It brims with good news about human nature ... It is a multidisciplinary tour de force ranging from how sailors survived being shipwrecked (best tip: work as a team and be decent to one another) to experiments in social networks conducted from his wonderfully named 'human nature lab' at Yale ... For the non-specialist readers, Blueprint presents a number of puzzles ... The book is likely to be controversial for several reasons. If genes determine so much of how we behave, what purchase is left for free will, for instance ... What is already making people angry, however, is the contention that humans are basically good ... It cheered me up reading it, I say.
By all rights, any review of Blueprint should be as long as the book itself due to the complexity of the material under examination by author Nicholas A. Christakis. If not as long as the book, then the review might at least consist of quotations from the text because it says more than any reviewer could ... Oh, and dear friends, we need to understand this now more than ever. If you fear the political and environmental apocalypses impending, then Blueprint offers hope for how you might organize your life afterward. If you survive.
Not every reader will come away persuaded of Christakis’s thesis that the 'arc of our evolutionary history is long' but 'bends towards goodness.' Nonetheless, his thoughtful and comprehensive analysis...provides much food for thought and a refreshingly optimistic perspective.
As he explores human nature and its possibilities, the author touches on all sorts of fascinating anthropological matters, such as the evolution of monogamy and the relative friendliness of affluent vs. working-class people. A refreshingly optimistic view of our kind.