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The Human Zoo (1969)

by Desmond Morris

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856620,932 (3.64)2
How does city life change the way we act? What accounts for the increasing prevalence of violence and anxiety in our world? In this new edition of his controversial 1969 bestseller, THE HUMAN ZOO, renowned zoologist Desmond Morris argues that many of the social instabilities we face are largely a product of the artificial, impersonal confines of our urban surroundings. Indeed, our behavior often startlingly resembles that of captive animals, and our "developed" and "urbane" environment seems not so much a concrete jungle as it does a human zoo. Animals do not normally exhibit stress, random violence, and erratic behavior--until they are confined. Similarly, the human propensity toward antisocial and sociopathic behavior is intensified in today's cities. Morris argues that we are biologically still tribal and ill-equipped to thrive in the impersonal urban sprawl. As important and meaningful today as it was a quarter-century ago, THE HUMAN ZOO sounds an urgent warning and provides startling insight into our increasingly complex lives.… (more)
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Cool. Now I can look at humans like the animals they are, caged animals to be precise.
This book is copium for incels. ( )
  Sebuktegin | May 25, 2021 |
In The Naked Ape, Desmond Morris took a brutally objective look at the human animal -- his sexual habits, his aggressions, his affections and emotions. Now, in The Human Zoo, he presents an authoritative, fiercely frank and brilliantly entertaining study of the society the naked ape has created for himself; and examines the neurotic, unstable behaviour that has resulted from man's unnatural confinement in crowded cities -- murders, sexual deviations and psychological disorders.
If man is to survive, and turn his environment into a magnificent game park, he must learn the new, and sometimes difficult, rules of the human zoo.
  rajendran | Feb 20, 2007 |
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Imagine a piece of land twenty miles long and twenty miles wide.
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How does city life change the way we act? What accounts for the increasing prevalence of violence and anxiety in our world? In this new edition of his controversial 1969 bestseller, THE HUMAN ZOO, renowned zoologist Desmond Morris argues that many of the social instabilities we face are largely a product of the artificial, impersonal confines of our urban surroundings. Indeed, our behavior often startlingly resembles that of captive animals, and our "developed" and "urbane" environment seems not so much a concrete jungle as it does a human zoo. Animals do not normally exhibit stress, random violence, and erratic behavior--until they are confined. Similarly, the human propensity toward antisocial and sociopathic behavior is intensified in today's cities. Morris argues that we are biologically still tribal and ill-equipped to thrive in the impersonal urban sprawl. As important and meaningful today as it was a quarter-century ago, THE HUMAN ZOO sounds an urgent warning and provides startling insight into our increasingly complex lives.

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Under normal conditions, in their natural habitats, wild animals do not mutilate themselves, masturbate, attack their offspring, develop stomach ulcers, become fetishists, suffer form obesity, form homosexual pair-bonds, or commit murder ... The zoo animal in a cage exhibits all these abnormalities that we know so well from our human companions. Clearly, then, the city is not a concrete jungle, it is a human zoo.

And more than likely, you, the reader, are one of the animals on display. Think not? Read on. And prepare to lose your illusions.
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