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Our political nature : the evolutionary origins of what divides us / Avi Tuschman.


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Tuschman, Avi, 1979-
Publication date:
Amherst, New York : Prometheus Books, 2013.
  • Book
  • 543 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Includes bibliographical references and index.
  • Introduction: Searching for the origin of political identity
  • The Burning Man of Tunisia
  • The Universal Political Animal
  • What Economics Can and Cannot Predict
  • The Invention of the Political Litmus Test
  • Unearthing the Three Roots of Political Orientation
  • Part One: Tribalism on the political spectrum
  • Ethnocentrism vs. Xenophilia
  • Religiosity vs. Secularism
  • Attitudes toward Sexuality, Homosexuality, and Gender Roles
  • Part Two: The biology of tribalism
  • When Outbreeding Is Fit and Inbreeding Isn't
  • When Inbreeding Is Fit and Outbreeding Isn't
  • How Optimal Mating Happens
  • Why Gender Inequality and Fertility Change across Human History
  • The Biology of War and Genocide
  • Part Three: Do we live in a just world?
  • Attitudes toward inequality and authority in society
  • Attitudes toward inezuality and authority within the family
  • Part Four: The biology of family conflict
  • Why sibling conflict occors and polarizes political personalities
  • Part Five: Are people by nature cooperative or competitive?
  • Sages through the Ages
  • Do Perceptions of Human Nature Change as We Age?
  • Part Six: Illumination our true human nature
  • The Conservative Altruism: Kin Selection
  • The Liberal Altruism: Reciprocity
  • Altruism across the Lifespan: The Neurological Development of Cynicism
  • The Altruism That Isn't: Self-Deception among People and Politicians
  • The Enigmatic Altruism of Heroic Rescuers
"The first book to tell the natural history of political orientations. Our Political Nature is the first book to reveal the hidden roots of our most deeply held moral values. It shows how political orientations across space and time arise from three clusters of measurable personality traits. These clusters entail opposing attitudes toward tribalism, inequality, and differing perceptions of human nature. Together, these traits are by far the most powerful cause of left-right voting, even leading people to regularly vote against their economic interests. As this book explains, our political personalities also influence our likely choice of a mate, and shape society's larger reproductive patterns. Most importantly of all, it tells the evolutionary stories of these crucial personality traits, which stem from epic biological conflicts. Based on dozens of exciting new insights from primatology, genetics, neuroscience, and anthropology, this groundbreaking work brings core concepts to life through current news stories and personalities. For instance, readers will meet Glenn Beck and Hugo Chavez and come to understand the underlying evolutionary forces they represent. By blending serious research with relevant contemporary examples, Our Political Nature casts important light onto the ideological clashes that so dangerously divide and imperil our world today"-- Provided by publisher.

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