This book, Hierarchy In The Forest by Christopher Boehm, asks the question of human nature: are humans fundamentally hierarchical or egalitarian? After explaining, in detail, the political structures of chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, and hunter-gatherer bands of humans in both ancient and modern times, the conclusion is reached that since humans have strong submission and intimidation instincts, humans are fundamentally hierarchical, and that any examples of egalitarian societies are due to the populace as a whole keeping down the “alpha-males” by an extended alliance of sorts.
The book runs a bit longer than necessary to get the point across, and yet still does nothing to answer potential criticism. Still, it is a must-read for all political theorists and philosophers wishing to understand human nature from an evolutionary perspective.
Other topics covered include the role of gossip in society, the effects of food storage on societal structure, how sociology derives from biology, and the difference between tribes and bands. The book is not overly technical, although at times it can become a bit dry.
My name is Dan. I am an author, artist, explorer, and contemplator of subjects large and small.