“Here at last is a book that digs deep into cognitive science to unravel the mysteries of the canine brain. I found it entertaining, fast-moving, and filled with gee-whiz insights that gave me a new appreciation for the complex social intelligence of man's best friend.”
—John Grogan, author of Marley & Me
“The Genius of Dogs is a fantastic book. It makes it very clear that there are different kinds of intelligence. All dog lovers should read this book.”
—Temple Grandin, New York Times bestselling author of Animals Make Us Human and Animals in Translation
When Brian Hare was 19 years old, he made a discovery with his dog in his parents garage that revolutionized the way we think about dogs. Before Brian's research, science thought that dogs were completely unremarkable. Domestication supposedly made dogs stupid, an artificial animal without anything interesting to tell us.
However, far from domestication making our best friends stupid, our relationship with them gave them a unique kind of intelligence. Find out how the revolution began, how it changed our understanding of animal intelligence, the origins of our own species, and how we can find ways to enrich our lives and that of our best friends. The journey of discovery will take you from a backyard in Atlanta to Siberia to deep into the Congo rainforest.
Now, after 15 years of research, we know more about how the dog's mind works than we ever thought possible. Even the most avid dog owner will be surprised. If you have ever wondered if your dog is too smart to obey you, or if your love is truly reciprocated, The Genius of Dogs will answer these questions and more.
But most of all, your suspicions are correct — your dog is a genius.
“A story to savor.”
“Woods gives one of the best accounts I've read of Congo's history and the effect of the violence on the people who live there.”
“To read Woods's elegant and entertaining book is to share the experience of a soul realizing there is something more — something mankind must learn. In that self-realization is the secret of the bonobos.”
“This is a startling book. Page after page astonished me. A beautifully written journey into the tangled jungle of the human mind, it also brings us movingly into intimate, loving contact with our extraordinary cousins. This is a compelling story, told with striking honesty, humor, and intelligence.”
“Funny, adventurous, and heartbreaking. Woods takes us with her to darkest Africa to meet our nearest relative, the nearly extinct bonobo. This must-read book illuminates extraordinary courage in both people and animals.”
—Sara Gruen, author of New York Times Bestseller Water For Elephants
A young woman follows her fiancé to war-torn Congo to study extremely endangered bonobo apes — who teach her a new truth about love and belonging.
In 2005, Vanessa Woods accepted a marriage proposal from a man she barely knew and agreed to join him on a research trip to the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo. Settling in at a bonobo sanctuary in Congo's capital, Vanessa and her fiancé entered the world of a rare ape with whom we share 98.7% of our DNA. Vanessa soon discovered that bonobos live in a peaceful society in which females are in charge, war is nonexistent, and sex is as common and friendly as a handshake.
A fascinating memoir of hope and adventure, Bonobo Handshake traces Vanessa's self-discovery as she finds herself falling deeply in love with her husband, the apes, and her new surroundings. Courageous and extraordinary, Almost French meets The Poisonwood Bible in this true story of revelation and transformation in a fragile corner of Africa.