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The Monkey Wars

4.12  ·  Rating Details ·  83 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
In The Monkey Wars, Deborah Blum offers a wide-ranging, informative look at animal activists, now numbering some twelve million, from the moderate Animal Welfare Institute to the highly radical Animal Liberation Front (a group destructive enough to be placed on the FBI's terrorist list). And she interviews a wide variety of researchers, many forced to conduct their work pr ...more
Paperback, 334 pages
Published January 19th 1996 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 1994)
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Jul 11, 2011 Peacegal rated it really liked it
Animal experimentation has long been one of the most contentious and complicated animal rights and welfare issues. The Monkey Wars won’t tell you what to think, but it will help those on either side of the debate better understand the arguments of their opponents—and may bridge some gaps and create more nuanced opinions in the meantime.

The book begins with the story of a scientist, Roger Fouts, who works with chimpanzees in intelligence and sign language studies, but refuses to subject them to
Jan 11, 2017 Mirrani rated it it was amazing
I found this book because I needed to read something about apes for my Year of the Monkey challenge and I'm glad I discovered it. Reading helped me see things in an interesting way. I was surprised at the author's ability to refrain from picking a side in the debate over animal rights. Do we need animal testing? What is right and wrong when it comes to the care of these animals? Both sides get to tell their stories and the reader is pretty much left to make up their own minds on the subject. As ...more
Feb 26, 2011 C.R. rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: students, science enthusiasts, everyone
Recommended to C.R. by: my professor
Shelves: favorites, science
My introduction to Deborah Blum was a slow one. Monkey Wars was an intense read as it should be. Though I've read comments which suggest that she was too kind to the scientists I would say that this was not really a book that wants you to pick sides. She presents the history of using monkeys in research, includes accounts of some of the horrific sorts of experiments that made some of the public lose their trust in such research and the rift that is still terribly deep. It was a very balanced pre ...more
Mar 24, 2010 Caroline rated it it was amazing
An absolute Must Read for anyone interesting in biomedical research on primates. This provides a compelling history of the modern animal rights movement and primate research practices, and the war of attrition that occurred between these two divergent interests. Blum's writing is about as good as science writing gets (these pieces won Blum a Pulitzer), and her ability to provide a balanced view is commendable. Blum also gives solid focus to the individual personalities of major players, which is ...more
Sep 06, 2007 Lindsey rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: someone who wants to see both sides
Shelves: non-fiction
I read this book as a hardcover when it first came out when I was in High School.

This book had a huge impact on how I think about different topics. This author tells the story of using monkeys for research from both sides of the arguments. It's amazing to see this from one person and the message is loud and clear...both sides of an issue must consider the other side to be truly intelligent.

I learned a lot not only about monkey research, but like I said, how to approach making an opinion about an
Oct 22, 2009 Adam rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, science
Extraordinarily well written at times, and brilliantly reported throughought, the book walks a careful line between two battling contingents, those who strive to use these animals for critically important research, and those who believe we humans have little or no right to do so. Thought its almost 20 years old, it's still a must read to understand the background of this ongoing debate.
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Dec 26, 2013
A good overview worth reading, but I didn't agree with the author's perspective on many points.
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Deborah Blum is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author.

As a science writer for the Sacramento Bee, Blum (rhymes with gum) wrote a series of articles examining the professional, ethical, and emotional conflicts between scientists who use animals in their research and animal rights activists who oppose that research. Titled "The Monkey Wars", the series won the 1992 Pulitzer Prize for Beat R
More about Deborah Blum...

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