Books  Evolutionary Biology  Human Evolution & Anthropology 

Our Inner Ape: The Best and Worst of Human Nature

Popular Science

By: Frans de Waal (Author)

272 pages, b/w photos


Paperback | Dec 2006 | #165014 | ISBN: 1862078823
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £9.99 $12/€11 approx
Hardback | Nov 2005 | #154286 | ISBN: 1862077959
Out of Print Details

About this book

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 20 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.

"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

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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, 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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