Walking with the Great Apesby 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; Diane Fossey died in 1985 defending the mountain gorillas of Rwanda; and Biruté Galdikas lives in intimate proximity to the
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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; Diane 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 archeologist 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--acclaimed author of The Soul of an Octopus and The Good Good Pig--explores the science, wisdom, and living experience of three of the greatest scientists of the twentieth century.
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 lovethe 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
- Chelsea Green Publishing
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Meet the Author
"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, 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, and The Soul 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.
- Hancock, New Hampshire
- Date of Birth:
- February 7, 1958
- Place of Birth:
- Frankfurt, Germany
- Syracuse University: B.A., Newhouse School of Public Communications, 1979; B.A., College of Arts and Sciences, 1979
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Walking with the Great Apes, puts the reader into the skins of three of the most influential primatologists, the world ever knew. Three students, Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Birute Galdikas, of the famous Anglo-African anthropologist, Louis Leakey, were given an opportunity to research great apes for three years so they could then start their own careers. Three years was all the time the ladies thought they could handle in a remote part of the jungle with no one but, apes for company. But yet, Jane Goodall has been studying the chimpanzees of Gombe for over 50 years; Dian Fossey died defending the mountain gorillas she loved so much; Birute Galdikas is the head of an orphan orangutan sanctuary in Borneo and lives intimately with her study subjects in doing so. They stayed for more than three years. But, why would these three women dedicate their lives to the apes, sacrificing marriages, relationships, and their own physical health in doing so? This is the question that the author, Sy Montgomery, strives to answer. And she does so brilliantly; this book explores the complexity of the three main species of great apes, gorillas, chimpanzees, and orangutan, in their social and behavioral habits. As well as the relationship between the researchers, Jane, Dian, and Birute, and their subjects; the book highlights the intricacies of the relationships between the apes themselves and the researchers’ relationship and attachment to the apes they study plus, underlining the apes’ attachment to the researchers. The author shows with amazing clarity; how the apes, love like we do, care for one another like we do, grief like we do and ultimately how the apes feel like we do. To many, the great apes might seem like just wild animals but, in truth, they are just like humans that are missing a chromosome or two. That is what Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Birute Galdikas have figured out and have expressed through this book with, Sy Montgomery’s help. When reading this book, the reader develops an emotional connection to the apes mentioned, you will feel for the plights, laugh out loud at their antics, and cry when they pass on. And, Sy Montgomery uses this connection to highlight the underlying message of the book, that these beautiful, majestic apes are suffering and need help. Sy Montgomery artfully weaves the message of environmental conservation together with the life stories of the three most accomplished primatologists and their study subjects and friends. She makes the reader feel for the great apes’ plight and energize him or her to do something, anything to help them as well as, tell the reader that not all hope is lost, and there is still a fighting chance for these wonderful creatures. This book was an unexpected delight to read. I fell in love with Jane, Dian, and Birute and their great apes. I could not put this book down until I had finished and then, I was wishing for more. I loved that this book was more about the apes themselves then, the primatologists that made them famous. This book was an inspirational read. Anyone and everyone should read this book, just to be immersed in something different, new, and engaging.
