Kelly's Reviews > Walking with the Great Apes: Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, Birute Galdikas

Walking with the Great Apes by Sy Montgomery
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Apr 21, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: nature, non-fiction
Read from April 14 to 20, 2012

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 untrained, into the forests to study mountain gorillas and than later on Birute Galdikas to study orangutans. Though all three women are different in many ways, their unprecedented ways of studying animals have torn apart the scientific community.

I don't think there could have been a better author to write their story. Sy Montgomery understands these three women and their love for the animals and places they've studied. She understands their passion, every tear they've shed, every peaceful moment they've spent among the animals. And more than anything, she understands the battles they've fought as women in science, and the way they have ultimately conquered the male-dominated Science with a capital S.

I have read a lot about Jane Goodall, but I knew little about Dian Fossey when starting this book, and even less about Birute Galdikas. Though Jane Goodall is still my favorite of the three, I respect Dian and Birute for everything they have done for the mountain gorillas and orangutans. Anyone at all interested in any of these three women needs to read this book.
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