Friendship: The Evolution, Biology, and Extraordinary Power of Life’s Fundamental Bond

Norton. Jan. 2020. 320p. notes. index. ISBN 9780393651546. $26.95;. SCI
Denworth (I Can Hear You Whisper) argues that humans are wired for friendship, and that in order to thrive we have a biological need for connection. In a personable and accessible style, Denworth lays out her argument, exploring the biological underpinnings and the evolutionary history of friendship. Denworth takes readers along with her as she travels to the island of Cayo Santiago off the coast of Puerto Rico to learn about the complex social dynamics of rhesus macaque monkeys and to Los Angeles, where she spends time with older adults participating in Generation Xchange, a loneliness intervention program that pairs older adults with elementary school classrooms. In between, Denworth writes about the work of many scientists and their numerous studies, covering topics such as the connection between social relationships and mortality and the evolutionary advantage that friendship provides, all the while peppering her writing with tales of her own children and their friendships.
VERDICT After reading Denworth’s treatise on friendship, you may want to immediately call your best friend, or make a new one. Recommended for fans of human biology and nonfiction browsers.
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