In our eyes they seem like nothing more than animals but the deep true fact is that we are them. Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Birute Galdikas have been researching these wonderful creatures for many years and have come to discover many scientific break through's. Jane Goodall has been researching the chimps in Gombe. A nice peaceful area with tons of different species living throughout the forest. She was the first of Louis Leakey's three primates and was said to be like a daughter to him. He loved her very much and whenever she needed help he was there for her. Jane Goodall began her research on the chimps not knowing a thing to becoming one of the world's top scientific researchers. She discovered that we as humans were most related to the chimps by the way of their brain structures and how they created tools to help get food or make things. Dian Fossey took a different route. Dian Fossey was known to be extreme but she used her extremism to save the animals she loved. Dian Fossey was studying gorillas in the mountains of Karisoke. She was the second of the three primates and was one of the most hated by her students and pupils. Her love for the mountain gorillas was so great it caused her to do things no person besides her would have done. She took the matter of poachers into her own hands by hunting them down, burning their houses, kidnapping their children and destroying their traps. Some say she was crazy but in others eyes she was a hero for what she did. She was murdered in 1985 in her home on the mountain she had dedicated her life to protecting. Birute was different from the other two. The last of Louis Leakey's three primates she took her researching way differently. Her scientific research was right from the book. She used names like Jane but her format was like the ones college professors preferred. She helped nurture baby orangutans back to the wild and she let them live with her. She used the power of the people to help with funding her camp. She had tours placed and even had people come work for a year to see what it was like. She did not just live to save the orangutans but she lived to help them and be with them. Her "powers" helped save hundreds of orangutans. As a student reading this book it has inspired me to look into different career opportunities. Sy Montgomery kept me reading to the very end and then wishing there was more I could know. A very inspirational read and I would recommend it to all ages.
I loved jane, birute, and dian from the moment i head about them i've always wanted to be like them! They are amazing women and researchers too. They inspired me to help animals! When i heard my family will b going to the galapagos islands for (#projects abroad)volenteer work (helping animals) i was overjoyed i could help, research, and conserve animals just like them. Ithink everyone should read this book l loved it its so inspiring!#######@@@@@@@
Wonderful book, 3 amazing women!!!
An amazing new look into the world of apes! Sy Montgomery did a fantastic job at giving insight to the world of three amazing women. This book shows that it’s not always hypothesis and experiment and taking away uniqueness but finding that uniqueness and just watching it grow and affect others. Not only is this book a great read but it is also a fascinating new look into science. I’ve realized how much humans and apes really are alike. Walking With the Great Apes follows the ‘trimates’ as they each follow their own apes, connect with them, and learn from them. From Biruté and the orangutan Supinah, to Jane and Flo the chimpanzee to Dian and the mountain gorilla Digit you see an amazing connection between woman and ape. It shows each woman’s triumphs, failures, hopes, wishes, their relationship with each other, and their mentor Mr. Louis Leakey. I loved how detailed it was and how it showed science in a new light. It not only included the three women’s studies but also how following their passions affected their personal lives. This book gave a biography of their work as well as their lives. It wove together a beautiful picture of how their lives and works flowed into each other. One thing I did not like was Part 2. It was way to much science for my wondering mind to comprehend. If you have a small attention span like I do, I suggest that you skip part 2. However, the book as a whole, you should read for a new insight on conducting research, and the world of apes. Also read Journey of the Pink Dolphins: an Amazon Quest.
Walking With the Great Apes by Sy Montgomery is an exquisitely written literary work! Three amazing women work with humankinds closest cousins to learn and study how the behavior of the great apes correlate with human behavior. Jane Goodall has worked with the chimpanzees of Gombe for nearly 50 years. Diane Fossey worked with the mountain gorillas of Rwanda; and Biruté Galdikas lives closely with the orangutans of Borneo. All three began their work students of the great archeologist Louis Leakey, and each spent years in the field, allowing the apes to become familiar with them, and saving them from the threat of humans. This book shows how the unspoiled purity of such an amazing animal can teach us about ourselves and our behaviors. These amazing women, and the great apes they studied so closely, teach the modern world about natural maternal instincts, parent-child dynamics, group behavior, male-dominance issues, and so much more. People of all ages should read this book, not only because it can be related to everyday life, but simply because it is calming to read about the beautiful jungle, and the natural world we here so little about in the digital age. This book packs years of scientific discoveries in an enjoyable work, without being overly fact-packed. Some scientific compilations spin my head and cause comprehension to be difficult. Not with this book. The writing style Sy Montgomery uses is easily understood by both scientific and artistic minds. I also recommend The Good Good Pig, also by Sy Montgomery. Her books show how animals have conscious minds and how we resemble them and they resemble us.