Who are human beings? What they are? How do we deal with the reality of what human beings are? Anyone who has ever put these and similar questions will read the book by Robert Ardrey with great interest.
People are both biological and social beings, and these two natures are ineradicable in them. While human social life has become the subject of studies in the social sciences, human biology has become, to great degree, exclusively the subject of medicine. R.Ardrey's aim was to draw a bridge over the "no man's land" between the natural and social sciences, since in his own words, "no man or other animal lives as other as a whole thing."
Attachment to a certain territory, which Ardrey has defined as the "territorial imperative", is a most deeply rooted feature of all living beings, from a worm to a human. R.Ardrey begins his book with the definition of this central notion: "A territory is an area of space, whether of water or earth or air, which an animal or group of animals defends as an exclusive preserve. The word is also used to describe the inward compulsion in animate beings to possess and defend such a space." Of course, the most inventive of animals - the human species - have extended their "territories" far beyond their appartments or garden plots to spheres of influence in business and politics, empoyment, etc. In the book by R.Ardrey a reader will find answers and clues to the question: "Why do things happen in human everyday life and history as they happen and not according to the precepts of the most enlightened minds?" His answers are more informative than many volumes of writings about "man and society".
A human being is not good or bad, all of its features are products of nature and these features have strong and rooted biological foundations regardless of the value judgements, lamentations and appraisals of moralists. It is not possible either to understand the driving forces of an individual or a society, nor to put them into a more friendly shape unless first, these obvious things are taken into account. Thirty years have passed from the first publication of Ardrey's book, and these years have provided more evidence to support his basic assertions.
Those readers who fear that this may be yet another unintelligible scientific book, laden with indecipherable jargon, may put their fears aside. Ardrey's book serves to show that it is possible to speak clearly and convincingly of human nature, that most profound and intricate thing.