Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Walking with the Great Apes: Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, Birute Galdikas” as Want to Read:
Walking with the Great Apes: Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, Birute Galdikas
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Walking with the Great Apes: Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, Birute Galdikas

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  290 ratings  ·  19 reviews
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 Birute Galdikas lives in intimate proximity to the orangutans of Bor...more
Paperback, 246 pages
Published August 25th 2009 by Chelsea Green Publishing Company (first published 1991)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Walking with the Great Apes, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Walking with the Great Apes

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 892)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
OK, what is it about these women and apes? Why would they be intent on devoting decades of their lives in the field, under the most improbable circumstances (Leakey's choice!) and the roughest, most uncomfortable conditions?

The premise of this book is to give an overview of the careers of the three leading women primatologists, but it is mostly an attempt to interpret and understand the way these women approach their work (mission would not be an exaggeration) and the motivation that fuels it....more
A really good biography of three of the world's best known primatologists, and how their approaches to their science allowed them to see things that their male counterparts did not.

I've always felt that the most inspiring people are those that succeed in what they love. In that sense, Jane Goodall and Birute Galdikas are uplifting individuals, though Dian Fossey, not so much.

Given descriptions like what follows, it is hard not to be interested in primates or impressed with Goodall, Galdikas and...more
Excellent on-site studies of the three prominent primate specialists who have spent their lives with orangutans, chimpanzees, and gorillas. The women's lives are very different, and their approach to the study also different, but all were dedicated. The author presents sympathetic but realistic pictures of the three women, their personalities, and their failures and successes--and also presents hte personalities of the apes.
Feb 01, 2014 Joan rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: students who want to know more recent environmental history
This is an old book. SInce it was published in 1991, Sy Montgomery has changed her audience to youth and learnt the fine art of reducing books' length to emphasize the important messages she wants to convey. This is a book published not long after Dian Fossey had been murdered and perhaps was too focused on what really amounted to gossip about her. Montgomery tried to be fair by reporting both good and bad but you can also sense that she felt that Dian had erred on the side of fanaticism and cru...more
I loved that the book addresses the emotional and spiritual side of science, very interesting. Montgomery was the perfect person to write the book: open minded, calm, and thoughtful.
Famous archeologist Louis Leakey did something unheard of at the time: he sent an untrained young woman into the wilds of Africa to study an ape thought to be a savage beast. To the surprise of the science community, Jane Goodall not only changed the way we see chimpanzees, but she also gave a voice to animals in a way no one else ever has and, to this day, has changed the way scientists study animals. And in case people didn't think Leakey was crazy enough before, he then sent Dian Fossey, also...more
This book covers the three women Louis Leakey sent out to live among the apes: Jane Gooddall with the chimpanzees, Dian Fossey with the gorillas and Birute Galdikas with the orangutans. It is fascinating, in that it analyzes the relationship between and among these three women, their relationship with Louis Leakey (favored daughter, crush, and which-one-were-you-again?) , and their relationships with their apes. Each woman brought her own personality and style to studying "her" animals and then...more
Oct 09, 2011 Kathryn rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone that needs inspiring
Recommended to Kathryn by: No one
Shelves: non-fiction
I loved this book.
I was familiar with Dian Fossey mainly from the film Gorillas in the Mist and had heard of Jane Goodall but mainly for her more recent environmental campaigning, but had never heard of Birute Galdikas who works with the Orangutans of Borneo before reading this book. All three women are truly inspirational, their dedication to the primates they studied and to the preservation of the species was and still is amazing.
This book is beautifully written and the stories conveyed so w...more
Excellent look into the lives of Lewis Leakey's Ladies!! Enjoyed learning more about what they went through both personally and as females approaching the world of research from a whole new perspective. What? You mean animals can express themselves? Oh My, how dare these females makes such suggestions! I'm glad they were able to prove their theories correct from their long, hard hours spent research these primates!
Jason Alexander
Goodall, Fossey, and Galdikas - three very different women observing, loving, and protecting their respective great apes.

