Set Yourself Free: Twelve Books to Read on Human Nature

If you’ve a mind to understand human nature? non-fiction may not be the best way to understand it. Or, for that matter, human behavior in general. Fiction might be more accurate. However, there is some value in science and history; and reading.

Non-fiction books

just might be (in some cases) more fiction, fantasy, or delusion than fiction. Especially now in the current “Postmodern” age wherein everything is relative, subjective, and presented as “my truth”.

What’s a person to do? Read! Outside of your comfort zone. In other words, beyond your required reading. Outside of your tribe’s recommended list.

Educate yourself.

Evolutionary Psychology

is a much maligned Field of academic study. From its onset (from Darwin to Freud to Wilson to Buss) it has been labeled: Racist, Sexist, Xenophobic, and generally anti-progressive. Therefore it is not taught in any undergraduate curriculum. Because it threatens politically correct (progressive) thought – which dominates Western Civilization’s self-concept.


Evo-psych also challenges the Protestant work ethic, and Christianity in general. Thus, it has no friends. Not Liberals or Conservatives. Certainly not almost all mental health providers.

Yet, here I am – in a professional therapeutic relationship. Indeed, a sometimes contentious one.


Because, for some of us (humans), that’s our nature.

The List:

  1. The Territorial Imperative: A personal inquiry into the animal origins of property and nations (1966) Robert Ardrey
  2. On Human Nature (1978) E.O. Wilson
  3. The Whisperings Within: Evolution and the origin of human nature (1979) David Barash
  4. The Blind Watchmaker: Why the evidence of evolution reveals a universe without design (1987) Richard Dawkins
  5. Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (1992) Carl Sagan & Ann Druyan
  6. The Third Chimpanzee: The evolution and future of the human animal (1992) Jared Diamond
  7. The Moral Animal: Evolutionary psychology and everyday life (1994) Robert Wright
  8. Survival of the Prettiest: The science of beauty (1999) Nancy Etcoff
  9. Evolutionary Psychology: The new psychology of the mind (1999) David M. Buss
  10. Why Sex Matters: A Darwinian look at human behavior (2000) Bobbi S. Low
  11. The Dangerous Passion: Why jealousy is as necessary as love and sex (2000) David M. Buss
  12. Election 2016: The great divide, the great debate (2018) Mark Jabbour
Some of my favorite books on human nature and behavior.
Ten from my bookshelf


of course, has costs. It’s not free. Today, as always, if you strike out on your own your survival chances diminish. One of my favorite lines from Game of Thrones is, “When Winter comes, the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives.”

So if you choose to read “on your own” these branded (racist, sexist, xenophobic) books, be prepared to face “cancellation” from your tribe, be it Left or Right. Recall, at the end, Jon Snow was banished to The  Wall, even though he was the legitimate heir to the throne.



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