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Publisher's Summary

In the compelling popular science tradition of Sapiens and Guns, Germs, and Steel, a groundbreaking and eye-opening exploration that applies evolutionary science to provide a new perspective on human psychology, revealing how major challenges from our past have shaped some of the most fundamental aspects of our being.

The most fundamental aspects of our lives - from leadership and innovation to aggression and happiness - were permanently altered by the "social leap" our ancestors made from the rain forest to the Savannah. Their struggle to survive on the open grasslands required a shift from individualism to a new form of collectivism, which forever altered the way our mind works. It changed the way we fight and our proclivity to make peace, it changed the way we lead and the way we follow, it made us innovative but not inventive, it created a new kind of social intelligence, and it led to new sources of life satisfaction.

In The Social Leap, William von Hippel lays out this revolutionary hypothesis, tracing human development through three critical evolutionary inflection points to explain how events in our distant past shape our lives today. From the mundane, such as why we exaggerate, to the surprising, such as why we believe our own lies and why fame and fortune are as likely to bring misery as happiness, the implications are far-reaching and extraordinary.

Blending anthropology, biology, history, and psychology with evolutionary science, The Social Leap is a fresh and provocative look at our species that provides new clues about who we are, what makes us happy, and how to use this knowledge to improve our lives.

©2018 William von Hippel (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

amazing book and great narration

looking for an easy read and interesting?
look no more. lots of case studies brought in an easy going manner and enjoyable.
pretty much explaining how we are as a society developed and will hopefully develop more...

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wow!! I learned more than in the last decade.

I’m taking keen interest in what makes humans the way we are including anthropology and neuroscience and am a fan of books such as Sapiens or Factfulness. The Social Leap is outstanding. Solid science and fantastic storytelling. Easy to follow and FULL of insights I’ve not come across before as well as well framed facts I’ve known about. This book prompts me to make a number of adjustments in my life which are perfect for the New Year resolutions and my goals for 2019 (it’s 4th January when I’m writing this). Highly recommended book for all curious people out there

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

amazing read

Brilliant book, explained in a easy to follow way, would highly recommend this for anyone interested in evolution

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Zayin gadol
  • 01-16-19

amazing book and great narration

looking for an easy read and interesting?
look no more. lots of case studies brought in an easy going manner and enjoyable.
pretty much explaining how we are as a society developed and will hopefully develop more...

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • flexiblemirror
  • 01-04-19

Wow!! I learned more than in the last decade.

I’m taking keen interest in what makes humans the way we are including anthropology and neuroscience and am a fan of books such as Sapiens or Factfulness. The Social Leap is outstanding. Solid science and fantastic storytelling. Easy to follow and FULL of insights I’ve not come across before as well as well framed facts I’ve known about. This book prompts me to make a number of adjustments in my life which are perfect for the New Year resolutions and my goals for 2019 (it’s 4th January when I’m writing this). Highly recommended book for all curious people out there

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 11-20-18

amazing read

Brilliant book, explained in a easy to follow way, would highly recommend this for anyone interested in evolution

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Zayin gadol
  • 01-16-19

amazing book and great narration

looking for an easy read and interesting?
look no more. lots of case studies brought in an easy going manner and enjoyable.
pretty much explaining how we are as a society developed and will hopefully develop more...

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • flexiblemirror
  • 01-04-19

Wow!! I learned more than in the last decade.

I’m taking keen interest in what makes humans the way we are including anthropology and neuroscience and am a fan of books such as Sapiens or Factfulness. The Social Leap is outstanding. Solid science and fantastic storytelling. Easy to follow and FULL of insights I’ve not come across before as well as well framed facts I’ve known about. This book prompts me to make a number of adjustments in my life which are perfect for the New Year resolutions and my goals for 2019 (it’s 4th January when I’m writing this). Highly recommended book for all curious people out there

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 11-20-18

amazing read

Brilliant book, explained in a easy to follow way, would highly recommend this for anyone interested in evolution