The Human Zoo: A Zoologist's Classic Study of the Urban Animal

Front Cover
Kodansha International, 1996 - Social Science - 257 pages
20 Reviews
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 behavioruntil they are confined. Similarly, the human propensity toward antisocial and sociopathic behavior is intensified in todays 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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Review: The Human Zoo: A Zoologist's Study of the Urban Animal

User Review  - Dean Hanmer - Goodreads

There was much in this book that I have not read anywhere else. In fact, I was stunned to read many of his ideas - not because I thought them absurd, but because I never had thought of them at all. I ... Read full review

Review: The Human Zoo: A Zoologist's Study of the Urban Animal

User Review  - Nick Arkesteyn - Goodreads

What happens when you take people who are biologically programmed to live in groups of less than 200 and cram them into large dense cities? This book describes the interesting behavior patterns that ... Read full review

About the author (1996)


Desmond Morris is the author of more than thirty books, including The Naked Ape, Intimate Behavior, and Human Animal. He lives in Oxford, England.

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