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Walking with the Great Apes

Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, Biruté Galdikas

By Sy Montgomery
Foreword by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas

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.


"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

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.


Sy Montgomery

Sy Montgomery

"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.


Asiatic Black Bear - Colour Morph

Walking with the Great Apes

Pages:272 pages
Book Art:Insert with color photos
Size: 5.5 x 8.5 inch
Publisher:Chelsea Green Publishing
Paperback: 9781603580625
Pub. Date August 25, 2009
eBook: 9781603582445
Pub. Date August 25, 2009

Available In/Retail Price

Paperback, 272 pages, $24.95

eBook, 272 pages, $19.95