The Leakeys

Overview

Three generations of Leakeys have dug in East Africa for fossil evidence that answers questions about human origins. Louis and Mary, husband and wife, began what would turn into decades of research and fieldwork, often disproving common theories and beliefs of the time. Son Richard followed in his parents' foot steps, along with his wife Meave, and made spectacular finds as well. Today, Louise, the oldest daughter of Richard and Meave, continues the family tradition with ...

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Overview

Three generations of Leakeys have dug in East Africa for fossil evidence that answers questions about human origins. Louis and Mary, husband and wife, began what would turn into decades of research and fieldwork, often disproving common theories and beliefs of the time. Son Richard followed in his parents' foot steps, along with his wife Meave, and made spectacular finds as well. Today, Louise, the oldest daughter of Richard and Meave, continues the family tradition with fieldwork in northern Kenya.

The Leakey family's achievements have had an enormous impact on our knowledge of human origins and evolution. This biography describes their life in detail, including their discoveries, publications, controversies, and legacy. A timeline, glossary, and bibliography of print and electronic sources supplement the material.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"[P]resents a concise biography of three generations of the Leakey family of paleo-anthropologists. Using plain language and an informal style, Bowman-Krum recounts the personal lives of the Leakeys and describes their discoveries, publications, and impact on our understanding of human origins and evolution. Supplemental materials include a timeline and a glossary."

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Reference & Research Book News

"Well-researched chapters help students answer typical inquiry-based research questions. The Leakeys thoroughly recounts the history of the family….Accurate, accessible biography that goes beyond facts to create an engaging profile of exceptional personalities."

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School Library Journal

Children's Literature
The Leaky family has been synonymous with the study of human fossil history for over seventy years. Louis Leaky's groundbreaking work at Olduvai Gorge in Kenya helped uncover some of the oldest hominid remains ever found. His wife Mary carried out extensive digs in the surrounding area and was responsible for discovering tremendous amounts of human and anthropological remains. Subsequently, the Leaky's children and grandchildren also made significant contributions to the study of mankind's distant past. In addition, the Leaky family was responsible for initially funding renowned primate research conducted by such figures as Jane Goodall, Birute Mary Galdikas, and Dian Fossey. Yet, the Leaky family was plagued by domestic concerns including marital breakups, infidelities, and alcohol abuse. In this family biography author Mary Bowman-Kruhm does an comprehensive job of telling the story of three generations of Leakys. Throughout this well-written familial study, readers are afforded an opportunity to not only see the scientific elements of each of the Leaky's lives but also their personal triumphs and tragedies. In this way the author presents these people as complete human beings with strengths and frailties rather than cardboard cutouts. As such, this title is an excellent source of information for younger readers interested in science and scientists. 2005, Greenwood Press, Ages 14 up.
—Greg M. Romaneck
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-The Leakey family has been a leading force in the anthropological world for three generations, beginning with Louis and Mary and continuing with their son Richard and his wife Meave, and their daughter Louise. Intertwined in their studies of man's origin in Africa is Jane Goodall, who branched out to be a force of her own, redefining scholars' understanding of chimpanzees through her observations in Gombe. The authors' depictions of the strong personalities, personal interests, and private lives of their subjects are well developed, illustrating the passion with which these individuals lived and worked. Well-researched chapters help students answer typical inquiry-based research questions. The Leakeys thoroughly recounts the history of the family; Goodall is more readable, with events captured in episodic "stories." Both books contain a few black-and-white photos and detailed time lines. Accurate, accessible biographies that go beyond facts to create engaging profiles of exceptional personalities.-Kathy Lehman, Thomas Dale High School Library, Chester, VA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313329852
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/5/2000
  • Series: Greenwood Biographies Series
  • Pages: 172
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.44 (d)

Meet the Author

MARY BOWMAN-KRUHM is author of over 30 books for children and young adults and a member of the faculty, Johns Hopkins University, School of Professional Studies in Business and Education.

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Table of Contents

Series Foreword

Dedication and Acknowledgments

Introduction

Significant Events in the Lives of the Leakeys

A Fact-finding Mission (Forward to the Past)

In the Beginning (Louis, 1925-1933)

Positive Choices, Negative Voices (Mary, 1913-1936; Louis, 1933-1936)

War and Children: Real Time (1937-1946)

Peace and Turmoil, Personal and Political (1947-1958)

Human History Carved in Bone (1959-1971)

Skull Drudgery and Skullduggery (1972-1977)

Contentious, Contention, and a Critical Condition (1978-1988)

Burning His Tusks behind Him (1989-2003)

But Wait, There's More (2004 and Beyond)

Glossary

Bibliography

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