Human Primates

The Third Chimpanzee

by Dr. Jared Diamond
[Among the top 10 books I’ve ever read]

This is Dr. Diamond’s attempt to explain to his two boys how humans and chimps can be so different when the DNA is not (98.4% identical). The second half of his book gets pretty technical and you’d have to really be curious to make it through — but it is worth it.

Dr. Diamond hints that Mediterranean climate is why European-type primates have historically dominated so much of the globe, without being really any different that any of the other human primates. This important theme, which makes skin color look ridiculous as a way of judging another person, is explained in his later Guns, Germs and Steel.

Reading Third Chimpanzee, you’ll feel like you’re in college — that’s a warning, or a recommendation, depending on how you look at it, but it maybe one of the best courses you ever took!