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Download Our Inner Ape: A Leading Primatologist Explains Why We Are Who We Are Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Our Inner Ape: A Leading Primatologist Explains Why We Are Who We Are Audiobook, by Frans de Waal Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (836 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Frans de Waal Narrator: Alan Sklar Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2005 ISBN: 9781400171927
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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 twenty 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 high jinks 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. "An informative and engaging work." -Library Journal "De Waal offers vivid, often delightful stories of politics, sex, violence and kindness in the ape communities he has studied to illustrate such questions as why we are irreverent toward the powerful and whether men or women are better at conflict resolution."-Publishers Weekly "Never has he [de Waal] written better on his great theme than in this absorbing overview of power, sex, violence, and kindness among apes-and humans."-Booklist "Sklar adds just a touch of a smile to his sonorous voice, conveying friendliness, warmth, and humor."-AudioFile Magazine Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “De Waal offers vivid, often delightful stories of politics, sex, violence, and kindness in the ape communities he has studied to illustrate such questions as why we are irreverent toward the powerful.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • An informative and engaging work that stresses the similarities and differences among humans, bonobos, and chimpanzees. Library Journal Starred Review
  • “An informative and engaging work that stresses the similarities and differences among humans, bonobos, and chimpanzees.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “Illuminating and provocative”

    Booklist (starred review)

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carol | 2/5/2014

    " After reading Desmond Morris, this was a refreshing look at human and primate behavior. A bit more balance, a bit more humility and compassion. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Momo | 1/29/2014

    " De Waal is actually a mentor of my previous instructor in the Spring of 2008. Fascinating read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rose | 1/4/2014

    " Very interesting. It took me a little longer to read this than usual mostly due to the fact I occasionally needed a short break, especially during the chapter on violence. However, it was never because to boredom. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 marcali | 12/29/2013

    " After reading this, feel the urge to hoot softly, or scratch, while interacting with others. You think you're different from a damned, dirty ape? You're not. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Suzanne | 12/7/2013

    " This is a very fine book. While most authors just explain to you fact after fact after fact, which is a fine approach to teaching, of course, this author instead tends to rely on detailing to you his hands-on observations of bonobos and chimpanzees. This approach allows you, the reader, to conduct your own analysis via his descriptions, which is really thought-provoking. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jacqui | 11/26/2013

    " I selected this book based on De Waal's reputation in primatology, interested in his thoughts on the root traits that define our human societies. Instead, he stumbled into politics often enough I finally set the book aside, unwilling to mix an objective study of science with a subjective analysis of world political problems. He could have cited a variety of international examples, but chose to concentrate on the USA and a few others, leaving me uncomfortable about his motives. I suggest he stick to science in his next book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maggie | 11/25/2013

    " excellent. recommend this book to anyone interested in evolution and our primate ancestry. de Waal gives excellent examples from observation and from designed research in zoo primates that support his points. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Toby | 11/18/2013

    " Great book; social anthropology and primatology; fascinating look at human behavior and evolution; very simply written and very anecdotal, which makes the academic-style topic engaging and practical. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mark Ashley | 10/16/2013

    " Enormously illuminating about the source of our humanity, shared with our primate brothers and sisters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ty | 8/19/2013

    " A very good read. It's always interesting to learn about primates as it's very natural to superimpose them on our lives and vice versa. I was especially intrigued by the discussion of Bonobos. It was the first time I'd really heard of them and De Waal provided a superb introduction. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Fred R | 7/30/2013

    " Fun to read, but when you boil it down it's just a series of interesting anecdotes about apes. I still don't know why we are who we are. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Randall | 7/24/2013

    " There were some things I didn't agree with, but it was well-written. And it's nice to read something that's optimistic for once. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Norm | 7/18/2013

    " My cousin is a graduate student under Prof. de Waal, so this book was particularly interesting for me. Definitely worth a re-read to reinforce the nuances of insight that get blurred after a single pass. Like any non-fiction, the book is dense. However, it is quite readable. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John | 7/17/2013

