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Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? Paperback – Illustrated, 21 March 2017

4.6 out of 5 stars 726 ratings
Edition: Illustrated

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Product description


Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? will completely change your perceptions of the abilities of animals. This book takes the reader on a fascinating journey of discovery into the world of animal problem-solving.--Temple Grandin, author of Animals in Translation and Animals Make Us Human

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

Frans de Waal, author of Mama's Last Hug, is C. H. Candler Professor Emeritus of Primate Behavior at Emory University and the former director of the Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Product details

  • 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
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 726 ratings

About the author

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I am a Dutch/American biologist, born in the Netherlands in 1948, having lived in the USA since 1981. My passion is primate behavior, and the comparison between primate and human behavior. I pursue the first as a scientist and the second as a writer of popular books. For me, there is nothing more logical than to look at human society through the lens of animal behavior.

I have a Ph. D. in biology and ethology (the study of animal behavior) from the University of Utrecht, and now teach Psychology at Emory University, in Atlanta. My first book, &quot;Chimpanzee Politics,&quot; compared the schmoozing and scheming of chimpanzees involved in power struggles with that of human politicians. The book even reached the reading list of the congress in Washington. Ever since, I have drawn parallels between primate and human behavior, from aggression to morality and culture.

With my wife, Catherine, and our cats, we live in a forested area near Smoke Rise, in Georgia, a state we love. My daily work consists of teaching and research, which I do at America's oldest and largest primate center, the Yerkes National Primate Research Center. I direct the Living Links Center there, which specializes in behavioral studies of monkeys and apes, mostly on social behavior and intelligence, so as to better understand human evolution. We do much of our work at a field station, outside of Atlanta, where the primates live in large open-air enclosures. All studies we conduct are behavioral and non-invasive. Our website offers videos, press releases, blogs, and so on:

Since childhood, I have been an animal lover, and in fact -- even though my career has focused on primate behavior -- I am very much interested in all sorts of animals, including fish and birds, but also elephants and dolphins. My book on animal intelligence (Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?) reflects this broader interest, as it covers many different species.

My latest book &quot;Mama's Last Hug&quot; is about animal and human emotions. The book starts with the story of Mama, the famous alpha female of the Arnhem colony of chimpanzees, which lives on a large forested island at Burgers Zoo in the Netherlands. Mama died at the age of 59. Her last hug with Professor Jan van Hooff was filmed and went viral on the Internet. Find more about the book here:

For more on my background, please check out the following website:

I maintain a Facebook page, which also announces upcoming lectures:

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Ms. Erica Wildwood
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, compelling and important
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating account of animal intelligence
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Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 10 August 2017
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A Stoic
5.0 out of 5 stars A very interesting, well written book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 23 May 2020
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