Very informative and personal, this gives you the facts, but it also tries to explain the women themselves. It attempts to answer the questions of why and how, which is always so much more interesting than the simple what, when, where.
Although I don't find the writing to be particularly sophisticated, the descriptions and the facts of these women's stories are incredible. About the 3 women who studied ( and continue to advocate for and work with)the great apes, Jane Goodall, Birute Galdikas and Diane Fosey (RIP).
Makes me realize I can endure much more than I have ever forced myself to.
During my hard core primatology obsession, I read everybook about primates as I could. This book is a great summary of some great women. However, I had already known alot of the information, so it became a little bit repetitive. But, if you don't know anything about naturalist and need to find a starting point, try this book!
Great book on the ape women (Fossy Goodall and Galdikas) and their relationship to Leakey, but it's real insight is the differences in their research styles and the differences between many men and woman in science
Sy Montgomery does an excellent job with this overview of the three remarkable women Louis Leakey chose to do the field research on the great apes.
Excellent multi-dimensional read about three controversial, amazing women. I was completely engaged.
I enjoyed this book. It includes good brief biographies of Louis leaky's 3 primate women. Very interesting.
One of the best books ever. I was lucky to meet Sy Montgomery shortly after reading this book.
They're reprinting it! Coming out August 25, 2009 under ISBN: 9781603580625
I have such strong memories of reading and loving this book.
Janet Oja
Janet Oja marked it as to-read
Oct 24, 2014
Sara G
Sara G marked it as to-read
Oct 23, 2014
Michelle marked it as to-read
Oct 23, 2014
Robert St-jacques
Robert St-jacques marked it as to-read
Oct 21, 2014
Hilary Ward flockhart
Hilary Ward flockhart marked it as to-read
Oct 20, 2014
Chriss marked it as to-read
Oct 18, 2014
Matthew marked it as to-read
Oct 17, 2014
Ruthann marked it as to-read
Oct 15, 2014
Michelle marked it as to-read
Oct 12, 2014
Colleen Leddie
Colleen Leddie marked it as to-read
Oct 10, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 29 30 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Reflections of Eden: My Years with the Orangutans of Borneo
  • Jane Goodall: 40 Years at Gombe
  • Bonobo: The Forgotten Ape
  • Woman in the Mists: The Story of Dian Fossey and the Mountain Gorillas of Africa
  • My Life with the Chimpanzees
  • Jane Goodall: The Woman Who Redefined Man
  • The Eye of the Elephant: An Epic Adventure in the African Wilderness
  • The Ocean World (Abradale)
  • 100 Heartbeats: A Journey to Meet Our Planet's Endangered Animals and the Heroes Working to Save Them
  • Where the Wild Things Were: Life, Death, and Ecological Wreckage in a Land of Vanishing Predators
  • Listening to Whales: What the Orcas Have Taught Us
  • Next of Kin
  • Bonobo Handshake: A Memoir of Love and Adventure in the Congo
  • Soul of a Lion: One Woman's Quest to Rescue Africa's Wildlife Refugees
  • Elephant Memories: Thirteen Years in the Life of an Elephant Family
  • Animal: The Definitive Visual Guide to the World's Wildlife
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 worlds 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 b...more
More about Sy Montgomery...
The Good Good Pig: The Extraordinary Life of Christopher Hogwood Temple Grandin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World Kakapo Rescue: Saving the World's Strangest Parrot Birdology: Adventures with a Pack of Hens, a Peck of Pigeons, Cantankerous Crows, Fierce Falcons, Hip Hop Parrots, Baby Hummingbirds, and One Murderously Big Living Dinosaur The Quest for the Tree Kangaroo: An Expedition to the Cloud Forest of New Guinea (Scientists in the Field Series)

Share This Book

“Adult gorillas will fight to the death defending their families. This is why poachers who may be seeking only one infant for the zoo trade must often kill all the adults in the family to capture the baby.” 1 likes
“There are some scientists who frown upon such practices, believing that nature should run its course,” Jane wrote in an early chapter of The Chimpanzees of Gombe, a scholarly compilation of her first twenty-six years of work. “It seems to me, however, that humans have already interfered to such a major extent, usually in a very negative way . . . with so many animals in so many places that a certain amount of positive interference is desirable.” 1 likes
More quotes…