10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
A genuinely wonderful - and important - read,
This review is from: Our Inner Ape: The Best and Worst of Human Nature (Hardcover)
Primate behaviour books have a habit of plunging into mawkish sentimentality, or avoiding this by being so dry that they could be used to mop up spills. This one is a glorious exception. Written by a US-naturalised Dutch primate expert, his descriptive, emotional, carefully-measured, pithy and resonant writing perfectly walks the tightrope between observation and interpretation, and using this to explain aspects of human behaviour that we never even thought about before. He includes a lot of important information about chimpanzee and bonobo society, which is enthusiastic without being effusive, measured without being dull, and includes amusing and illuminating examples from humans, all their primate relatives, and beyond. Even his cat, Diego, gets a lookin. His further-reaching comments contextualise us neatly in the animal kingdom, while highlighting how our unique capacities might be turned towards improving the world in which we live. I have tried to fault it, but I can't. Read this book.