Wise Animals

Tom Chatfield

22 February 2024
336 pages


'Powerful, profound and completely engrossing, this is a multitudinous meditation on not only technology but also history, culture, ideas, ethics, psychology and, above all, what it means to be human.' – Michael Bhaskar, co-author of The Coming Wave

Wise Animals explores the history of our relationship with technology, and our deep involvement with our creations from the first use of tools and the taming of fire, via the invention of reading and printing, to the development of the computer, the creation of the internet and the emergence of AI.

Human children know no more of modern technology than their ancestors did of older technologies thousands of years ago, and develop in relation to the technologies of their time. We co-evolve with technology as individuals as we have as a species over thousands of years.

Rather than see technology as a threat, this deeply humanist contribution to the debate proposes that we are neither masters nor victims of our technologies. They are part of who we are, and our future – and theirs – is in our hands.

Timely and wide-ranging . . . Ambitious in its scope
Quite simply, one of the best books on technology and culture I have read . . . An extraordinary saga that is given coherence by his formidable intellect and beautiful writing style
Combining compelling storytelling with erudite, compassionate and often profound insight about the human condition, this book will transform how you navigate the world.