Stuart Agency
Published by
Basic Books (2019-04)
Current material
Original language
Society & Social Sciences


A Natural History of Societies

by Moffett, Mark W.

The epic story and ultimate big history of how human society evolved from intimate chimp communities into the sprawling civilizations of a world-dominating species

If a chimpanzee ventures into the territory of a different group, it will almost certainly be killed. But a New Yorker can fly to Los Angeles--or Borneo--with very little fear. Psychologists have done little to explain this: for years, they have held that our biology puts a hard upper limit--about 150 people--on the size of our social groups. But human societies are in fact vastly larger. How do we manage--by and large--to get along with each other?

In this paradigm-shattering book, biologist Mark W. Moffett draws on findings in psychology, sociology and anthropology to explain the social adaptations that bind societies. He explores how the tension between identity and anonymity defines how societies develop, function, and fail. Surpassing Guns, Germs, and Steel and Sapiens, The Human Swarm reveals how mankind created sprawling civilizations of unrivaled complexity--and what it will take to sustain them.

Mark Moffett is a research scientist at the Smithsonian Institution and a research associate in Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University. He earned a Ph.D. in Evolutionary Biology under E.O. Wilson at Harvard. Before joining the National Museum of Natural history at the Smithsonian he was Scholar in Residence at Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, University of California at Berkeley. His works include "Adventures Among Ants: A Global Safari with a Cast of Trillions" (University of California Press, 2011) and "The High Frontier: Exploring the Rainforest Canopy" (Harvard University Press, 1994). His prose has been included in the series "Best American Science and Nature Writing."

Available rights (1)

Language Territory Type Vendor Status
German World All

Mohrbooks Literary Agency
Sebastian Ritscher

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