The Leakeys: A Biography

The Leakeys: A Biography

by Mary Bowman-Kruhm


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781591027614
Publisher: Prometheus Books
Publication date: 11/24/2009
Pages: 181
Sales rank: 884,425
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Mary Bowman-Kruhm is the author of more than thirty books for children and young adults. She is a faculty associate at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Education, Center for Technology in Education. More on the author can be found at

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements 9

Introduction 11

Timeline: Significant Events in the Lives of the Leakeys 13

Chapter 1 A Fact-Finding Mission (Forward to the Past) 15

Chapter 2 In the Beginning...(Louis, 1925-1933) 28

Chapter 3 Positive Choices, Negative Voices (Mary, 1913-1936, Louis, 1937-1946) 42

Chapter 4 War and Children: Real Time (1937-1946) 57

Chapter 5 Peace and Turmoil, Personal and Political (1947-1958) 70

Chapter 6 Human History Carved in Bone (1959-1971) 85

Chapter 7 Skull Drudgery and Skullduggery (1972-1977) 102

Chapter 8 Contentious, contention, and a Critical Condition (1978-1988) 116

Chapter 9 Burning His Tusks behind Him (1989-2003) 130

Chapter 10 But Wait, There's More...(2004 and Beyond) 146

Postscript 161

Glossary 163

Bibliography 165

Index 173

What People are Saying About This


"Mary Bowman-Kruhm finally offers her readers a condensed, but comprehensive biography of the Leakey legacy. For those not planning to read the several Leakey biographies and autobiographies, this one-stop treatise details the anthropological achievements of three generations of this world-renowned family. This book, written in simple language for general readers, not only illustrates the events in the personal lives of the Leakeys, but it also effectively gives a timeline of discoveries of the human fossils that have helped unravel the story of our origins and evolution. The storyline has not omitted the world historical events that affected and shaped the lives of the Leakeys. Mary has also acknowledged the contribution of native Kenyans in this anthropological adventure. She shows how the legacy torch is not only being passed to Louise Leakey, but also how the senior generation of the Leakeys inspired many into pursuing the knowledge of our origins. Mary has given a new meaning to the Leakey legacy."--(NASSER MALIT, PhD, Leakey Foundation's Baldwin Fellow, Department of Anthropology, Binghamton University)


"Louis and Mary Leakey, my grandparents, were so certain that they would find fossils that would prove that humans first evolved in Africa that they repeatedly returned to explore the sun baked soil at Olduvai Gorge over a period of 24 years. Finally, in 1959, my grandmother found the 1.8 million year old skull that they named Zinj and it amazed the world. During their careers, my mother Meave and father Richard added significantly to the trove of fossils from the Rift Valley and the understanding of our origins. Now, with an experienced field crew, I continue the work in northern Kenya. This biography well describes the personal story of three Leakey generations as we've searched for fossils that will help all of us understand our human past."

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