×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Light Shining Through the Mist: A Photobiography of Dian Fossey
     

Light Shining Through the Mist: A Photobiography of Dian Fossey

by Tom Mathews, Tom L. Mathews, George B. Schaller (Foreword by)
 

In 1966, with no experience or formal scientific training, Dian Fossey left the United States and set up a gorilla observation camp in the Virunga mountains of Africa. Sponsored by Dr. Louis Leakey, the 34-year-old Fossey had embarked on a 19-year project that began as a field study of gorillas but expanded into a labor of love and a mission to protect the

Overview

In 1966, with no experience or formal scientific training, Dian Fossey left the United States and set up a gorilla observation camp in the Virunga mountains of Africa. Sponsored by Dr. Louis Leakey, the 34-year-old Fossey had embarked on a 19-year project that began as a field study of gorillas but expanded into a labor of love and a mission to protect the magnificent species from extinction. No human ever came closer to the mysterious mountain gorillas than Fossey, but as her relationship with the animals grew, her fierce battle against poachers did also. Fossey was murdered in 1985, but her legacy endures. This dramatic story of her vital work is an important record for a new generation of readers.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Matthews's flowing text and stunning photos neatly distill the life story of a woman who dedicated herself to the research and preservation of African mountain gorillas. Matthews's use of frequent excerpts in Fossey's own words, from her journals and letters, several National Geographic articles and her 1983 book, Gorillas in the Mist, underscore the scientist's tireless devotion to understanding and protecting the primates that became her life's focus. The succinct yet substantial biography follows Fossey from childhood, with only a goldfish for a pet, to a chance encounter with renowned anthropologist Dr. Louis Leakey that led to a job offer studying the great apes. Fossey set up a base in the Congo until civil war drove her from that country in 1967, then moved to Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park, where she established a research center that grew from a single tent to a sizable compound. Though Fossey came to a sad end--she was murdered in her cabin in Rwanda in 1985 (and Matthews does not shy away from the controversy surrounding her sometimes violent tactics of "active conservation" against poachers)--the book has an upbeat conclusion, noting that her research center still thrives and "her spirit and strength live on, like a light shining through the mist." This fascinating biography will surely snare the attention of young animal lovers and aspiring anthropologists. Ages 10-up. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Donna P. Kalloch
Meet Dian Fossey and also get an introduction to her work with the gorillas of Africa. Of course, once you get to know her life story, you see that the two are inseparable. The gorillas she worked with inhabitat the Virunga mountains which run along the borders of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda. What makes Fossey interesting is her lack of formal training as a zoologist and field researcher, the political battles that she engaged in later in her career, and her mysterious death. The text is brilliantly written and informative-you couldn't ask for a better book on the subject. And, as we've all come to expect from the National Geographic Society, the book contains page after page of beautiful photographs. This book is a must for school libraries. It will inspire girls, young scientists, and those who struggle against bureaucratic and other barriers, and it shows that being any one of these need not exclude one from being another.1998, National Geographic Society, Ages 10 up, $17.95. Reviewer: Karen Saxe
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-Gorgeous photography and a fascinating story combine to create a fitting tribute to Dian Fossey and her study of gorillas in the Virunga Mountains of Rwanda and the Congo. Frequent use of quotes from her journals and full-color photographs of the zoologist at work provide insight into her dedication to primate study and her later crusade to thwart the poaching and killing of mountain gorillas. Although the author briefly discusses his subject's family and early life, he concentrates on Fossey's recruitment by Dr. Louis Leakey and on her work in Africa, giving readers a clear understanding of her deep feelings and awe of these animals and her fight to save them. An afterword briefly describes the continued work of Fossey's Karisoke Research Center in Rwanda. Suzanne Freedman's Dian Fossey (Raintree, 1997) and Jack Roberts's Dian Fossey (Lucent, 1995) provide more biographical material but lack the stunning visual appeal of this title.-Cynthia M. Sturgis, Ledding Library, Milwaukee, OR
Horn Book
As the subtitle acknowledges, gorgeous color photographs will be the main draw to this biography of the controversial primatologist, but Matthews's text also does a fine job of tracing the life of a troubled woman who found a career and turned it into a mission. Fossey's work with her beloved mountain gorillas is well documented in both text and pictures; the large, spacious format of the book serves both well. Matthews is forthright about how "gradually, unintentionally, Dian slipped into war with everybody who threatened the gorillas" (although he could have stopped at "everybody" and been just as accurate), and the concluding spread, with the account of Fossey's murder facing a full-page photograph of her apparently absorbed in her journal, is haunting. Appended material includes a chronology, bibliography, directory of organizations and websites, and an index.
Kirkus Reviews
Matthews's first book chronicles Dian Fossey's life in full-color photographs as well as in even-handed commentary that includes the controversial aspects of her attempts to protect the mountain gorillas of Africa; she destroyed poachers' traps, shot at their cattle, and burned their camps to keep them from killing off the creatures she knew to be endangered. This biography follows Fossey's growing love of animals through adolescence and college, covering her meeting on her first trip to Africa with Dr. Leakey through whom she was able to get the position that evolved into her life's work, and perhaps to her murder. Photographs of Fossey with her beloved gorilla, Digit, help readers understand her retaliations when the animal was violently killed. Matthews also confronts readers with one of the major issues conservationists faceþwhich means of preserving a species are justified, given the end goal? A strong, often compassionate debut. (maps, chronology, bibliography, index) (Biography. 9-12)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780792273004
Publisher:
National Geographic Society
Publication date:
07/28/1998
Series:
Photobiographies Series
Pages:
64
Sales rank:
883,579
Product dimensions:
9.54(w) x 11.13(h) x 0.44(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Tom L. Matthews and his family, which includes two pampered cats, live in McLean, Virginia. He graduated from Brooklyn College with a B.A. in history and a concentration in anthropology. Later, he earned an M.S. in communications. As a scriptwriter and television director, he has produced such documentaries as How’s Business: The Quiet Revolution, which won first prize at the Rehabilitation International Festival and a Citation of Excellence from the Presidential Commission on Private Initiatives.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews