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Download The Age of Empathy: Nature's Lessons for a Kinder Society Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Age of Empathy: Natures Lessons for a Kinder Society, by Frans de Waal Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (392 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Frans de Waal Narrator: Alan Skla Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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An engrossing, lucid exploration of the origins of human morality that challenges our most basic assumptions, from the world’s leading primatologist

Is it really human nature to stab one another in the back in our climb up the corporate ladder? Competitive, selfish behavior is often explained away as instinctive, thanks to evolution and “survival of the fittest,” but, in fact, humans are equally hard-wired for empathy.

Using research from the fields of anthropology, psychology, animal behavior, and neuroscience, Frans de Waal brilliantly argues that humans are group animals—highly cooperative, sensitive to injustice, and mostly peace loving—just like other primates, elephants, and dolphins. This revelation has profound implications for everything from politics to office culture.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Dr. de Waal has gathered ample evidence that our ability to identify with another’s distress—a catalyst for compassion and charity—has deep roots in the origin of our species. It is a view independently reinforced by recent biomedical studies showing that our brains are built to feel another’s pain.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Freshly topical….a corrective to the idea that all animals—human and otherwise—are selfish and unfeeling to the core.”


  • “A psychology professor with proof positive that, like other creatures who hang out in herds, we’ve evolved to be empathetic…The Age of Empathy offers advice to cutthroat so-called realists: Listen to your inner ape.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “Given the nature of business survival in a competitive world, de Waal’s clarion call that greed is out and empathy is in may be a call we should all hear.”

    Psychology Today

  • “De Waal is an excellent tour guide, refreshingly literate outside his field, deft at stitching bits of philosophy and anthropology into the narrative.”

    Globe and Mail (Toronto)

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Susanna | 2/7/2014

    " I am not sure what exactly i expected to learn from this book, but I do know it exceeded the range of topics i anticipated. It is part sociology, part neuro development, part animal behavior, part economics, part warfare, and part interesting chimp and monkey stories. It was a thought provoking read (or listen, in my case) that expanded the way I view both human and animal behavior. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jennie | 1/27/2014

    " It's true many people equate human kindness and other notions of justice, compassion and forgiveness as something separately human. Primatologist, de Waal makes an excellent case that animals too demonstrate compassion and kindness. The time of thinking 'bad' human behavior should be labeled 'animalistic' or 'wild' should now be considered a way of the past... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Ineke | 1/26/2014

    " Iedereen moet kennis hebben over de intelligentie van primaten, hun samenwerking en empathie. Dat heeft consequenties hoe we met dieren omgaan. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by John | 12/25/2013

    " Great read! de Waal makes compelling correlations between primate studies and our own nature. Using historical, economic and popular political culture references, shows that caring and empathy are natural to our species. Pokes holes in the rhetoric used enforce the 'survival of the fittist' standard that many use to justify acts such as war and greed. Every debate about government and society makes huge assumptions about human nature, which are presented as if they come straight out of biology. They almost never do. "

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