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The Dark Side Of Man

Ghiglieri, Michael; Bilmes, Joshua

106 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0738203157 / ISBN 13: 9780738203157
Published by Perseus, 2000
Condition: Collectible: Very Good Soft cover
From Taos Books (Santa Fe, NM, U.S.A.)

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Inscribed and signed by author on half-title page in black ink, tight clean unmarked copy, NO age toning, no creases in spine, no slant, trade paperback later printing, very good or better. Bookseller Inventory # 31525

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Dark Side Of Man

Publisher: Perseus

Publication Date: 2000

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition:Collectible: Very Good

Signed: Signed

About this title

Synopsis:

In The Dark Side of Man, Michael Ghiglieri, a biologist and protégé of Jane Goodall, takes on one of the most highly charged debates in modern science: the biological roots of bad behavior. Beginning with rape, and moving on to murder, war, and genocide, Ghiglieri offers the most up-to-date, comprehensive look at the male proclivity for violence. In a strong narrative voice, he draws on the latest research and his own personal experiences both as a primatologist and as a soldier to explain that male violence is largely innate, a product of millions of years of evolution. In the process, he debunks many of our most clung-to, politically correct” notions: that the differences between men and women are strictly due to socialization, that rape is really about power not sex and that genocide is only possible with a single madman at the helm. Well-argued, evenhanded, yet never dull, this important book illuminates the darkest impulses of the male psyche, and suggests ways for modern society to curb them.

Review:

Michael Ghiglieri studies the roots of male violence from a unique vantage: he's a former combat soldier and longtime primate researcher, a protégé of Jane Goodall. In The Dark Side of Man: Tracing the Origins of Violence, Ghiglieri uses this background, accompanied by copious scientific and statistical evidence, to construct an explanation of male violence that is often at odds with popular preconceptions.

Central to Ghiglieri's argument is that violence is a deeply entrenched behavioral strategy--especially among males--that simply emerges when other strategies fail, a thesis he reinforces convincingly with both anecdotes and hard numbers. And while he recognizes that culture and socialization play important roles in encouraging violence, he maintains that ignoring the powerful biological and evolutionary forces at work is "the single most useless--and dangerous--approach one could take in trying to explain human violence."

With extensive sections on rape, murder, war, and genocide, Ghiglieri methodically details our grim heritage, from wilding New Yorkers to wild gorillas. Some of his conclusions are surprising but persuasive--that the goal of rape is actually copulation, not control, for instance. But Ghiglieri's assessment is ultimately a hopeful one: he believes that by understanding and admitting to the biological origins of violence, we are better prepared to deal with it. --Paul Hughes

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