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Mama's Last Hug

Animal Emotions and What They Tell Us About Ourselves
Narrated by: L. J. Ganser
Length: 10 hrs and 38 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (197 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best-selling author and primatologist Frans de Waal explores the fascinating world of animal and human emotions. 

Mama's Last Hug opens with the dramatic farewell between Mama, a dying 59-year-old chimpanzee matriarch, and biologist Jan Van Hooff. This heartfelt final meeting of two longtime friends, widely shared as a video, offers a window into how deep and instantly recognizable these bonds can be. 

So begins Frans de Waal's whirlwind tour of new ideas and findings about animal emotions, based on his renowned studies of the social and emotional lives of chimpanzees, bonobos, and other primates. De Waal discusses facial expressions, animal sentience and consciousness, Mama's life and death, the emotional side of human politics, and the illusion of free will. He distinguishes between emotions and feelings, all the while emphasizing the continuity between our species and other species. And he makes the radical proposal that emotions are like organs: We don't have a single organ that other animals don't have, and the same is true for our emotions. 

©2019 Frans de Waal (P)2019 Recorded Books

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SO TRUE!

Just loved it!!! Finally a book, written by a well respected scientist, to open that door, and place a permanent door stop on it ever closing again, to let all societyknow, we are all individuals with open hearts, souls, emotions, love,desires, worries, plans, hopes, dedication, concerns, hate, fear, jealousy, and more. Modern life has blunted our own understandings of ourselves, and Frans is making it clear, that, after all, we humans, who think we are so superior, are not so, not at all! We can learn a lot, if only we open ourselves to the opportunity ! I will now purchase all of his other books as well! JUST LOVED IT, humbling!

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Excellent

I highly recommend this book. It is so well done. Both in content and narration.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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More of a text book than a story

This is more of a text book than a story about Mama. The psychology of animals in general is covered extensively in the book and not as much on the life and interaction with Mama. Starts out good but then gets too much like a psychology text book. I was looking for a more endearing story.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Exceptional Science

The narrator was top notch . The material was well supported and insightful. Logical, rational, and reasonable conclusions. Transparent scientific method. Loved it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • ss8tzb
  • Seattle, WA USA
  • 06-10-19

Full of rants.

I was very frustrated with this book. I really wanted to like it. The author has a lot of interesting information, but he spends an inordinate amount of the book ranting about how naive, ignorant and blind other scientists and professionals are. It's a constant theme throughout.

If you can get past his negativity and judgments of others, then you might like it, but I couldn't finish it. His negativity put me in a bad mood.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Must read!

I enjoyed listening to this book very much. I was hesitant from reading this in the beginning, thinking it would be a dull science book on emotions. In the contrary I found the book to be very interesting and insightful. I enjoyed the author’s sense of humor at recounting some of the stories and examples. The narrator captures the author’s words so well, I felt I was really listening to the author it self.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Thought-provoking and enjoyable

Both data-driven and accessible. Enjoyable and I learned quite a bit. The author’s afterword was a nice addition.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Pacé
  • New Hampshire and Wisconsin
  • 04-11-19

everyone needs to read a book like this

I won't lie, this book confirmed my beliefs, but offered a lot of hard evidence to what my intuition already knew.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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So Good I Bought the Print Version

The truth is, audiobooks are difficult for me because I usually read with a pencil in hand, checking notes and references, marking down questions and ideas. So, it's frustrating to just listen, but I've begun cultivating the practice because I now walk several miles a day, especially to and from my office. It fills the time. But this book really asked for more. While it's delightfully accessible to a lay reader (like me), it raises provocative, intriguing questions for reflection and further research. Charming and inspirational as well as well grounded in contemporary research, I found that as much as I enjoyed listening, I simply need more. But this is a great way into the topic.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Thomas
  • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • 04-09-19

Great book about animal emotions

De Waal is not only the world’s leading primatologist, but he is also a great philosopher. I say watch his TED talk and get your hands on the rest of his books!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful