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Unsere nächsten Verwandten.

4.44 of 5 stars 4.44  ·  rating details  ·  1,132 ratings  ·  131 reviews
For three decades, primatologist Roger Fouts has been involved in language studies of the chimpanzee, the animal most closely related to human beings. Among his subjects was the renowned Washoe, who was "endowed with a powerful need to learn and communicate," and who developed an extraordinary vocabulary in American sign language. Another chimpanzee, Fouts writes, "never m ...more
Paperback, 495 pages
Published August 1st 2000 by Droemersche Verlagsanstalt Th. Knaur Nachf., GmbH & Co. (first published 1997)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Lisa
When I was a little girl and signing as a means of communicating with chimps was covered in documentaries and in the pages of Life and Look and National Geographic as a sort of miracle, I thought that Jane Goodall and her colleagues lived unimaginably charmed lives.

At the start of this memoir, one has that same sense: what could be more magical and marvelous than learning how to communicate with animals? Fouts gives you a front and center peek into our closest animal cousins' perspectives and e
...more
Lauri
Oct 09, 2007 Lauri rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: animals, own_it, favorites
This is one of the most powerful books I've ever read. At once, it is eye-opening, heartwarming, and heartbreaking. I cried and smiled and laughed and cried some more. You'll learn about everything from childhood autism, to the evolution of language, to the fight for the humane treatment of lab animals. This book is flawlessly constructed and flows effortlessly from start to finish, making it a book that I couldn't put down for two days straight. What started out an experiment to teach one chimp ...more
Matt
This is a powerful, life-changing book. It is a fluid mixture of entertaining narrative, heart-breaking details about the treatment of chimpanzees in laboratories, and engaging discourse about evolutionary theory, the development of language in chimps and humans, etc.

Through the entirety of the book & the microcosm of Washoe (the central chimp in the story) the message comes across that these animals are individuals, complete with personalities, moving emotions, and complex thoughts. They sh
...more
John
This book gets 5 stars because of all that it taught me about chimpanzees and scientific study. I never realized just how intelligent chimpanzees really are. I always thought that chimps using ASL were only using 1 or 2 word combinations, and only with nouns. It is amazing the complex sentences, thoughts, and emotions that these "animals" are sharing. I'll never look at a chimp the same again.

There is an ethical dilemma with using primates for scientific study, or for using any animals for that
...more
Antonia
TEN STARS! This is an amazing book, the engrossing story of primatologist Roger Fouts and the several chimps, including the famous Washoe, to whom he taught American Sign Language. I'm sure I'd have enjoyed reading it, but oh man, the audio is so, so good. Fouts narrates. As is often the case when a book is narrated by its author, it doesn't sound as though he's reading a book to you, but rather as though he's talking to you. Besides, there are sound effects. Fouts was a dedicated teacher and fr ...more
Megan
It was Washoe who taught me that "human" is only an adjective that describes "being", and that the essence of who I am is not my humanness but my beingness. There are human beings, chimpanzee beings, and cat beings.

How often do you read a book that changes your life? I will never be the same now that I have read this. At times charming, funny, eye-opening, and devastatingly heartbreaking, Roger Fouts describes his research on communicating with chimpanzees using sign language. Chimpanzees have
...more
Charity (CJ)
Holy moly. This book is awesome.

I can't remember how we found this book. I think some website (maybe Goodreads) recommended it because my nine-year-old was reading every single thing Jane Goodall wrote. My daughter read it first, and then as she was getting ready to return it to the library said, "Mom, I really think you should read this book. It's really good."

Once I started the book, it didn't take me long to agree with her.

