Next of Kin: My Conversations with Chimpanzees
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For 30 years Roger Fouts has pioneered communication with chimpanzees through sign language--beginning with a mischievous baby chimp named Washoe. This remarkable book describes Fout's odyssey from novice researcher to celebrity scientist to impassioned crusader for the rights of animals. Living and conversing with these sensitive creatures has given him a profound appreciation of what they can teach us about ourselves. It has also made Fouts an outspoken opponent of biomedical experimentation on chimpanzees. A voyage of scientific discovery and interspecies communication, this is a stirring tale of friendship, courage, and compassion that will change forever the way we view our biological--and spritual--next of kin.
For three decades, primatologist Roger Fouts has been involved in language studies of the chimpanzee, the animal most closely related to human beings. Among his subjects was the renowned Washoe, who was "endowed with a powerful need to learn and communicate," and who developed an extraordinary vocabulary in American sign language. Another chimpanzee, Fouts writes, "never made a grammatical error," which turned a whole school of linguistic theory upside down. While reporting these successes, Fouts also notes that chimpanzees are regularly abused in laboratory settings and that in the wild their number has fallen from 5,000,000 to fewer than 175,000 in the last century.
"Engrossing...alternately hilarious and heartbreaking." --"San Francisco Chronicle""Beyond its exuberant storytelling value, this book contains ideas as revolutionary as any since "The Origin of Species." --Seattle Times"
"A startling, compassionate, honest, heart-wrenching book." --Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, coauthor of "When Elephants Weep"
About the Author
Marion Morra is the Associate Director of the Yale Cancer Center in New Haven, Connecticut. She is Associate Research Scientist at the Yale School of Medicine and Associate Clinical Professor at the Yale School of Nursing. Marion is widely published, having written articles and authored books for both health professionals and the public, with emphasis on health, especially in the field of cancer. She serves on major national committees for the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society.Eve Potts has been writing on medical subjects for more than 30 years. Her expertise is in making difficult medical information easy to understand. She has served as a medical writer and consultant to the Department of Health and Human Services and many medically oriented companies and institutions. Her interest in history is represented by another book,
Westport A Special Place, 1987The two authors who are sisters, have collaborated on five other books: three editions of the best-selling book for cancer patients Choices (Avon Books, 1980, 1987, and 1994),
Triumph: Getting Back to Normal When You Have Cancer (Avon Books, 1990), and
Understanding Your Immune System (1986). In 1993, the authors received the Natalie Davis Springarn Writer's Award from the National Coalition for Cancer Survivors for "their valuable contributions to the literature of survivorship and for their books,
Triumph." They also were awarded the 1995 National Health Information Silver Award, which honors the nation's best consumer health information programs and materials, for
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
A Tale of Two Chimps
The first chimpanzee I ever knew was Curious George, the mischievous hero of the classic children's book written by H. A. Rey.
It was the late 1940s and I was a small boy. One night my mother read me the story about "a good little monkey" who is captured in Africa by "the man with the yellow hat." The mysterious man pops Curious George into a sack, puts him on a ship, and takes him to a big city far away.
Curious George feels sad to leave home. But he is soon having fun. He tries hard t