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Elephant Don: The Politics of a Pachyderm Posse
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Elephant Don: The Politics of a Pachyderm Posse

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  61 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Meet Greg. He’s a stocky guy with an outsized swagger. He’s been the intimidating yet sociable don of his posse of friends—including Abe, Keith, Mike, Kevin, Torn Trunk, and Willie. But one arid summer the tide begins to shift and the third-ranking Kevin starts to get ambitious, seeking a higher position within this social club. But this is no ordinary tale of gangland bet ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published April 6th 2015 by University of Chicago Press
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May 04, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: animals, africa
Proof that an incredibly fascinating subject can be made dull with flat writing. I wanted this to be so much more - especially with a tagline like "Politics of a Pachyderm Posse"!

Jun 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is so close to perfect that I could not fail to give it 5 stars. The section on the cognitive studies of other species as they related to elephants was probably a 4 star or 4.5- but that did not deter my enjoyment. That small section might not entrance readers who find reading scientific description of trial premise, method and result, NOT as enjoyable as I do.

But in the field work! Detail by detail description is at least 80% of the book, and that is stellar survey. Stellar too as the oran
Bari Boswell
Dec 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating observations of elephant Society.

A wonderful, insightful look at elephant society. Maybe elephant don, Greg, was the Winston Churchill of the Estonia Park, Mushara watering hole boys club. The kind of brilliant leader that comes around once a century.
May 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very entertaining in a Jane Goodall sense.
Feb 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant book. I got quite attached to one of the characters, so need to find out more about these elephants. I want to go to Africa and see them for myself now! Probably only a good read if you really like elephants as there's quite a lot of science and specialised elephant knowledge. Loved it. Off to find more of Caitlin's books.
Apr 07, 2016 rated it liked it
While I enjoyed this book I couldn't shake the feeling that each chapter joined in on a conversation already in progress. It's clear that the author has a wealth of knowledge and understanding of elephant behaviour and social groups, of which I became very intrigued by, however it was her writing style that I think made me enjoy this book less then I hoped. Each chapter were taken from her field notes (I presume) and seemed choppy and disjointed. I would have loved an introduction at the beginni ...more
May 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
I am happy to report that this is the book I was hoping it would be. O'Connell keeps the focus of the book off the researchers and on the wildlife--especially the incredible African elephant herd they're observing.

Reading a book like this, in which the personalities, intelligence, and motivations of these complex animals are on full display, it boggles the mind that so many people still believe all nonhuman beings are mindless automata.
Mar 14, 2015 rated it liked it
This is scholarly information in a format readable for the layperson, but not necessarily for the reader with a casual interest in elephants. I realize I'm really not the target audience for this but I still found it interesting. For me, reading about field work can feel repetitive even if the researcher is able to prove theories through that repetitiveness!
Kim Stallwood
Apr 13, 2016 rated it liked it
Essentially a series of anecdotal accounts from observing male African elephants in the wild.
Jul 30, 2015 rated it it was ok
This was interesting. i didnt have time to readall of it though.
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Sep 12, 2015 rated it liked it
A bit repetitive. Some good parts.
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Dr. Caitlin O'Connell is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery at Stanford University School of Medicine and a world renowned expert on elephants and vibrotactile sensitivity. She is the author of the internationally acclaimed nonfiction science memoir, The Elephant's Secret Sense (2007, Free Press), which highlights a novel form of elephant communicatio ...more
More about Caitlin O'Connell

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