Chimpanzee Politics : Power and Sex among Apes
Chimpanzee Politics Power and Sex among Apes Author:Frans de Waal The first edition of Frans de Waal's Chimpanzee Politics was acclaimed not only by primatologists for its scientific achievement but also by a much broader audience of politicians, business leaders, and social psychologists for its remarkable insights into very basic human needs and behaviors. In this revised edition -- featuring a new g... more »allery of color photographs along with a new introduction and epilogue -- de Waal expands and updates his story of the Arnhem colony and its continuing political upheavals. We learn the fate of many memorable chimpanzees and meet the colony's current leaders and their allies. The new edition remains a detailed and thoroughly engrossing account -- of sexual rivalries and coalitions, of actions governed by intelligence rather than instinct -- and it reaffirms the complex bond between humans and their closest living relatives. As we watch the chimpanzees of Arnhem behave in ways we recognize from Machiavelli (and from the nightly news), de Waal reminds us again that the roots of politics are older than humanity.« less
This book is consistently sited in books of both scholarly and pop psychology. The exhaustive notes and observations and been synthesized into an enjoyable read by Frans de Waal. His interest and amazement at the behaviors and interactions among the Chimps at Arnhem Zoo are infectious. He is careful as a scientist not to make unsupported statements, yet he does not sterilize the topic. Some interpretation of the goings on of the chimps is needful and de Wall does it deftly.In the course of his years of observations there was a power shift and then a retaking of elevated status with a few key alterations and sharing of power among the males of the group.The females of the group are instrumental and play no small role in how it all plays out. De Waal is thorough and completes his research by making sure that the females in the band and their instrumental role in the political realm is a observed and weighted as keenly as the more showy violent displays of the males. In his conclusion he writes "What my work at Arnhem has taught me,however,is that the roots of politics are older than humanity". De Waal does not make apes into humans nor humans into apes, but the corresponding traits we share are unmistakable and enlightening.