Visions of Caliban: On Chimpanzees and People

Overview

Using Shakespeare's play The Tempest and its characters Prospero and Caliban as structural metaphors representing the master-slave relationship between humans and chimpanzees, authors Dale Peterson and Jane Goodall collaborate in this exploration of our interaction with the species that shares more than 98 percent of our genetic makeup. After introducing us to an animal that fashions and uses tools, exploits forest medicines, transmits learned cultural behaviors, and exhibits human-like emotions, Peterson and ...

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Overview

Using Shakespeare's play The Tempest and its characters Prospero and Caliban as structural metaphors representing the master-slave relationship between humans and chimpanzees, authors Dale Peterson and Jane Goodall collaborate in this exploration of our interaction with the species that shares more than 98 percent of our genetic makeup. After introducing us to an animal that fashions and uses tools, exploits forest medicines, transmits learned cultural behaviors, and exhibits human-like emotions, Peterson and Goodall present an illuminating, frequently startling study of the current threats to wild chimpanzees' habitats and the many abuses that chimps have endured and continue to face at the hands of humans. They address conservation issues and ethical questions concerning keeping chimpanzees in captivity, whether as pets or for entertainment or research, and offer firsthand evidence of the drastically declining numbers of chimpanzees in the wild.

Through their in-depth exploration of our relationship with chimpanzees, Peterson and Goodall demonstrate our close ties to these animals and also reveal how distant humans have become from their own place in nature. Both an informative, entertaining collection of stories about the authors' research experiences with chimps and a poignant call for a change in our perceptions and treatment of them, Visions of Caliban is a moving and important work.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A well-argued case for greater care and conservation [of chimpanzees]."—New Yorker

"Visions of Caliban is beautifully written, easily read, and ethically challenging—it just might become primatology's Silent Spring."—Nature

“A powerful indictment of human cruelty; a convincing plea for animal rights—and altogether superior to the run-of-the-mill nature books crowding the market."—Kirkus Reviews

"Riveting and illuminating, this is an important book."—Booklist

“Heartrending . . . a gripping account of an extremely important subject."—Library Journal

"After reading this book, even a person who laughs at chimpanzees in costume, or believes that chimps should be used to test vaccines for AIDS, must acknowledge that there is something very wrong here."—New York Newsday

"A study of the relationship between humans and chimps [that] asks, which is ‘most brutish'?"—New York Times Book Review

"[Visions of Caliban is] compelling, important. . . . in this book science and grace intersect."—Washington Post

Booknews
Using the characters of Prospero and Caliban of Shakespeare's as metaphors for the master-slave relationship between humans and chimpanzees, Peterson (Tufts U.) and Goodall address behavioral, conservation, and ethical issues. Includes some photos and a new afterword, but lacks an index. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780820322063
  • Publisher: University of Georgia Press
  • Publication date: 5/4/2000
  • Pages: 392
  • Sales rank: 1,008,395

Meet the Author

Dale Peterson is also the author of Chimpanzee Travels: On and Off the Road in Africa, Storyville, USA (both Georgia), and The Deluge and the Ark: A Journey into Primate Worlds. He is co-author, with Richard Wrangham, of Demonic Males: Apes and the Origins of Human Violence. He teaches at Tufts University. Jane Goodall is recognized worldwide for her research and field work with chimpanzees. She has written more than twenty books, including In the Shadow of Man, The Chimpanzees of Gombe: Patterns of Behavior, Through a Window: My Thirty Years with the Chimpanzees of Gombe, and, most recently, the best-selling Reason for Hope.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 Sounds and Sweet Airs 6
2 Man or Fish? 9
3 To Snare the Nimble Marmoset 27
4 Caliban's Island 49
5 What, Ho! Slave! 70
6 No Doubt Marketable 87
7 The Stuff of Dreams 131
8 To Laugh, to Beat 157
9 In Mine Own Cell 182
10 Endowed with Words, Confined in Rock 203
11 I Acknowledge Mine 230
12 Our Pardon 284
Afterword 311
App. A The Chimpanzees of Africa 325
App. B Recommendations to USDA 326
Acknowledgments 332
Notes 337
References 360
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