The Great Apes: A Short History (Hardcover)

The Great Apes: A Short History By Chris Herzfeld, Kevin Frey (Translated by), Jane Goodall (Foreword by) Cover Image
By Chris Herzfeld, Kevin Frey (Translated by), Jane Goodall (Foreword by)
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A unique, beautifully illustrated exploration of our fascination with our closest primate relatives, and the development of primatology as a discipline

This insightful work is a compact but wide-ranging survey of humankind’s relationship to the great apes (chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, orangutans), from antiquity to the present. Replete with fascinating historical details and anecdotes, it traces twists and turns in our construction of primate knowledge over five hundred years. Chris Herzfeld outlines the development of primatology and its key players and events, including well-known long-term field studies, notably the pioneering work by women such as Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas.
Herzfeld seeks to heighten our understanding of great apes and the many ways they are like us. The reader will encounter apes living in human families, painting apes, apes who use American Sign Language, and chimpanzees who travelled in space.
A philosopher and historian specializing in primatology, Herzfeld offers thought-provoking insights about our perceptions of apes, as well as the boundary between “human” and “ape” and what it means to be either.

About the Author

Chris Herzfeld is an artist and freelance researcher trained at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris. She lives in Brussels, Belgium, and Naples, FL. Kevin Frey received a PhD in English from SUNY Stony Brook. He lives in New York City. Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, is an ethologist, famous for her research into wild chimpanzees in Tanzania. She is founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and a UN Messenger of Peace.,

Praise For…

"Herzfeld’s very well-researched and readable account of our interactions and fascination with our primate relatives begs the question of the boundary between ape and human."—Nancy Bent, Booklist

"A timely look at how our own humanity is reflected in our attitudes to our closest primate cousins."—Natural History

"Herzfeld, an independent scholar, traces our species’ fascination with large-bodied apes from the 1700s to the present day.... The final chapter is particularly revelatory, with its emphasis on the foundational role of women as adventurers, scientists, and activists in shaping the research questions asked in primatology. . . . Recommended."—Choice

“[An] impressive effort. . . . Herzfeld has produced a much-needed update to remind us of the ties that bind us to other apes.”—William C. McGrew, Quarterly Review of Biology

“A compact but wide-ranging survey of human beings’ relationship to their closest living relatives in nature, the great apes (chimpanzee, gorilla, orangutan), within the context of the primates more broadly . . . There is an enormous amount of history packed into a relatively short space.”—Ian Tattersall, author of The Strange Case of Rickety Cossack: And Other Cautionary Tales from Human Evolution and Masters of the Planet: The Search for Our Human Origins

“What must it mean to hold open space, hold open the present and the future, for beings from whom modern humans have wrested space and lifetimes so radically? The Great Apes writes of the history of coming to know the apes in their profound similarities and differences from each other and from human beings. These histories are essential to deepening long-overdue practices of care for individuals and species. Terrans Unite!”—Donna J. Haraway, author of Primate Visions: Gender, Race, and Nature in the World of Modern Science

“Presenting a rich panorama of ape and human actors and the knowledge that their interactions have generated, Chris Herzfeld offers a history of primatology that is simultaneously engaging, enlightening, and inspiring.”—Richard W. Burkhardt, Jr., author of Patterns of Behavior: Konrad Lorenz, Niko Tinbergen, and the Founding of Ethology

“Spanning centuries and continents, this book provides an excellent examination of the many scientists, philosophers, and artists who have grappled with the similarities and differences between humans and other apes while also bringing attention to the primates whose lives were observed, manipulated, or abused as part of this animal history.”—Georgina M. Montgomery, author of Primates in the Real World: Escaping Primate Folklore and Creating Primate Science

Product Details
ISBN: 9780300221374
ISBN-10: 0300221371
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication Date: November 14th, 2017
Pages: 344
Language: English