Mama's Last Hug

Mama's Last Hug : Animal Emotions and What They Teach Us about Ourselves

4.19 (4,462 ratings by Goodreads)
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4.19 (4,462 ratings by Goodreads)

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In this groundbreaking and entertaining book, primatologist Frans de Waal draws on his renowned studies of the social and emotional lives of chimpanzees, bonobos and other primates, and personal encounters with many other species, to illuminate new ideas and findings about animal emotions.

Opening with the moving farewell between Mama, a dying chimpanzee matriarch, and her human friend - the video of which has been watched by millions online - Mama's Last Hug illustrates how profoundly we have underestimated animals' emotional experiences. De Waal's radical proposal is that emotions are like organs: humans haven't a single organ that other animals don't have, and the same can be said of our emotions.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 348 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 22mm | 258g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 9781783784110
  • 26,840

Review quote

[De Waal] makes an excellent case for the hypothesis that there is no emotion in our human psyche that we don't see in our closest relatives - and, in fact, in intelligent animals of all kinds, especially mammals and large-brained birds ... A convincing book, and De Waal [is] an excellent observer of primate behaviour [and] immensely knowledgeable... a window into chimps' lives, and a looking glass for our own -- Tom Chivers * The Times * Superb... striking... remarkable... illuminating -- Mark Cocker * New Statesman * Frans de Waal has spent most of his working life watching chimpanzees, and his findings have changed our understanding of the animal world -- John Carey * Sunday Times * A captivating and big-hearted book, full of compassion and brimming with insights about the lives of animals, including human ones -- Yuval Noah Harari I doubt that I've ever read a book as good as Mama's Last Hug: Animal and Human Emotions, because it presents in irrefutable scientific detail the very important fact that animals do have these emotions as well as the other mental features we once attributed only to people. Not only is the book exceedingly important, it's also fun to read, a real page-turner. I can't say enough good things about it except that it's utterly splendid -- Elizabeth Marshall Thomas After you've read Mama's Last Hug it becomes obvious that animals have emotions. Learn how they resemble us in many ways -- Temple Grandin, author * Animals Make Us Human and Animals in Translation * Fascinating. Frans De Waal makes us think long and hard about the true nature of animal emotions -- Desmond Morris This is an important book, wise and accessible -- Robert M. Sapolsky In Mama's Last Hug, Frans de Waal marshals his wealth of knowledge and experience, toggling expertly between rigorous science and captivating anecdote to explain animal behavior-humans included. While doing so, he rebukes the common conceit that we are necessarily better, or smarter, than our closest relatives' -- Jonathan Balcombe, author * What a Fish Knows * Anyone reading this book will be changed forever. De Waal has spent so many decades watching intently and thinking deeply that he sees a planet that is deeper and more beautiful than almost anyone realizes. In these pages, you can acquire and share his beautiful, shockingly insightful view of life on Earth -- Carl Safina, author * Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel * De Waal is the ultimate zoological magician. His animals hold up mirrors and make you see yourself. Whether you find that terrifying or exhilarating is up to you. He is prescient, unnerving, politically explosive, and always downright entertaining. He can unmake and remake you, and you should let him -- Charles Foster, author, * Being a Beast *
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About Frans de Waal

FRANS DE WAAL has been named one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People. The New York Times bestselling author of Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? (Granta, 2016) and Our Inner Ape (Granta, 2005) among many other works, he is the C. H. Candler Professor in Emory University's Psychology Department and director of the Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
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Rating details

4.19 out of 5 stars
- 4,462 ratings
5 42% (1,863)
4 40% (1,782)
3 15% (649)
2 3% (136)
1 1% (32)
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