“Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?”

Image: Frans de Waal/FB
Image: Frans de Waal/FB
Tomorrow (Monday: 25 April, 2016) will be the official pub date of my book “Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?” This means that the English version is, or should be, in the stores and that if you order the book from an internet provider, it will be shipped to you right away. Many translations are either coming out or in the works, while the UK edition will appear early September, 2016, in London.

By Frans de Waal | Facebook

It has been a long journey from writing to production to having the book available, and I appreciate all of the patience of those who wanted to read it right away. If you have read the book and liked it and wish to promote it, one great way is to put a glowing review on the Amazon.com website. Amazon ratings and reviews do matter. Another way, of course, is the good-old word-of-mouth method of recommending the book to others.
Several reviews of the book have already appeared in print or on the internet, and I am sure many more will follow in the coming days and weeks. There is even a placement on the “best new books” list of, yes, People magazine. It is also on Publisher’s Weekly tip sheet. The New York Times published an extract as well as a book review, as did Slate.com. Science Friday did a radio interview on the book on April 22nd – you can listen to it here. In the meantime in the Netherlands, the book entered within days the top ten of non-fiction books.
The key message that animals are a lot smarter than science has given them credit for is likely to resonate. The book pays ample attention to the history of my field, including the question why it has taken so long to reach this conclusion. We stand at the beginning of a new way of looking at animal intelligence. The present generation of scientists focuses on the animals themselves rather than on the tired old question of what makes humans special. The book’s goal is to make new knowledge accessible. The first reviews indicate that everyone thinks it is fun to read.