- You'll save an extra 5% on Books purchased from Amazon.ca, now through July 29th. No code necessary, discount applied at checkout. Here's how (restrictions apply)
The Human Zoo: A Zoologist's Study of the Urban Animal Paperback – Mar 15 1996
|New from||Used from|
Special Offers and Product Promotions
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
"Compelling and absorbing...Morris is concerned with the tension between our biology and our culture, as it is expressed in power, sex, status and war games" New York Times "Having startled, amused, and in some cases infuriated his fellow-men by his bestseller The Naked Ape, Desmond Morris now proceeds to contemplate Homo sapiens as he has transformed his environment. He has offended some people with entrenched views, but he has made millions wonder about themselves. Exceedingly well written, with never a dull moment" Observer "I defy you to stop reading it" Liverpool Daily Post --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Desmond Morris is the author of more than thirty books, including The Naked Ape, Intimate Behavior, and Human Animal. He lives in Oxford, England.
Top Customer Reviews
Other animals, Morris says, don't behave in the wild the way humans do in cities. But the sort of erratic violence and heightened self-stimulation in which we find modern humans engaging _does_ have a counterpart in the rest of the animal world: animals do act that way . . . in zoos.
Essentially, Morris's claim is that many millions of years of evolution have equipped us for life in small communities in which everybody knows everybody else and there's enough room for us to move around without klonking into each other all the time. We are not, in short, adapted to the modern metropolis, and that's why "city folk" are so danged weird. And our misattribution of our maladaptive behavior actually gives the jungle an undeserved bad name.
So what's a naked ape to do? I don't know that the intervening years since this book was first published have generated a whole lot of solutions. I guess that's, um, life in the big city.
But as with so many problems, just being aware of the problem is at least half the solution. As with Morris's other books (especially _The Naked Ape_), it's profoundly helpful to step back and see ourselves as one biological species among others (whether or not that's _all_ we are).
Okay, maybe that's not all we are; maybe the fact that we _can_ thus step back from ourselves is the single most important fact about our species. If so, that makes this book more valuable, not less.
So think of this book (and Morris's others) as a way to give your "I" a little distance on your "me," if you know what I mean. And yes, that does mean that I'm recommending a couple of books on evolutionary anthropology as helpful to your spirituality.
Morris, a brilliant zoologist with expertise in the field of primates (amongst other things), uses his profound academic and professional knowledge about primates to shed light on the human experience. Backed with an enormous quantity of scientific evidence, Morris explains the what, why and how of human behavior by stripping away man's "civilized veneer" and examining the animalistic and evolutionary origins of our behavior.
Morris walks us through the evidence in a logical and interconnected fashion. His chapters are organized thematically and begin with the "basics" of human behavior (sex, child rearing) and then move through the more complex and higher order behaviors (fighting, communication). Throughout these chapters, Morris uses a wide breadth of biological, psychological, sociological and zoological evidence to demonstrate the connection between man and our animal cousins.
Though an academic, Morris writes in a simple and direct manner that is accessible to all. The book is jargon-free and has no footnotes, though Morris does provide helpful lists of related readings at the end the book.
This book was first published in 1967 and its no-nonsense view of humanity's animalistic origins caused quite a stir. Even though more than 30 years have passed since its publication, this book remains thought-provoking and enlightening throughout. Due to the book's age, several of Morris' theories have been updated and refined over the years. Therefore, this book should not be read as an infallible account of our current understanding of man.Read more ›
In fact, the human body is a real mess from a bioengineering point of view. The idea that bipedalism is somehow "superior" to other modes of locomotion just doesn't stand up, if you'll excuse the pun. It has caused us as a species untold health problems. Hypertension, headaches, bad backs, bad knees, indigestion, hemhorroids, the list of ailments attributable to our frankly bizarre posture goes on and on. The idea that an essentially quadripedal animal would one day just decide to get up and walk because someday he might want to use tools is just too pat for my taste. Evolution has no crystal ball. Lest you think I'm just hand-waving here, the savannah hypothesis Morris bases most of his assumptions upon has been largely demolished as of late in the face of new fossil and genetic findings. The foundation is rapidly washing out from under his argument.
Enjoy the writing but take its conclusions with a grain of salt. Read Elaine Morgan's work for a theory which I think holds water. (If you get it, please excuse the pun again. If you don't get it, please read her work...)
Most recent customer reviews
Was looking to re- read this book,and found it on Amazon.
Great price. Great condition.
First of all this is not a "study." An anthropological study would involve observing, gathering data, perhaps setting up experiments. Read morePublished on March 21 2013 by Elise
I was referred to this book by my animation professor and it contains knowledge that everyone should know. Read morePublished on Aug. 29 2012 by karenwonderswhy
I think this book is well worth reading, because it provides many insights into why we behave the way we do. Read morePublished on Dec 11 2010 by Nicolai Michel
This book is completely absorbing. It begins, where else, but at the beginings of human civilization itself at the site of the first human cities. Read morePublished on Dec 4 2004 by Paul Jorgenson
We are so embedded in our modern cities and modern way of life (digital communications, home deliveries, grocery stores... Read morePublished on June 30 2004 by Sergio A. Salazar Lozano
I bought this book cheap second hand, and I'm surprised what a good purchase it was. This book is a basic beginners sort of guide into the world of anthropology/zoology but it is... Read morePublished on May 21 2004 by R. van Tonder
i can't comment on the validity of the statements made in the book (so i wont), but as for the book itself, it doesn't take much to get into it, i naturally started by reading the... Read morePublished on May 19 2004 by basschicharrones