The Human Zoo Author:Desmond Morris In his worldwide best seller, The Naked Ape, eminent zoologist Desmond Morris took a brutually objective look at the human animal. Now the The Human Zoo he scrutinizes the society the naked ape has created for himself and compares civilized man with his captive animal counterpart. — Under natural conditions wild animals do not mutilate themselves... more », masturbate, attack their offspring, develop stomach ulcers, become fetishists, suffer from obesity, form homosexual pair-bonds, or commit murder. But, confined in the unnatural conditions of captivity, they exhibit the same neurotic behavior patterns common to urban man caged in his crowded cities. Clearly, then, the city is not a "concrete jungle": it is a human zoo!
Biologically, man is still a primitive tribal hunter, ill-equipped to cope with the social hazards of a vast impersonal community. Many of his cultural enterprises can best be interpreted as a desperate attempt to recreate a reassuring pseudo-tribal condition. Yet, balanced against the dangers and disadvantages of cty life are its considerable rewards: the exhilarating opportunities it offers man's insatiable curiosity and his intelectual athleticism.
It remains to be seen if man will turn his human zoo into a magnificent human game-park or into a gigantic lunatic asylum reminiscent of the cramped animal menageries or the last century.
Authoritative, fiercely frank, and brilliantly entertaining, The Human Zoo sounds an urget warning and delineates one of man's greatest challenges.« less