The Third Chimpanzee

On the Evolution and Future of the Human Animal

Adapted by Rebecca Stefoff
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The Third Chimpanzee was first published in 1991 and has been in print ever since. This new, illustrated edition is aimed at a young readership. In it, Jared Diamond explores what makes us human and poses fascinating questions.

  • If we share more than 98% of our DNA with chimpanzees, how is it that we can write, read, talk, build telescopes and bombs, while we put our speechless and bomb-less close relatives in cages and zoos?
  • What can woodpeckers teach us about spacecraft?
  • Is genocide a human invention?
  • Why does extinction matter?
  • Why are we destroying the natural resources on which we depend for survival?
  • What hope is there for future generations?

Not only is The Third Chimpanzee a mind-boggling survey of how we came to be, but it is also a plea to the next generation to "make better decisions than their parents and get us out of the mess we're in."

'A master storyteller of the human race.'

– Daily Mail

'Informative, most fascinating, and very readable.'

– Library Journal

'This is exactly the kind of book that should be a 'set text' for secondary school science: engaging, thought-provoking and bang up to the minute. if your teachers aren't recommending books like this - go out and get them anyway.'

– Guy Claxton, author of What's the Point of School?

‘An important book and a valuable resource for students of the natural sciences’

– Carousel

'Thoughtful readers interested in any fields related to evolutionary science, anthropology, psychology, human history, and culture will find plenty to ponder.'

– School Library Journal

Praise for the adult edition:

‘Written with great wit and a pleasure to read... forces one to reflect thoroughly on the puzzle of human evolution, on where we came from and where we may be heading.’

– New York Times