Remember that scene in The Jerk when Steve Martin runs around screaming his head off, saying "The new phone book is here! The new phone book is here!" That's how I feel today.
In 2001, a very long time ago, I published my first book, an intellectual history of the study of animal intelligence, CLEVER AS A FOX. It went out of print a while ago but today it has new life as a digital book. It even got a new cover to celebrate the occasion.
Here is the preface to the new edition:
"Seventeen years have passed since this book was first published during which my daughters became adults and I became a novelist. The former event was predictable but nevertheless stupefying; the latter so unlikely I would have laughed aloud had anyone suggested it. I was tempted to revise this book with a novelist’s ear but resisted. I considered updating it but resisted that, too. As an intellectual history, the reasoning should hold. For recent books on animal intelligence, I recommend Jennifer Ackerman’s The Genius of Birds and Virginia Morell’s Animal Wise."
And the description, so you can see if it might be up your alley:
"A lively, insightful look at the world of animal intelligence.
Recent evidence has dismissed the belief that animals are simply reflex machines, acting without thought or real consciousness. In response, there has been a rush to examine animal intelligence. Yet what, precisely, is intelligence? Is it the ability to learn, the ability to remember, or the ability to survive? What separates instinct from intelligence? Why are dolphins smarter than eagles and bees smarter than worms? Are cats smarter than dogs?
Clever as a Fox explores the often-misconstrued world of animal intelligence. From B.F. Skinner's behaviorism to evolutionary biology, Sonja Yoerg examines the ways we have come to view motivation and intelligence in animals. By evaluating our complex relationships to animals-why we eat some animals while pampering others is often predicated on a commensurate belief in intelligence, Yoerg offers us a better understanding of our own way of thinking. Entertaining, and scrupulously researched, Clever as a Fox will challenge your previously held notions about animals and the measure of intelligence, both theirs and ours."
The book has its own page on this website, as well, to show off the nice things people have said about it. Take a look!
If you have friends who love to read about animals and psychology, be sure to spread the word, okay? Thank you!