PEACEMAKING AMONG PRIMATES

PEACEMAKING AMONG PRIMATES

by Frans B. M. DE WAAL, F. B. M. de Waal
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Does biology condemn the human species to violence and war? Previous studies of animal behavior incline us to answer yes, but the message of this book is considerably more optimistic. Without denying our heritage of aggressive behavior, Frans de Waal describes powerful checks and balances in the makeup of our closest animal relatives, and in so doing he shows that

See more details below

Overview

Does biology condemn the human species to violence and war? Previous studies of animal behavior incline us to answer yes, but the message of this book is considerably more optimistic. Without denying our heritage of aggressive behavior, Frans de Waal describes powerful checks and balances in the makeup of our closest animal relatives, and in so doing he shows that to humans making peace is as natural as making war.

In this meticulously researched and absorbing account, we learn in detail how different types of simians cope with aggression, and how they make peace after fights. Chimpanzees, for instance, reconcile with a hug and a kiss, whereas rhesus monkeys groom the fur of former adversaries. By objectively examining the dynamics of primate social interactions, de Waal makes a convincing case that confrontation should not be viewed as a barrier to sociality but rather as an unavoidable element upon which social relationships can be built and strengthened through reconciliation.

The author examines five different species—chimpanzees, rhesus monkeys, stump-tailed monkeys, bonobos, and humans—and relates anecdotes, culled from exhaustive observations, that convey the intricacies and refinements of simian behavior. Each species utilizes its own unique peacemaking strategies. The bonobo, for example, is little known to science, and even less to the general public, but this rare ape maintains peace by means of sexual behavior divorced from reproductive functions; sex occurs in all possible combinations and positions whenever social tensions need to be resolved. "Make love, not war" could be the bonobo slogan.

De Waal's demonstration of reconciliation in both monkeys and apes strongly supports his thesis that forgiveness and peacemaking are widespread among nonhuman primates—an aspect of primate societies that should stimulate much needed work on human conflict resolution.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The author ( Chimpanzee Politics: Power and Sex Among Apes , LJ 12/15/82) here contrasts reconciliation behavior in chimpanzees, bonobos (``pygmy chimpanzees''), rhesus and stumptailed monkeys, and humans, to demonstrate the wide range of peacemaking strategies among primates. This book balances previous studies on aggression by examining the role of reconciliation in strengthening social ties. While the chapter on human peacemaking is superficial, it emphasizes the need for further research. De Waal's thesis should interest scholars in many fields, while his anecdotal approach will appeal to general readers. Recommended.-- Beth Clewis, J. Sargeant Reynolds Community Coll. Lib., Richmond
Booknews
Waal (Wisconsin Regional Primate Center) examines the ways in which aggression and reconciliation are both necessary, complementary aspects of primate social relationships; describes these aspects in chimpanzee, rhesus monkey, stumptail monkeys, bonobos monkeys; points out implications for their human relatives. Seventy-five photos. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674033085
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Publication date:
06/30/2009
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
310
File size:
1 MB

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >