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The Soul of the White Ant by Eugène N. Marais, 1937
Eugène Marais is a forgotten genius. He was master of a science that hadn't yet been invented; he postulated natural mechanisms and systems that were not identified by mainstream science for another 40 years. Neither science nor society has yet caught up with many of his findings and conclusions. As a natural scientist it was the mind of man, the human psyche, that preoccupied Marais. To unlock the key to its nature it was to nature that he turned, rather than to other humans. He followed two parallel paths, the study of the animals most like humans, the primates, and the study of creatures that could hardly be more alien to us, termite colonies -- white ants. In both fields his findings were revolutionary. He developed a fresh and radically different view of how a termite colony works, and indeed of what a termite colony is, far in advance of any contemporary work. This is The Soul of the White Ant , and it's about much more than termites. A rare gem, and a rare delight to read. Full-text online.