Brittany'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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's review
Jan 30, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: sciencewriting, wildlife
Read in April, 2008

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 dealing with the results of that study. Each woman has (or had) a different approach to the conservation of her species. And, in the end, each woman seems to be a reflection of the species she studied.

This book is well worth the read, though I think Montgomery's musings on Dian, and her eco-warrior attitude towards poachers are best read in conjunction with Tim Cahill's writings on the same topic. (These can be found in "Life and Love in Gorilla Country," from Jaguars Ripped My Flesh and "Love and Death in Gorilla Country," a from A Wolverine is Eating My Leg).

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