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Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? Paperback – Illustrated, 21 March 2017
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|Paperback, Illustrated, 4 April 2017||
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A beautifully written and delightfully conceived popular science book, written by an eminent researcher who has dedicated his career to making the general public aware of just how smart animals are.--Nicola Clayton "Science"
A thoughtful and easy read, packed with information stemming from detailed empirical research, and one of de Waal's most comparative works that goes well beyond the world of nonhuman primates with whom he's most familiar.--Marc Bekoff "Psychology Today"
Astonishing...has the makings of a classic--and is one fascinating read.-- "People"
If you are at all interested in what it is to be an animal, human or otherwise, you should read this book.-- "The Guardian"
So, are we 'smart enough to know how smart animals are'? The question will occur to you many times as you read Frans de Waal's remarkable distillations of science in this astonishingly broad-spectrum book. I guarantee one thing: readers come away a lot smarter. As this book shows, we are here on Planet Earth with plenty of intelligent company.--Carl Safina, author of Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel
The book is not only full of information and thought-provoking, it's also a lot of fun to read.--Nancy Szokan "Washington Post"
Walks us through research revealing what a wide range of animal species are actually capable of...[I]t all deals a pretty fierce wallop to our sense of specialness.--Jon Mooallem "New York Times Book Review"
This is a remarkable book by a remarkable scientist. Drawing on a growing body of research including his own, de Waal shows that animals, from elephants and chimpanzees to the lowly invertebrates, are not only smarter than we thought, but also engaged in forms of thought we have only begun to understand.--Edward O. Wilson, University Professor Emeritus, Harvard University
About the Author
- Publisher : WW Norton & Co; Illustrated edition (21 March 2017)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 352 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0393353664
- ISBN-13 : 978-0393353662
- Dimensions : 13.97 x 2.54 x 21.08 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 60,961 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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The concept of 'Umwelt' was revelatory.
The argument and evidence for gradualism was enlightening and brilliant.
I adored the latter part of the book that detailed studies in animal cognition.
However, the first quarter of the book I found extremely painful to read as the author refought a War that has already been won against behaviouralism as the dominant / only paradigm. The problem is in the presentation: the war was presented to the reader with the immediacy and urgency of the 'here and now' which made me alternately depressed and furious (remembering and reliving the war when I studied language/cognition in the early oughties). If it had been presented as a history instead, I could have read it more objectively and less subjectively.
I also thought there was too much time devoted to arguing against the anthropocentrism of scientific inquiry, particularly as it relates to animal studies. It only needs to be said once, it's obvious, let's move on.
These arguments speak directly to the title of the book, and of course, must be included. However, personally, it did feel like flogging a dead horse. This is a personal reaction and comes from someone who started the book knowing the arguments and who already agreed 100% with the author's position.
Top reviews from other countries
I hope this book will increase respect for our fellow species. Our destruction of habitats, and increasing meat consumption contribute to the threat to our planet's very survival, so treating animals better is ultimately to our own benefit (this is not the place to address the moral dimensions).
This book is very wll written,and I found the author's drawings charming. It is absorbing and eye-opening. I wish I could make everybody in the world to read it!