Most valuable is a central idea: that the best way to consider the evolution of sickness and healing is to treat these two aspects of human experience as inextricably linked. Social and biological evolution can then be seen as continuously shaping and reshaping this pair. The author deals with six levels of "prototypical social organizations," from family-level and village-level societies to postmodern societies. I found the hypothetical discussions in these categories disappointing; more specific illustrations of actual practices, relationships, concepts, and activities encountered in the societies would have been more interesting and also more convincing. The author makes many references to sociological and anthropological studies of particular societies, but without excerpting details. Only a reader who already has command of these sources will know how to consider them.