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BookBrowse Reviews Mama's Last Hug by Frans de Waal

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Mama's Last Hug

Animal Emotions and What They Tell Us About Ourselves

by Frans de Waal

Mama's Last Hug by Frans de Waal X
Mama's Last Hug by Frans de Waal
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     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Mar 2019, 336 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2020, 352 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Erin Lyndal Martin
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Primatologist Frans de Waal explores the emotional depth of the chimpanzee, offering insight into the similarities between their interior lives and our own.

When writing about animals, many authors default to arguing that they are just like us, or that we are just like them. In Mama's Last Hug, acclaimed primatologist Frans de Waal finds a more neutral approach that explores traits present in all primates, never positing one as superior to the other. He draws evidence from scientific texts and his own innumerable hours observing chimpanzees, proving his credentials as someone who has both researched and directly engaged. This combination allows him to be both academic and anecdotal while also being frank when he disagrees with other researchers. Additionally, he applies his knowledge to contemporary culture, placing phenomena like Donald Trump's aggressive body language in presidential debates and Vladimir Putin's intimidation tactics into the context of typical primate behavior.

One of de Waal's most enthralling discussions centers ...

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