Review Of "Understanding Behavior: What Primate Studies Tell Us About Human Behavior" Edited By J. D. Loy And C. B. Peters

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Most serious books on primate behavior stress the evolutionary or ecological significance of the social behavior of nonhuman primates, avoiding the issue of comparison with humans; this volume attacks the problem head-on. Each chapter asks to what extent the understanding of our own behavior is informed by studies of monkeys and apes. Nine authors and the editors address maternal, male, female, kinship, and aggressive behavior, and the ontogeny of behavior. This is not a symposium volume; the editors have produced a reasonably coherent review of the topic, although the overviews on history, culture, and kinship are less useful than the other chapters. Because the work is not a review of current primate literature, it should be accompanied by equally accessible reviews of recent fieldwork, such as Dorothy L. Cheney and Robert M. Seyfarth's How Monkeys See the World (CH, Jul'91); Jane Goodall's Through a Window (CH, Apr'91); and Frans de Waal's Peacemaking Among Primates (CH, Jul'89). Some black-and-white photographs; minimal index; no comprehensive bibliography. Refreshingly free of jargon; will be useful to undergraduate and graduate students in biology and the social sciences.


This work is freely available courtesy of Choice Reviews. The review has been reproduced in full in the abstract field.

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