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Behind the Dolphin Smile: One Man's Campaign to Protect the World's Dolphins Paperback – January 3, 2012

4.8 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The ultimate dolphin freedom fighter." — O Magazine, which included Richard O'Barry on its 2010 O Power List

From the Back Cover

Behind the Dolphin Smile chronicles Richard O’Barry’s extraordinary journey from dolphin trainer to world-renowned advocate for dolphin freedom. In his early years, O’Barry trained dolphins to entertain audiences for shows at aquatic theme parks and for roles in movies and television shows, most notably Flipper. His career as a trainer came to an abrupt halt when one of the dolphins that played Flipper on television died of stress in his arms. At that moment, he realized that keeping dolphins in captivity and teaching them to do tricks was cruel and morally wrong. He began to understand that dolphins were easy to train not because of his gifts as a trainer, but because they are remarkably intelligent, and he vowed not to rest until he freed every last one of them.

O’Barry’s first arrest in the 1970s for trying to free a caged dolphin in the Bahamas eventually led to his starring role in the 2010 Academy Award®–winning documentary The Cove, which exposed to the world Japan’s horrific annual dolphin slaughter. Included in this new edition is a preface on O’Barry’s role in this riveting documentary, which has garnered more awards than any other in its genre, as well as information on his campaigns to stop the slaughter of dolphins.

Share and rejoice in O’Barry’s adventures, from Flipper to The Cove, and discover how the one-time pride of the billion-dollar captivity industry became the tireless dolphin advocate we know and love today.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 285 pages
  • Publisher: Earth Aware Editions; Original edition (January 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1608871053
  • ISBN-13: 978-1608871056
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #239,726 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Richard O' Barry is doing what every single person in this world should be doing: Attempting to change the world.

On an ordinary August day, I watched a documentary. On an ordinary August day, I saw images on my television screen that seemed unreal. On an ordinary August day, tears flowed freely as my eyes witnessed an evil they hadn't been exposed to before. On an ordinary August day, nothing at all was ordinary.

That documentary, "The Cove", opened my eyes to a harsh reality; one that I needed to know.

This book dives deeper into the motivation behind that film and behind O'Barry's campaign against the unjust cruelty that takes place in this world against a creature that has done no wrong.

There are people who scoff - "They're just dolphins," they say.
No, they're not just dolphins. They are innocent and beautiful creations of God.

Genesis 1:21 says, "So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm...And God saw that it was good."

God saw His creation as good. God loves everything He created. He loves us humans, who are full of sin and evil. But an innocent creature, like the dolphin, has no sin - yet, they are mistreated and slaughtered when they deserve to be free to roam the great ocean.

O'Barry writes about his days as a successful dolphin trainer - the days when he had success, fame and everything he could have ever wanted. But his life was forever changed when his eyes were opened to how cruel it was to keep an animal so intelligent in captivity. His new goal in life: stop dolphin abuse and free as many as he could back into the wild.

O'Barry is a true inspiration.
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Format: Paperback
Book Review: "Behind the Dolphin Smile" by Richard O'Barry with Keith Colbourn (2012 Earth Aware Editions, US, 285 pp)

By Mark J. Palmer
Associate Director
International Marine Mammal Project
Earth Island Institute
Berkeley, CA

Richard (Ric) O'Barry has issued a new edition of his 1988 book "Behind the Dolphin Smile", an autobiography of how he started as a dolphin trainer, including training the dolphins used in the hit 1960's television show "Flipper", and became the world's best known activist for dolphin protection and freedom from captivity.

(Full disclosure: I am an employee of Earth Island Institute and work with Ric O'Barry on dolphin protection issues. I also helped edit this new edition of "Behind the Dolphin Smile".)

This edition includes a new Forward by adventure writer Susan Casey, author of "The Wave" and "The Devil's Teeth", and editor of Oprah Winfrey's "O Magazine". O'Barry has also added a new Preface about the Oscar-winning documentary "The Cove", which stars O'Barry, and his campaign to end the largest slaughter of dolphins in the world in Japan.

"Behind the Dolphin Smile" is well written with O'Barry's straightforward and very personal style, as if you were having a conversation with him over beers. And his life has been quite a roller-coaster ride.

While still in the Navy, O'Barry went on leave one day to the Miami Seaquarium, where he decided he wanted to "be the guy feeding the fish" in the large tank. And that is what he did, using his Navy training in diving in good stead at the Seaquarium for many years.

He participated in capturing the five female dolphins that were to play the part of Flipper in the television show, following two hit movies.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was an informative book even though I felt I didn't need too much info on his life. His experiences with the dolphins were amazing. What sticks in my mind are his experiences when he tried to help a dolphin "escape" from his pen and it didn't want to leave and when the 2 dolphins he rehabilitated and traced how they were doing. They were alive and well. This made me think that what Ric did with patience in rehabilitating those dolphins to return to the wild can apply to orcas or any wild animal in captivity. It was amazing.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
while the beginning of the book explains in detail the process
of training Kathy & susy for their part as flipper , after few chapters you start to understand the necessity of end all those absurd dolphin programs.
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Captivity is cruel.... This book helps to understand the dolphins and why Captivity for dolphins should not be happening.
Do not support cruelty, STOP buying tickets to Aquariums and Abusement parks.
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By s.nicolas on November 24, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
interesting view on the inside of O'Barrys life. I admire this brave guy. Glad he wrote this book for us to enjoy :-)
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One of the greatest books I have ever read, it is a must read. If you want to know more about the man behind flipper and how he went from trainer to activist then read this book.
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By judy on February 24, 2014
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To understand why he does what he does, from where it all began. His dedication and determination is inspiring to me
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