Books by Subject


Tree of Origin : What Primate Behavior Can Tell Us About Human Social Evolution
by Frans de Waal
Hardcover - 256 pages (April 2001)
Harvard Univ Pr; ISBN: 0674004604
Editorial Reviews
Review by William  A.  Spriggs,  August 20,  2001

Reason for Hope : A Spiritual Journey
by Jane Goodall, Phillip Berman

Hardcover - 320 pages (September 1999)
Warner Books; ISBN: 0446522252 ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.10 x 9.33 x 6.32
Other Editions: Audio Cassette (Abridged)

As a young woman, Jane Goodall was best known for her groundbreaking fieldwork with the chimpanzees of Gombe, Africa. Goodall's work has always been controversial, mostly because she broke the mold of research scientist by developing meaningful relationships with her "specimens" and honoring their lives as she would other humans.

Now at the age of 60, she continues to break the mold of scientist by revealing how her research and worldwide conservation institutes spring from her childhood callings and adult spiritual convictions. Reason for Hope is a smoothly written memoir that does not shy away from facing the realities of environmental destruction, animal abuse, and genocide. But Goodall shares her antidote to the poison of despair with specific examples of why she has not lost faith. For instance, she shares her spiritual epiphany during a visit to Auschwitz; her bravery in the face of chimpanzee imprisonment in medical laboratories; and devotes a whole chapter to individuals, corporations, and countries that are doing the right thing. But most of all Goodall provides a beautifully written plea for why everyone can and must find a reason for hope. --Gail Hudson
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The Hunting Apes : Meat Eating and the Origins of Human Behavior
by Craig B. Stanford

Hardcover - 262 pages (March 1999)
Princeton Univ Pr; ISBN: 0691011605 ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.02 x 7.59 x 4.77
Most evolutionary biologists agree that what makes humans unique among animals is our brainpower. But why--and how--did we evolve our oversized brains? Craig Stanford dusts off the old "Man the Hunter" theory, roundly criticized as replete with bad (and sexist) assumptions, and finds a thick, juicy, postmodern steak at the heart of it. He argues, "The origins of human intelligence are linked to the acquisition of meat, especially through the cognitive capacities necessary for the strategic sharing of meat with fellow group members."

Stanford studied the great apes, especially chimpanzees, and came to the conclusion that among primates, meat is a valuable commodity both nutritionally and socially. Although many other foods are nutritionally desirable, meat is unique in its social desirability, and for males, it represents power:

Underlying the nutritional aspect of getting meat, part of the social fabric of the community is revealed in the dominance displays, the tolerated theft, and the bartered meat for sexual access. The end of the hunt is often only the beginning of a whole other arena of social interaction.

In Stanford's view, females play a crucial role in keeping groups together and cementing individual relationships. Meat plays an important role in the way males fit in to a society, and the ability of males to get meat readily may very well explain their societal dominance. These conclusions are not liable to be nearly so controversial as the way Stanford gathered his data--he drew broad parallels between chimps and modern hunter-gatherer societies. Stanford also admits that a lack of fossil evidence supporting his meat/brain link is problematic. The Hunting Apes is an interesting look at what is likely the worthwhile center of a discredited evolutionary theory. --Therese Littleton

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Bonobo: The forgotten Ape

By Frans De Waal & Frans Lanting

For Frans de Waal, man is not the only moral entity, as he made clear in his last book--Good Natured: The Origins of Right and Wrong in Humans and Other Animals. The author has long been intrigued by chimpanzee politics and mores, and now he has turned his human heart and scientific mind to a species science has tended to celebrate solely for its sex drive. Bonobos may look like chimps, but they are actually even closer to us--far more upright, physically, for a start. Furthermore, where chimpanzees hunt, fight, and politic like mad, bonobos are peaceful, often ambisexual, and matriarchal. (Of course, hyenas are matriarchal too, but that's another story ...) De Waal's collaborator, Frans Lanting, has been photographing these gentle creatures for some years and augments the primatologist's explorations and interviews with hundreds of superb color shots. The penultimate picture is of bonobos crossing a road while schoolchildren stand watching, a short distance away. If, as the truism goes, all books about animal behavior are ultimately about us, this exploration of the bonobo may be a step in the right direction.

University of California Press, May 1997
ISBN: 0520205359

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Primate Males : Causes and Consequences of Variation in Group Composition
by Peter M. Kappler,(Editor), Peter M. Kappeler

Paperback (May 2000)
Cambridge Univ Pr (Pap Txt); ISBN: 0521658462 ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.79 x 9.74 x 7.51

Other Editions: Hardcover

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Primates in the Classroom: An Evolutionary Perspective on Children's Education

By J. Gary Bernhard

University of Massachusetts Press, April 1988
ISBN: 0870236113

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Primate Societies

By Barbara B. Smuts (Editor)

University of Chicago Press, May 1987
ISBN: 0226767167
Book Description
Primate Societies is a synthesis of the most current information on primate socioecology and its theoretical and empirical significance, spanning the disciplines of behavioral biology, ecology, anthropology, and psychology. It is a very rich source of ideas about other taxa.

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Sex and Friendship in Baboons
by Barbara B. Smuts

Paperback - 336 pages Reprint edition (November 1999)
Harvard Univ Pr; ISBN: 0674802756 ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.90 x 8.95 x 6.05

Other Editions: Hardcover

Editorial Reviews
Book Description
When it first appeared in the mid-1980s, this book transcended the traditional ethological focus on sexual interactions by analyzing male-female relationships outside the context of mating in a troop of wild baboons. Barbara Smuts used long-term friendships between males and females, documented over a two-year period, to show how social interactions between members of friendly pairs differed from those of other troop mates. Her findings, now enhanced with data from another fifteen years of field studies, suggest that the evolution of male reproductive strategies in baboons can only be understood by considering the relationship between sex and friendship: female baboons prefer to mate with males who have previously engaged in friendly interaction with them and their offspring. Smuts suggests that female choice may promote male investment in other species, and she explores the relevance of her findings for the evolution of male-female relationships in humans.
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