    " What a fascinating (and humbling!) look at the connections between man and ape. Really makes you sit and ponder how much of your daily grind is driven by our shared legacy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jeremiah Tuckett | 2/23/2013

    " Clearly written and includes topics like power, sex, and violence. Who wouldn't want to read it. Facinating look at where we come from. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kenneth | 10/15/2012

    " Bonobos are such wonderful creatures to be related to "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brent McLean | 9/16/2012

    " Both insightful and entertaining, and you'll understand diplomats and their bizarre behaviour much better after having read this book! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emma Kaufmann | 5/2/2012

    " Brilliant book by a primatologist who gives us an insight into who we humans truly are by showing us how similar we are to bonobos and chimps, our two closest genetic relatives. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Robin | 2/14/2012

    " I can barely stop reading this book long enough to shower and go to work - it is SO fascinating. My mind is being blown on every other page. For the first time, I regret living alone - I want to have an audience for all the amazing things I'm learning from this. Must. Read. More. Primatology! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Filip | 2/10/2012

    " To sum it up, I've never thought monkeys were this intelligent or humans this genetically predisposed. Leave it to a primatologist to describe naked ape behaviour. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beth | 2/9/2012

    " a good intermediate book on evolution. for me, it was more like a review of a lot of other books i've already read (and often referred to those other books). despite that, i still got a lot out of it and enjoyed reading it quite a bit. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Oren | 7/7/2011

    " I learned that truth of the evolution of man couldn't be better corroborated by any other based on the insight of the bonobo psyche. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie | 6/23/2011

    " Interesting, but got a little too detailed at times. His emotional attachment to some of the chimps got in the way of what he was trying to say sometimes, I think. Still, some good stories and insights. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Randall | 4/7/2011

    " There were some things I didn't agree with, but it was well-written. And it's nice to read something that's optimistic for once. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Fred | 1/19/2011

    " Fun to read, but when you boil it down it's just a series of interesting anecdotes about apes. I still don't know why we are who we are. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Crystal | 12/11/2010

    " This book really made me think more about my own animal-like behavior. It was wonderful to read, de Waal has had some amazing experiences in his career. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carol | 10/3/2010

    " After reading Desmond Morris, this was a refreshing look at human and primate behavior. A bit more balance, a bit more humility and compassion. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Aldo | 8/18/2010

    " Lucid, deep, and humorous description of what makes us human, or rather chimp and bonobo.
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jose | 5/3/2010

    " interesting, audio version was okay, some of what i learned i will apply to hbse class. must read more on benobos "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tammy | 1/5/2010

    " I loved the book and have bought other books by de Waal, which I still have to read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maggie | 10/12/2009

    " excellent. recommend this book to anyone interested in evolution and our primate ancestry. de Waal gives excellent examples from observation and from designed research in zoo primates that support his points. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Darcy | 7/16/2009

    " Fascinating book that suggests the origins of our behavior can be observed in modern primatology. The thesis that no one creature is all good or all bad is particularly compelling. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rebecca | 6/18/2009

    " De Waal's firsthand accounts of chimpanzee and bonobo social life make for a compelling read. His writing style is very personal, and I'm hoping that my students will find the book both engaging and provocative. "

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About the Author
Author Frans de Waal

Frans de Waal, PhD, a world-renowned primatologist and one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People, is the author of several books, including a winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Award. He is the C. H. Candler Professor in Emory University’s Psychology Department.

About the Narrator

Alan Sklar, a graduate of Dartmouth, has excelled in his career as a freelance voice actor. He began narrating audiobooks in 1996, winning seven AudioFile Earphones Awards and earning several “Best Voice” awards. He has also worked as a stage actor and as a promo announcer at WPIX-TV in New York City. His dream is to be an opera singer, a role for which he hones his bass-baritone operatic skills in the upstairs shower of his home.