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About The Book


'A beautifully reasoned book about our own unreasonableness' Robin Ince

In 1983, the reasoning of one unsung Russian narrowly averted nuclear war, proving that critical thinking can save the world. Today, facing unprecedented tides of disinformation, we’re frequently misled, to our detriment. The Irrational Ape explores the reasons why we get things so wrong, illustrated with incredible stories from the comical to the catastrophic.

With a cast including murderous popes, conspiracy theorists, snake-oil salesmen, dubious celebrities and superstitious pigeons, The Irrational Ape delves into how reasoning errors, skewed perceptions and even our own psychology render us so susceptible to falsehood – and how we can improve our reasoning to ensure we avoid being taken in.

About The Author

David Robert Grimes

Dr David Robert Grimes is a physicist, cancer researcher and science journalist. Born in Dublin in 1985, he is affiliated with Oxford University and Queen's University, Belfast. He contributes to both the BBC and RTE discussing science, politics and media and has written for the Guardian, Irish Times and the Spectator, among others. 

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (October 29, 2020)
  • Length: 400 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781471178283

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Raves and Reviews

'From anti-vaxxers to Dunning-Kruger, from homeopathy and astrology to “false balance” (what I call the BBC Fallacy), from misused statistics to nuclear brinkmanship, our irrationality could be our undoing. A book exposing the irrational ape and teaching us to mend our ways might so easily have become all preachy and teachy. Instead, such is David Robert Grimes’s storytelling skill, his book is an unstoppable page-turner. If our leaders were forced to read this book, the world would be a safer place

– Richard Dawkins

'Grimes’s book addresses an all-too-urgent contemporary political question: how do we protect our societies and ourselves from charlatans and fools?...It brings a fresh perspective, and has been painstakingly researched. This spirited cocktail of data leavened with anecdotes is served up in Grimes’s trademark provocative, combative style...a highly creditable debut from a skilled communicator'

– John Gibbons, Irish Times

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