The Corporate Jungle

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We were all primates once, science tells us. And the proof might seem immediately clear looking around the average office. The ape in the corner office is just the beginning, says, longtime nature writer Richard Conniff.

Watch how we gossip, he says, how we kowtow and roar, how we make nice and do battle — and the primate kingdom is still on full parade: at the water cooler, in the cubicle, in the board room.

We are rough beasts, engaging tooth and claw and e-mail in the corporate clamor. But we might learn, says Coniff, from the ancestor apes who set the pattern.

Hear a conversation with Richard Conniff on how corporate office politics compare the antics of apes.


Richard Conniff, award-winning journalist and essayist whose work has appeared in Smithsonian magazine, Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times Magazine and National Geographic. He is also the author of "The Natural History of the Rich: A Field Guide." His new book is "The Ape in the Corner Office: Understanding the Workplace Beast in All of Us."

This program aired on September 19, 2005.


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