The Lady and the Panda: the True Adventures of the First American Explorer to Bring Back China's Most Exotic Animal
Reminiscent of the world of explorers pictured in the boyhood dreams of the old man in "Up,...more
February 19, 1936 William Harvest Harkness, Jr. lay dying in Shanghai, his bohemian, socialite wife, Ruth Harkness was in New York City, totally unaware of what her husband was facing. He had left for China...more
Following the publication of her article on Harkness in The Washington Post, Croke discovered hundreds of letters from Harkness's trip to China. Armed with this correspondence, as well as hours of new interviews conducted for the project, Croke, the "Animal Beat" writer for the Boston Globe and author of The Modern Ark (1997), has produced this well-researched, well-written tale. The Lady and the Panda succeeds as a grand adventure and celebration of an overlooked independent woman whom Croke de...more
A related tale by Michael Kiefer (Chasing the Panda)tells the role of two Chinese-American natur...more
I really wish, though, that the author had explored certain parts of of the story in more depth. I really wan...more
In all seriousness, I'd never heard of Ruth Harkness and I'm most certainly glad I got to peek in on her explorations. I would like to read Harkness's book (of the same name,) however that text h...more
It's the same time period as two other books I read recently, 'When we were Orphans' and 'the Distant lands of my father'..both take place in Shanghai in the 1930's. A wild, bustling international c...more
His wife, Ruth Harkness, loved travel and adventure and decided she would take over Bill's expedition. There were no women explorers and people laughed and ridiculed her.
This is the fascinating story of how she organize her expedition to western China and eventually captured a baby panda that she brought to Chicqgo.
Her belief in the preservation...more
The introduction though ... oof. I spent probably 4 days picking it up, reading a paragraph, and thinking, "Nah, I'll watch TV." The writing gets much better when Croke is telling the actual story, rather than telling the story of how she decided she wanted to tell the story. Not to be mean, but Ruth Harkness is just a more interestin...more
It was not a bad read, and I'm glad I got the non-whitewashed version by this author rather than Ruth Harknes...more
Croke is the author of The Lady and the Panda, Animal ER, The Modern Ark, and has also written for Time, People, The Washington Post, and Popular Science, among others.
A former writer and producer for CNN, she has been a contributing reporter for the National Pu...more