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The New Chimpanzee

The New Chimpanzee

A Twenty-First-Century Portrait of Our Closest Kin

Craig Stanford

ISBN 9780674977112

Publication date: 03/19/2018

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Recent discoveries about wild chimpanzees have dramatically reshaped our understanding of these great apes and their kinship with humans. We now know that chimpanzees not only have genomes similar to our own but also plot political coups, wage wars over territory, pass on cultural traditions to younger generations, and ruthlessly strategize for resources, including sexual partners. In The New Chimpanzee, Craig Stanford challenges us to let apes guide our inquiry into what it means to be human.

With wit and lucidity, Stanford explains what the past two decades of chimpanzee field research has taught us about the origins of human social behavior, the nature of aggression and communication, and the divergence of humans and apes from a common ancestor. Drawing on his extensive observations of chimpanzee behavior and social dynamics, Stanford adds to our knowledge of chimpanzees’ political intelligence, sexual power plays, violent ambition, cultural diversity, and adaptability.

The New Chimpanzee portrays a complex and even more humanlike ape than the one Jane Goodall popularized more than a half century ago. It also sounds an urgent call for the protection of our nearest relatives at a moment when their survival is at risk.


  • Stanford…is a talented and fluent writer as well as an accomplished researcher…Stanford’s book expands upon what we have learned in the four decades since [Jane] Goodall first began her field research…The New Chimpanzee is a remarkably thorough account of our current knowledge about free-living chimpanzees.

    —David Barash, Wall Street Journal


  • Craig Stanford is Professor of Biological Sciences and Anthropology at the University of Southern California.

Book Details

  • 288 pages
  • 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press

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