We, Hominids

Frank Westerman


We, Hominids

Who are we? Why are we different from animals? What makes us human?

In this charming, thought-provoking book, one of Holland’s greatest non-fiction writers hunts down answers to humanity’s most fundamental questions. With an ancient skull as his starting point, he travels the globe, tracing the search for the first human being: the missing link between humans and apes.

Westerman introduces us to the world of skull hunters – leading experts in our fossil ancestry – whose lives are just as fascinating as those of their primeval discoveries. He astutely reconsiders the work of illustrious paleoanthropologists in the light of new DNA technology, postcolonialism, and the rise of women in this male-dominated field, and discovers a plethora of origin hypotheses and shows how any theory of who we are and where we come from is coloured by the zeitgeist.

We, Hominids is a compelling mixture of reportage, travelogue and essay – reminiscent of Bruce Chatwin or Ryszard Kapuscinski – written by a brilliant storyteller and thinker.

‘A masterclass in storytelling, exploring who we are and where we came from.’ Danielle Clode

‘Gripping and brilliantly told, We Hominids deftly blends personal experience with a journalist’s eye for a remarkable story.’ Mark McKenna

‘Part travelogue, part science, Frank Westerman unearths a brilliantly original story that has been millions of years in the making: what does it mean to be human? Quite wonderful.’ Chris Turney

‘A must read. So good, we wouldn’t want to deprive our readers of it. A book that makes us abandon our convictions’ – Financieel Dagblad


  • Querido Fosfor, Netherlands
  • Head of Zeus/Apollo, UK
  • Iperborea, Italy
  • Abada, Spain
  • Aufbau, Germany
  • Stock, France
  • Weylers, Sweden
  • Agora, Poland
  • UMco, Slovenia
  • Black Inc., USA
  • Bolinda, Australia

Material: Finished copies and pdf of the Dutch and English edition (288pp)