism Hypothesis. New York: McGraw-Hill. 492 pp. $12.95 (paper). Hames, RB, and Vickers, WT (eds.) (1983) Adaptive Responses of Native Amazonians. New York: Academic Press. 516 pp, $49.00 (cloth). Hinde, RH (ed.) (1984) Primate Social Relationships. Sunderland, Massachusetts: Sinauer Associates. 384 pp. $40.00 (cloth), $21.00 (paper). Loy, JD, Loy, K, Keifer, G, and Conaway, C (eds.) (1984) The Behavior of Gonadectomized Rhesus Monkeys. Basel, Switzerland: Karger. 152 pp. $39.75 (cloth). Oxnard, C (1984) The Order of Man. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press. 366 pp. $30.00 (cloth). Trinkaus, E (1983) The Shanidar Neandertals. New York: Academic Press. 502 pp. $47.50 (cloth). Wendorf, F, and Close, AE (eds.) (1983) Advances in World Archaeology. Volume 2. New York: Academic Press. 340 pp. $42.00 (cloth).