The subtitle A Sublime Life is an apt choice here, as the book veers into hagiography on several occasions. I did appreciatSo much more than Walden...
The subtitle A Sublime Life is an apt choice here, as the book veers into hagiography on several occasions. I did appreciate the deeper context and the glimpses into other parts of Thoreau's life: his dissidence and short incarceration for not paying taxes (The money goes to slavery and wars with Mexico - why would I pay for that? he asks the police chief), his meetings with abolitionists and ties to John Brown, and more about his transcendentalist personal philosophies.
John Brown's execution after Harper's Ferry raid
The book concludes with a critical essay on Thoreau, and is well worth the read. ...more
Primates is an ambitious book that largely succeeds at giving a "slice of life" look to three amazing scientists and their contributions to primatologPrimates is an ambitious book that largely succeeds at giving a "slice of life" look to three amazing scientists and their contributions to primatology.
Birute Galdikas, Jane Goodall, and Dian Fossey in the field
I was familiar with Goodall and Fossey, but I confess to have never read about Galdikas, and I am grateful for the opportunity to learn more about her work here. Each of these women were selected by Dr. Louis Leakey, premier anthropologist to study and observe in the field. Goodall and Fossey had no formal training when they began working with Leakey, and he liked it that way - not being bogged down with jargon and method, but a clear view of primate study.
Nuance and development are hard to bring in a graphic form - subtleties and glances, and general "feelings", but author Ottaviani and illustrator Wicks perform some spectacular character development of the three "Trimate" scientists, and their sponsor/benefactor Leakey here. Leakey comes across both lecherous and generous: he recruits young women and there are implied relationships - and then works to get funding and sponsorships for each woman to do their fieldwork unimpeded. He believes that women's keen observation skills work well in the field, and with Goodall, Fossey, and Galdikas - he sponsors their PhD education at Cambridge University.
Each woman is profiled as they begin their studies - Goodall with the chimpanzees in Tanzania, Fossey with the gorillas in Rwanda, and Galdikas with the orangutans in Indonesia - setting up camp, establishing patterns in the primate populations, and slowly getting deeper into the primate society.
The cartoon illustrations may lead people to think this is geared to a young audience (and it could be read and understood by 10+). The design and style was well though-out. Some of the interactions between the three scientists could have been confusing, but the illustrator made note to change the fonts for each: Goodall gets a curvy cursive, Fossey gets a serif typewriter font, and Galdikas gets a block script.
The format does limit any true detail, but this book is meant to give you an amuse-bouche, so the reader can get a cursory glance at each scientist, and follow up with the provided bibliography for many more details later.
It worked on me. I want to read more about these extraordinary women now!...more