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Next of Kin: My Conversations with Chimpanzees Paperback – September 1, 1998
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Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the School & Library Binding edition.
Top Customer Reviews
I cannot express adequately how moving and instructive this account is. It will affect you on a deeply emotional level - I can't imagine how anyone can emerge from this story unchanged. I highly recommend this book for all readers, from teenagers to adults, from casual to serious readers.
I've always been a big animal lover, but reading this book taught me so many things that I never knew before. Anyone who questions an animal's ability to think or feel will get a sharp reality check after reading this book. Chimpanzees are people, too, just as much as human beings are. Unfortunately, the majority if humans in this world don't agree with that logic, and thousands of animals, including chimpanzees, are routinely kidnapped from their natural habitats and bred in captivity for the sole purpose of participating in biomedical research. In many cases, medical laboratories house animals in appalling conditions and literally torture them to death. "Next of Kin" details the horrors that go on behind closed doors at biomedical laboratories, and chronicles the steps Fouts and other animal activists have taken to protect chimpanzees from being treated inhumanely.
I absolutely loved this book. Reading it made me feel close to Washoe and her chimpanzee friends, even though I never met any of them before. (Sadly, Washoe passed away last fall at the age of 42, but I hope to visit members of her family at the Chimpanzee and Human Communication Institute in Washington someday.Read more ›
"As we approached the fenced-in nursery school, I saw two adults playing with a child in the shade of a tree. At least I thought it was a child. When the child saw us coming she leapt up and began hooting. Then she began sprinting in our direction--on all fours. We were only a few yards from the four-foot-high fence now. Washoe continued to speed toward us and, without breaking stride, vaulted over the fence and sprang from the top rail. What happened next amazes me to this day. Washoe did not jump onto Allen Gardner as I had expected. She leapt into my arms."
He got the job. He didn't know anything about chimpanzees, especially about changing diapers on an infant chimp, and he didn't know anything about American Sign Language, but he learned fast. For the next several years he was part of a project to teach ASL to Washoe and to demonstrate that a nonhuman animal could learn a natural, human language. They didn't treat Washoe the way animals are usually treated by researchers.Read more ›
Fouts has given an incredible and heart wrenching insight into a world we too often choose to ignore - the world side by side to our own "civilized" one, the world of the animal kingdom. It is, perhaps, our view of it as a separate world from our own that first gets us into trouble. The human being is an arrogant being. We like to think that we are the superior beast - the thinking, feeling, building, progressive being that rules the earth - but so often the human being is not so superior at all, but only... a beast. Fouts takes that arrogance down several notches. He reveals the remarkable intelligence of the chimpanzee mind. He reveals the astounding emotional depth of the chimpanzee heart. He unveils the tragic suffering of the chimpanzee life when we forget these emotional and intellectual capacities. In a time when scientific strides in all fields - space exploration, medical, or other - can easily be made without the torment of our animal brethren, this book bears witness to our human cruelty and argues effectively for an abandonment of such treatment forever. We are not, after all, a superior creature on this planet. We are only one among many, sharing a global environment to which all of our varied species have a right to live in, enjoying our freedom to live our lives without the threat of enslavement by others - human or animal.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Painful to read, but not because it's a bad book, but because of the plight of so many chimps.Published 5 months ago by DF
I read this book which belonged to someone else so this time I purchased one copy for myself and two copies to give to two different friends. It is excellent!Published 8 months ago by Dianne Quimby
Great delivery of a quality read. This is not a light read, so be sure you are ordering this for sure.Published 8 months ago by Jason Griffis
Next of Kin is an autobiographic novel by the primatologist Roger Fouts, telling a fascinating story that started with his fortuitous landing at the University of Nevada, where he... Read morePublished 9 months ago by PatrickTrentin88
A great story - if you are into comparative psychology - and nicely written.Published 10 months ago by Steve Adams
This was a fascinating book about all animals (people included) and how they interact. It also was very interesting to learn about the research involving chimps. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Diana Smith