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? What if our behavior actually makes us apes? What kind of apes are we? From a scientist and writer E.O. Wilson has called "the world authority on primate social behavior" comes a fascinating 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. De Waal shows the range of human behavior through his study of chimpanzees and bonobos, drawing from their personalities, relationships, power struggles, and hijinx important insights about our human behavior. The result is an engrossing and surprising narrative that reveals what their behavior can teach us about our own nature.More
"De Waal's most hopeful message is that peaceful behavior can be learned....[An] important and illuminating book." (The New York Times Book Review)
"Readers might be surprised at how much these apes and their stories resonate with their own lives, and may well be left with an urge to spend a few hours watching primates themselves at the local zoo." (Publishers Weekly)
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