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

Front Cover
Kodansha International, 1996 - Social Science - 257 pages
18 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.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

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

User Review  - Aseem Gupta - Goodreads

In this book, the zoologist Desmond Morris takes a look at the human animal in society. The author compares the city life of humans not with a free animal in his territory but with a caged animal in a ... Read full review

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

User Review  - Srikkanthan - Goodreads

Can't believe this was written in the late sixties. This is one wonderful book that puts forth with all honesty why the urbanized human being is so violent as well as vulnerable. This book is really thought provoking and definitely would change the world view after reading. 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.

Bibliographic information