I was probably already primed to find this book amazing. Whenever I go
...more
Ariel
This book was a heartwarming and heartbreaking story about people--not all of them human people. It tells the story of Roger, a chimpanzee language researcher, and his companion and colleague in his study, a chimpanzee named Washoe. Washoe is crossfostered with humans in her early life, where she learns to use American Sign Language. Along the way we meet other chimpanzees, each with their own personality and style. Sadly Roger helplessly watches many of them head into biomedical research labora ...more
Katherine
I worked with these chimps one summer. They really are as amazing as the book portrays them.
Louisa
Is the use of language unique to humankind? How and when did our hominid ancestors acquire language? Do chimpanzees - who are genetically closer to humans than they are to other apes - have language abilities? Is sign language useful where other communication channels fail, for example in children with autism? Next of Kin addresses these and other questions through the story of a young female chimpanzee who was taught American Sign Language in the 1960s. Roger Fouts was assigned to Project Washo ...more
Kelsey
A completely amazing, emotional book. A must read for anyone interested in human and animal welfare. I haven't been so emotionally affected by a book since "the only kayak."

p. 88 "I often found myself in heated exchanges with Washoe that reminded me of my own childhood. For ex., in early 1969, I had the thankless job of keeping her in the garage on laundry day while Susan Nichols used the washer in the Gardner's home to clean Washoe's clothes. Before, whenever Washoe had seen us gathering up he
...more
Jake
I encourage anyone from any walk of life to read Next of Kin. This memoir is a wonderful mixture of heartfelt stories and important science. It was exciting to receive the account straight from the man himself. This is a work of his own and naturally must bias, but I don't doubt the sincerity, compassion, and dedication that made this man's career extraordinary.
As agonizing as it has been for countless voiceless animals, I admit that I have never hid from the benefits reaped by scientific rese
...more
Mary Robinson
This book was in the bibliography of Sara Gruen’s Ape House and, because I loved the part of her book dealing with the animals, I wanted to know more about apes learning how to communicate with humans. I enjoyed this look of the first chimpanzee to be taught American Sign Language by Roger Fouts, co-director of the Chimpanzee and Human Communication Institute. It’s fascinating to see how close these chimps are to us, and Fouts has some very valid and moving points about the sad way that humans t ...more
Janine
I was supposed to read this book for one of my honors comm classes...i never finished but promised myself i'd return to it later. It's great. It's basically this researcher's autobiography as it relates to his work with chimpanzees. It is VERY interesting. It's a bit sciencey at a few points, but you don't have to be a science major or interested in the sciences to enjoy it. The best parts are his anecdotes about life working with and learning from chimps. A joy to read.
Diane Mchugh
Excellent!! Covers 25 years in the life of Washoe and her chimpanzee family. Exposes the horrors of biomedical research on chimps but also the heroics of the author and his supporters in devoting their lives and finances to provide these social animals with their rightful lives in captivity. I laughed, was astounded, and cried.
Colby Qualls
This book has certainly altered my perception of the superiority of the human species. It is such a fascinating tale of such a certainly human-like character. The problem is that even still today we are not willing to accept certain facts about our own origins. Roger Fouts does not hold punches with anyone or any group. He is willing to deal out the blame, even on himself. I only hope that such ideas displayed in this book gain more momentum in the upcoming years.
Susan
Aug 11, 2008 Susan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone!!
This book is amazing. If you have a heart, you will cry often. But if you know what I want to do with my life, you will understand exactly why after reading this book.
One of the chimps in the book, Booee, is a chimp that I took care of in California (which is why I read the book in the first place). And yes, he will do anything for a rasin!
Alison Estep
Fresh from visiting the Chimpanzee Language Institute (which I stumbled on) I felt compelled to read more about the chimps I had just met and -- yes -- signed to. I am a lazy non-fiction reader but this was an account that had me spell bound. It has deepened my understanding, made me laugh, and made me cry.
Marc Chéhab
In this roughly 400 page book, Fouts tells us the story of his work with chimpanzees, embedding it richly in philosophy, reflection and science. You could imagine it a little bit like Dawkins' "Selfish Gene", but instead of talking mainly about biology, it talks about different subjects in psychology. While Fouts leading narrative is his personal history with Washoe, he chips in many reflections on philosophical and scientific discussions. One cannot fight off the impression that Fouts is less l ...more
Lo
The only critique I have of NEXT OF KIN that I want to bring up is that Fouts' argument for the legal (and generally understood) personhood of chimpanzees depends on an assumption that non-white, non-male humans have indeed achieved full personhood status in the 21st century. On multiple occasions, he references that once upon a time, people of color and women were not considered people, but that such views are now considered unthinkable--hence, he imagines a future where to relegate chimpanzees ...more
Zinta
In doing research for a journalism assignment, I was recommended Fouts' "Next of Kin." I read the book as I prepared for a trip to the Center for Captive Chimpanzee Care, a sanctuary of hope in southern Florida for chimpanzees rescued from labs and similar monstrosities, funded by Jane Goodall and other good people. It was a superb introduction to what I was about to witness, and I ended up using a lengthy quote from the book as an epigram to my article about the sanctuary.

