"Our times are filled with garage start-ups that become Silicon Valley behemoths overnight. Such scaling-up pales in comparison to humans going from hunter-gatherer bands to our globalized world in the blink of an evolutionary eye -- and thus now, a stranger a continent away can be killed when we press a button operating a drone, or rescued when we press a button marked 'Donate now.' In The Human Swarm, Mark Moffett charts the science of this scaling up of human societies, and its unlikely evolutionary consequences. This highly readable book is ambitious in its interdisciplinary breadth, rigorous in its science, and deeply thought-provoking in its implications."--Robert Sapolsky, author of Behave
"A tour-de-force."--Donald Johanson, discoverer of the famous missing-link fossil "Lucy" and founder of the Institute of Human Origins
"The Human Swarm is a book by a biologist that should fascinate any thoughtful reader and deserves to be taken seriously by psychologists and social scientists alike."--Roy Baumeister, author of Willpower
"A truer statement hasn't been uttered: 'Our groupiness shapes human history.' Moffett's book is a wide-ranging, deeply interesting analysis of how large numbers of individual agents become a society. His travels in the world and through vast intellectual landscapes give him a unique view of why we are the way we are, both in our similarity to other living beings and our differences from them -- our ability to include once alien groups into our own, for example. There is no other book I've read recently that made my neurons pop at the rate this book did."--Mahzarin Banaji, author of Blindspot
"This is a book of amazing ideas, many of them counterintuitive. Mark Moffett's astounding stories of animal societies persuaded me that the future of human cities have been foretold by the ants. Read this manifesto if you like to have your mind changed."--Kevin Kelly, founder of Wired Magazine and author of The Inevitable
"In the past quarter century, there has emerged a genre of Big History that includes such epic books as Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel, Steven Pinker's The Better Angels of Our Nature, and Yuval Noah Harari's Sapiens. Mark Moffett's The Human Swarm is destined to be included in future lists of such books that not only add to our understanding of who we are, how we got here, and where we're going, but change our perspective of how we fit in the larger picture of life on Earth. A magisterial work of monumental importance."--Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic magazine and author of The Moral Arc
"Homo sapiens is a small-group social animal that physically seems to be limited to personal relationships with a few individuals. Nonetheless humanity is struggling to deal with societies of billions as human technologies now pose existential threats tied to those numbers. In The Human Swarm, Mark Moffett presents an intriguing overview of the biological roots and cultural evolution of this now-critical situation."--Paul R. Ehrlich, author of Human Natures
"The Human Swarm is surely the most accurate, most comprehensive, most original explanation of our social existence that we're ever likely to see, one jaw-dropping revelation after another, most of them astonishing, all of them fascinating. It's true without question, which seems obvious as you're reading, and it's very well written -- a joy to read."--Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, author of The Harmless People
"Extraordinary! It's amazing to follow Mark Moffett's thoughts and knowledge and take a mental trips that go within a span of seconds from ants to Michael Corleone."--Isabella Rossellini, actress
A specialist on social insects writes about the origins and implications of our own vast social organisation, and the ways in which our ethnic and national distinctions mirror those of other animals.
In this paradigm-shattering book, biologist Mark W. Moffett draws on findings in psychology, sociology and anthropology to explain the social adaptations that bind societies. He explores how the tension between identity and anonymity defines how societies develop, function, and fail. In the vein of Guns, Germs, and Steel and Sapiens, The Human Swarm reveals how mankind created sprawling civilizations of unrivalled complexity – and what it will take to sustain them.