Survival of the Nicest: How Altruism Made Us Human and Why It Pays To Get Along

Stefan Klein, trans. from the German by David Dollenmayer. The Experiment (Workman, dist.) $24.95 (272p) ISBN 978-1-61519-090-4
Klein (The Secret Pulse of Time: Making Sense of Life's Scarcest Commodity) transforms Darwinian interpretation of evolution and resets the conversation about how we relate to each other as individuals and communities in this mind-bending book. Klein's inquiry fuses the work of neuropsychologists, neuroeconomists, geneticists, philosophers, anthropologists, a chemist, and a lion expert, with myriads of studies conducted in cultures around the world. He distinguishes, then connects dots, between abstract concepts, using the growing body of fMRI experiments to illustrate biological activations of sharing, empathy, sympathy, selflessness and his main subject, altruism. He then he applies familiar behavioral models, including the Prisoner's Dilemma, in constructing new arguments. His main point—that over time evolution has favored cooperation—is simple but profound and so astutely argued that if there is a science to winning readers over, Klein has surely mastered it. Far from pedantic or sententious, the wealth of knowledge here is astounding. His conviction history, empirical facts and ongoing discoveries about human characteristics and societies serve as a roadmap for a better world. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 02/10/2014
Release date: 01/01/2014
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-1-61519-220-5
Open Ebook - 250 pages - 978-1-61519-181-9
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