Storytelling Monkeys - Summary and Key Ideas

"Storytelling Monkeys" is a book that explores the evolution of storytelling and communication among primates, particularly monkeys, and how it has influenced human language and culture.

The target group for the book "Storytelling Monkeys" is likely individuals interested in literature, storytelling, and animal behavior, particularly those curious about the cognitive abilities of primates.

Buy the book
Storytelling Monkeys

Key ideas


The narratives we create shape our perception and actions, and by reevaluating them, we can build a more equitable future.


Recurring story patterns, such as the hero's journey, are not just entertainment but essential tools that help us understand and navigate our reality.

Play in App

The evolution of narratives from ancient Greek individualism to modern self-promotion challenges the concept of heroism, revealing a timeless pursuit of purpose and personal development.

Play in App

Words and images are powerful tools in storytelling, shaping our perceptions and constructing realities, but must be used responsibly to avoid distortion and misrepresentation.

Play in App

In the digital age, technology has revolutionized storytelling, shaping personal and group identities, but also leading to divisions and raising questions.

Play in App

Societal narratives, often disguised as "grown-up fairytales", have historically been used to justify inequality and consolidate power.

Play in App

Fascist narratives subtly permeate popular culture and digital media, shaping aesthetics and storytelling techniques.

Play in App

"Deep stories" shape a nation's collective memory and values, guiding attitudes towards reality, freedom, and authority.

Play in App

Historical narratives often depict women negatively, but innovative storytelling can reframe these gender biases, paving the way for a more equitable world.

Play in App

Effective climate crisis communication requires a shift from debate and despair to empowering narratives that inspire collective action.

Play in App

The transformative power of nuanced storytelling can mend societal divisions and guide our collective journey.

Play in App

Our capacity to shape narratives can be harnessed to transition from passive observers to active allies of the environment, using available solutions to write a sustainable future.

Play in App
Get the App!
Access all 13 key ideas for free! 🥳

Summary & Review

"Storytelling Monkeys" by Samira El Ouassil and Friedemann Karig is a fascinating exploration of the power of storytelling and its impact on human society. The authors delve into the evolutionary, psychological, and sociological aspects of storytelling, arguing that it is an innate human trait that has shaped our history and continues to influence our present and future. They also discuss the role of storytelling in politics, media, and personal relationships, and how it can be used for both good and evil.

Samira El Ouassil, Friedemann Karig

Samira El Ouassil is a German political scientist, media researcher, and columnist known for her work in political communication. Friedemann Karig is a German journalist, author, and media critic, who has made significant contributions to discussions on digital culture and society.

Explore more book summaries

The Art of War

The book The Art of War (5th century BC) is about the ultimate strategy guide for winning battles and succeeding in life. Sun Tzu's timeless principles teach how to outsmart opponents, anticipate their moves and conquer them without ever having to fight.

The Wealth of Nations

The book The Wealth of Nations (1776) is about the incredible power of free markets and the division of labor to create wealth and prosperity for all. Adam Smith's ideas revolutionized economics and continue to shape modern society.

Whiteboard Selling

Whiteboard Selling is a guidebook that teaches sales professionals how to use visual selling techniques, specifically through the use of whiteboards, to engage prospects, communicate value propositions, and close deals more effectively. It provides a structured approach to creating compelling visual narratives, with the aim of transforming sales processes and improving sales results.

The Shock Doctrine

The book The Shock Doctrine (2007) is about how some powerful elites exploit natural disasters, wars, and economic crises to push their self-serving policies. Naomi Klein exposes how these crises are used as opportunities to impose radical free-market policies that benefit only a few, causing widespread suffering and inequality.

The Anatomy of Peace

"The Anatomy of Peace" is a book that explores the root causes of conflict in various aspects of life, from personal relationships to global issues, and provides insights on how to resolve these conflicts. It emphasizes the importance of seeing others as people, not obstacles, and demonstrates how our own attitudes and behaviors can either perpetuate conflict or foster peace.


"Fabian" ist ein Roman von Erich Kästner, der das Leben des 32-jährigen Jakob Fabian in der Weimarer Republik beschreibt, der als Beobachter und Moralist den Niedergang der politischen und gesellschaftlichen Ideale dieser Zeit miterlebt. Fabian geht unter, symbolisch für den Untergang der Demokratie in den 1930er Jahren.