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Peacemaking Among Primates

4.21  ·  Rating Details ·  109 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
Does biology condemn the human species to violence and war? Previous studies of animal behavior incline us to answer yes, but the message of this book is considerably more optimistic. Without denying our heritage of aggressive behavior, Frans de Waal describes powerful checks and balances in the makeup of our closest animal relatives, and in so doing he shows that to human ...more
Paperback, 310 pages
Published September 1st 1990 by Harvard University Press (first published March 15th 1989)
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Jan 06, 2017 Christian rated it really liked it
I always immensely enjoy de Waal's books. I may, in fact, be turning into a bit of a fan girl of his. As other reviewers have stated, much of this book is seen as anecdotal, but I find his stories totally acceptable because many of them are given as examples to back up scientific studies which have come to the same conclusion. Also, when he gives his interpretation of a series of events without the ability to conclusively know the internal thoughts of the animals, he tells you upfront. And thoug ...more
Colin M.
Jul 06, 2015 Colin M. rated it really liked it
Now over two decades old, this classic remains a must read for anyone who studies primate social behavior. de Waal forces us to think beyond aggression and how conflicts are mediated and resolved rather than merely explaining agonistic behavior. Indeed, we should no longer view aggression as abnormal behavior; it is essential to social cohesion. Powerful anecdotes from the author's study of chimpanzees, macaques, and bonobos are used to immerse readers into the social lives of these primates. De ...more
Marie Finnegan
Jul 06, 2012 Marie Finnegan rated it liked it
My boss gave me this after a conversation about monkeys at work one day. Being the behavior geek I am it hooked me in. Overall it was very good though some of the information might be dated by today's standards. (I don't know much about the scientific studies of primate behavior.)A great read for anyone interested in monkeys and apes. Now I know more than the average person needs to know about the social dynamics of monkeys/apes. (in captive studied groups that is) It also had a section on some ...more
Apr 11, 2010 Amelia rated it liked it
I read this for a Primate ecology and behavior class. It includes mostly anecdotes but de Waal applies these anecdotes in a way that is creative yet also scientifically valid.
Barry Behrstock
A interesting addition to the degree that reciprocal altruism and cooperation exist within the primate culture
Feb 26, 2009 Melissa rated it really liked it
Learned more about primates than I ever thought possible but the Bonobos section was truly fascinating - provided some valuable insight into human nature.
Dec 25, 2016 Rita is currently reading it
I have this book.
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Must read for anyone who wants to understand de-escalation
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"Frans B.M. de Waal, PhD (born 29 October 1948, 's-Hertogenbosch), is a Dutch psychologist, primatologist and ethologist. He is the Charles Howard Candler professor of Primate Behavior in the Emory University psychology department in Atlanta, Georgia, and director of the Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center and author of numerous books including Chimpanzee Politics an ...more
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