Fouts has given an in
...more
Samrat Sen
Ok let me start by saying iam NOT a book worm. I read Non-fiction only that also very selectively.

I always wanted to know more about the great apes . Thankfully i came across a recommendation in Goodreads for the 'Next of Kin' by Dr. Fouts.

Dr. Roger Fouts has written a phenomenal book! This book is quite the life changer and it will satisfy you if you are want to know more or increase your knowledge on this particular subject. This 400+ book is a long slow read. You cant rush through it like a r
...more
Timothy McNeil
Fouts undercuts the main thrust of his argument (that the great apes, and eventually all animals, deserve the same level of compassion and consideration as human beings when it comes to scientific study and medical experimentation) by relying too heavily on the emotional connection forged between himself and the chimpanzees for which (he would say 'whom') he cared. Still, it is a mostly well written book -- only occasionally tedious in its repetitiveness or indulgence of spending two pages makin ...more
Michele
Hmmmm.....just some of the good things I can think of about this book:

1. I learned how close we are psychologically, emotionally, verbally, and mentally to chimps
2. I learned to view animals in a much more connected way. I mean that I feel closer to all animals.
3. I saw again how susceptible humans are to holocaust/slavery type thinking.
4. This booked messed with my head. I will never be the same. I will forever after think of chimps as thinking/feeling/talking hominids. And I will be more sensi
...more
Sabrina
I read this book in college because a professor at my school wrote this book. My roommate at the time also worked with the chimps so I heard lots of stories about them. I haven't been back to see them in years, but they are such wonderful and smart animals. This book tells such a wonderful story of their lives and the beginning of their story.
Chrissy
This is an honest, difficult, wonderful book. Psychologist Roger Fouts (currently at Eastern Washington University) recounts his life experiences (beginning as a graduate student) with Washoe, a chimpanzee who learned sign language as a youngster (and with their-Fouts' and Washoe's- experiences with other chimps and humans). Although the book is not without examples of funny, charming or surprising chimpanzee behavior (such as one girl chimp's interest in Playboy magazine), the real heart of the ...more
Beverly
Truly engrossing and amazing story of Roger Fouts's work on language aquisition that began when he taught a young chimpanzee, Washoe, to use ASL. He traces the development of spoken language in humans to the gestural language of chimpanzees in the wild and demonstrates the close relation betwen ourselves and others in the ape family. He also gives a impassioned plea for an end to animal research under conditions of fear, pain, and severe deprivation. Some of this was hard to read. My guess is th ...more
Alison Whiteman
I read this years ago and still remember the book vividly. If you love animals, this book will make you want to stop eating them. The story of Roger Fouts and his ASL program with chimpanzees brought even Dan Rather to tears.
Greg Metcalf
This book tried to reach a wide audience and I'd say was successful. I was looking for information specifically about chimpanzees using sign language and there were some technical portions that covered that, but these were stories about chimpanzees, mostly focusing on a fortunate group of them who were put in optimal social settings to facilitate communication, first with humans and then strictly with each other. The author makes it easy to read between the lines, though, and know that most chim ...more
Eden
This is the story of a female chimp, Washoe, who learned to communicate using ASL. It tells the ups and downs of Washoe's life and the other chimps who were part of a program teaching chimpanzees human communication. I enjoyed reading about the research, the cruelties, the achievements and the joys. It was very controversial as to whether these chimps actually learned and would communicate using ASL, but after reading the book I believe it was a success. I was amazed to read that the efforts of ...more
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