Walking with the Great Apes

Walking with the Great Apes

5.0 2
by Sy Montgomery
     
 

Three astounding women scientists have in recent years penetrated the jungles of Africa and Borneo to observe, nurture, and defend humanity's closest cousins. Jane Goodall has worked with the chimpanzees of Gombe for nearly 50 years; Dian Fossey died in 1985 defending the mountain gorillas of Rwanda; and Biruté Galdikas lives in intimate proximity to the

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Overview

Three astounding women scientists have in recent years penetrated the jungles of Africa and Borneo to observe, nurture, and defend humanity's closest cousins. Jane Goodall has worked with the chimpanzees of Gombe for nearly 50 years; Dian Fossey died in 1985 defending the mountain gorillas of Rwanda; and Biruté Galdikas lives in intimate proximity to the orangutans of Borneo. All three began their work as protégées of the great Anglo-African archaeologist Louis Leakey, and each spent years in the field, allowing the apes to become their familiars-and ultimately waging battles to save them from extinction in the wild. Their combined accomplishments have been mind-blowing, as Goodall, Fossey, and Galdikas forever changed how we think of our closest evolutionary relatives, of ourselves, and of how to conduct good science. From the personal to the primate, Sy Montgomery explores the science, wisdom, and living experience of three of the greatest scientists of the twentieth century.

"Part Indiana Jones, part Emily Dickinson," as the Boston Globe describes her, Sy Montgomery is an author, naturalist, documentary scriptwriter, and radio commentator who has traveled to some of the world's most remote wildernesses for her work. She has worked in a pit crawling with 18,000 snakes in Manitoba, swum with pink dolphins in the Amazon, and been undressed by an orangutan in Borneo. She is the author of 13 award-winning books, including her nationally bestselling memoir, The Good Good Pig. Montgomery lives in Hancock, New Hampshire.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this study of three great female primatologists, science journalist Montgomery moves beyond biography into ethology, taking a step that goes well beyond even her subjects' research. Goodall, Fossey and Galdikas each made a similar leap, the author contends, moving from observers and recorders to an almost shamanistic quest to enter the world of the apes they studied. These personal transformations are sketchily supported with anecdotes from the field, personal interviews and even a jarring account of an attempt to contact Fossey, after her death, via channeling. Montgomery adds little to Farley Mowat's 1988 biography of Fossey, Woman in the Mists , but she offers a few fresh angles on Goodall, Galdikas and other characters, human and ape, met before in their books. In an epilogue, Montgomery offers the intriguing view of these scientists as pioneers of a particularly female way of scientific knowing that deserves fuller argument than three portraits allow. Photos. (Mar.)
From the Publisher
Publishers Weekly-

In this study of three great female primatologists, science journalist Montgomery moves beyond biography into ethology, taking a step that goes well beyond even her subjects' research. Goodall, Fossey and Galdikas each made a similar leap, the author contends, moving from observers and recorders to an almost shamanistic quest to enter the world of the apes they studied. These personal transformations are sketchily supported with anecdotes from the field, personal interviews and even a jarring account of an attempt to contact Fossey, after her death, via channeling. Montgomery adds little to Farley Mowat's 1988 biography of Fossey, Woman in the Mists , but she offers a few fresh angles on Goodall, Galdikas and other characters, human and ape, met before in their books. In an epilogue, Montgomery offers the intriguing view of these scientists as pioneers of a particularly female way of scientific knowing that deserves fuller argument than three portraits allow. Photos. —This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

"This is a book about how love—the power that moves us beyond us and our own self interest to form relationships with an 'other'—can transform lives and worlds.... Author Montgomery brings an admirable grace and kindness to her treatment of the three women's lives and work, affording them, in many ways, the same dignity and respect they offered to the animals they observed and card for so deeply.... It is worth reading simply as expert storytelling, animated by particular and passionate writing."—Cape Cod Times

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780395515976
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
03/05/1991
Pages:
288

Meet the Author

"Part Indiana Jones, part Emily Dickinson," as theBoston Globedescribes her, Sy Montgomery is an author, naturalist, documentary scriptwriter, and radio commentator who has traveled to some of the world's most remote wildernesses for her work. She has worked in a pit crawling with 18,000 snakes in Manitoba, been hunted by a tiger in India, swum with pink dolphins in the Amazon, and been undressed by an orangutan in Borneo. She is the author of numerous award-winning books, including her national best-selling memoir, The Good Good Pig,andTheSoul of an Octopus. Montgomery lives in Hancock, New Hampshire.

One of the most widely read authors on anthropology and animals, wild and domestic, Elizabeth Marshall Thomas has observed dogs, cats, elephants, and human animals during her half-century-long career, all of which was inspired by her lengthy trips to Africa as a young woman. Her many books include The Hidden Life of Dogs, The Social Lives of Dogs, The Tribe of Tiger, The Old Way, and The Hidden Life of Deer. She lives in Peterborough, New Hampshire.

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Brief Biography

Hometown:
Hancock, New Hampshire
Date of Birth:
February 7, 1958
Place of Birth:
Frankfurt, Germany
Education:
Syracuse University: B.A., Newhouse School of Public Communications, 1979; B.A., College of Arts and Sciences, 1979

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