Our Inner Ape

Our Inner Ape : The Best And Worst Of Human Nature

4.14 (2,933 ratings by Goodreads)
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We have long attributed man's violent, aggressive, competitive nature to his animal ancestry. But what if we are just as given to cooperation, empathy and morality by virtue of our genes? From a scientist and writer whom E. O. Wilson has called 'the world authority on primate social behavior' comes a lively look at the most provocative aspects of human nature - power, sex, violence, kindness, and morality - through our two closest cousins in the ape family. For nearly twenty years, Frans de Waal has worked with both the famously aggressive chimpanzee and the lesser-known egalitarian, erotic, matriarchal bonobo, two species whose DNA is nearly identical to that of humans. He brings these apes to life on every page, revealing their personalities, relationships and power struggles, creating an engrossing narrative that explores what their behaviour can teach us about ourselves and each other.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 300 pages
  • 130 x 200 x 20mm | 227g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New ed
  • Black and white photographs
  • 1862078823
  • 9781862078826
  • 102,974

Review quote

An eagerly awaited publishing event... a revealing picture of the inner ape- what lies inside each and every one of us' Desmond Morris, author of The Naked Ape 'A profoundly illuminating book on humans by a great primatologist' John Gray 'De Waal's prose is as elegant and engrossing as ever' BBC Wildlife magazine 'De Waal's love for the apes comes through strongly in his warm, well written description... De Waal tells a captivating and fascinating tale' Popular Science Review 'De Waal has, accordingly, put new life into a debate that appeared to be running out of steam' Sunday Times Including photographs by the author For further information go to www.ourinnerape.com; author interview on Granta website
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About Franz De Waal

Frans de Waal, Ph.D. is a biologist and ethologist. His 5 previous books, translated into 14 languages, include The Ape and the Sushi Master,/i>, a New York Times, Notable Book, and Peacemaking Among Primates. His research has been funded by NATO, the Guggenheim Foundation, and The National Geographic Society.
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Rating details

2,933 ratings
4.14 out of 5 stars
5 40% (1,181)
4 39% (1,134)
3 17% (493)
2 3% (99)
1 1% (26)

Our customer reviews

Overall this book is a interesting review of the hot topics of power, sex, violence and kindness with illustrative examples from De Walls career observing the correlating behaviour of bonobos and chimps. Certainly I enjoyed expanding my knowledge of these facinating animals and reminding myself that we are not really that special after all. One major complaint I have to make is that the sources used for the book were not tagged to the specific comments within the chapters and were impossible to follow given that they were also listed alphabetically (in sequence would have given me something to work with!). Therefore they were essentially useless to me beyond a general summary. I for one like to be able to assess someones sources/references as I read the text and have come across plenty of popular science books which achieve this. I would actually be wary of buying another of his books if this is his standard approach.show more
by Dr Paula Trench
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