Analyses the evolutionary roots of human aggression, and the question of why male primates perpetrate violent behaviour. In three of the four species closely allied to man, violence is common among males. It is the only main form of violence which differs: male orangs tend to rape, male chimps wage war, and male gorillas tend to kill the offspring of other males. Only within the bonobo are males non-violent. Among this species the bonobo females are co-dominant, with no observable aggression between groups.
"This book is dangerous. It shows why border raids, rapes and warfare are the natural inheritance of the human ape. It is an inspiring book, which goes beyond biology to ethics. It challenges us to shape human lives more wisely than the gang-life of the chimpanzee, our heroic, demonic, alter ego."
- Alison Jolly, author of Evolution of Primate Behaviour
"A remarkable and utterly fascinating book [...] is our species merely a pawn in some evolutionary game?"
- Jane Goodall