Synopses & Reviews
The Development of an Extraordinary Species
We human beings share 98 percent of our genes with chimpanzees. Yet humans are the dominant species on the planet -- having founded civilizations and religions, developed intricate and diverse forms of communication, learned science, built cities, and created breathtaking works of art -- while chimps remain animals concerned primarily with the basic necessities of survival. What is it about that two percent difference in DNA that has created such a divergence between evolutionary cousins? In this fascinating, provocative, passionate, funny, endlessly entertaining work, renowned Pulitzer Prize-winning author and scientist Jared Diamond explores how the extraordinary human animal, in a remarkably short time, developed the capacity to rule the world . . . and the means to irrevocably destroy it.
"There are too many bad books written by biologists who seek to explain the human condition.... This is the only good book of the genre that I have seen, and it deserves to be read by us all. It is a passionate, informed, often witty, but always apposite account of our relationship to the natural world." Paul Harvey, New Scientist
"Mr. Diamond treats a wide range of topics the behavior of monkeys and apes, the evolution of human sexuality, the rise of agriculture,... genocide and the environmental crisis resulting from our technological successes. All these components are discussed in lucid detail and woven together in one story of human history. The book is written with great wit and is a pleasure to read, particularly when Mr. Diamond describes his firsthand experiences." The New York Times Book Review
Though we share 98% of our genes with the chimpanzee, our species evolved into something quite extraordinary. Jared Diamond explores the fascinating question of what in less than 2% of our genes has enabled us to found civilizations and religions, develop intricate languages, create art, learn science and acquire the capacity to destroy all our achievements overnight. The Third Chimpanzee is a tour de force, an iconoclastic, entertaining, sometimes alarming look at the unique and marvelous creature that is the human animal.
About the Author
Jared Diamond is the author of the bestselling Collapse and Guns, Germs, and Steel. A professor of geography at the University of California, Los Angeles, he has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society. He is a MacArthur Fellow and was awarded the National Medal of Science.