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The Year of the Gorilla [Paperback]

George B Schaller
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: 20.50 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

30 Nov 2010
This seminal work chronicles George B. Schaller's two years of travel and observation of gorillas in East and Central Africa in the late 1950s, high in the Virunga volcanoes on the Zaire-Rwanda-Uganda border. There, he learned that these majestic animals, far from being the aggressive apes of film and fiction, form close-knit societies of caring mothers and protective fathers watching over playful young. Alongside his observations of gorilla society, Schaller celebrates the enforced yet splendid solitude of the naturalist, recounts the adventures he experienced along the way, and offers a warning against poaching and other human threats against these endangered creatures. This edition features a postscript detailing Schaller's more recent visits with gorillas, current to 2009.


Product details

  • Paperback: 290 pages
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press (30 Nov 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226736474
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226736471
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 13.2 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,107,367 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Whether the author is tracking gorillas, slipping past elephant herds on narrow jungle paths, avoiding poachers' deadfalls, or routing Watusi invaders, this is an exciting book. Although Schaller feels that this is 'not an adventure book,' few readers will be able to agree." - Irven DeVore, Science "In the course of his fresh, bright book, Schaller does not so much argue for his biological ecumenism as - talking, walking, doing, going, describing - he exemplifies it." - Naomi Bliven, New Yorker"

About the Author

George B. Schaller is a senior conservationist at the Wildlife Conservation Society and vice president of Panthera, a foundation devoted to the conservation of wild cats. He is the author of many books, including The Mountain Gorilla and The Last Panda, both published by the University of Chicago Press.

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There is a special feeling of elation in finally having reached a destination that has occupied the mind for months, a destination that is completely outside one's experience. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
George Schaller takes you with him as he goes to the Virunga Volcanoes to study the Gorillas. He takes a look at the gorillas, but with a more personal approach than with "The Mountain Gorilla". Instead of pouring out scientific facts, he shares with you some of his feelings and experiences as he watched them. This was a refreshing look at the life of gorillas from his own perspective. I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in Gorillas.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE YEAR OF THE GORILLA 6 Mar 2014
By Dr S. S. Nagi TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
This book was first published in 1965 (2010), has 278 pages, 10 chapters, 33 B/W photos, 2 maps and numerous beautiful line drawings of gorillas by the author. The book is dedicated to his wife 'KAY'. GEORGE BEALS SCHALLER was born in 1933 in Berlin, Germany and he received his BA and BSc degrees in Zoology and Anthropology from Alaska and Wisconsin. He lives with his wife in Connecticut and they have 2 sons, ERIC and MARK.
In 1959, George and Kay go to the mountainous borders of Eastern Congo to observe the gorillas for many months. They give names to individual gorillas and study their social life, nest-building, eating, mating, care of children, emotional tantrums, travel and their attitudes to humans. During this study, George climbs all the 8 VIRUNGA Volcanoes. This idea of studying the gorillas was put to George in 1957. In 1625, the 1st description of gorilla in West Africa was written by Andrew Bartell, but ignored. In 1846, the discovery of gorilla was made by Wilson and Savage on GABON River. In 1856, Du Chaillu described gorilla charge and he shot him in West Africa. In 1902, Von Beringe climbed Mt SABINIO, one of the Virunga Volcano and shot 2 apes. Many more gorillas were slaughtered, until in 1925, ALBERT NP was formed around the Volcanoes.
On 1.2.1959, George and Kay left New York for 2 years expedition to study the Mountain Gorilla, arriving at RUMANGADO on 14th Feb. On 6th march, with few porters, they climb into the forest, arriving in the saddle between Mt MIKENO and MT KARISIMBI. Slowly George reaches the summit of Mt Karisimbi and its shallow crater. In the forest, he had seen the nest of gorilla and heard the 'pok-pok-pok' sound, musty sweet odour and explosive roar 'uuua-uuua'. Then he sees the gorillas, some sitting on the ground, others in the trees.
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5.0 out of 5 stars excellent a really good read 20 July 2011
By Mrs B
Verified Purchase
A look back into the past, before luxurious colour pictures, this account of Gorillas in the mists of Rwanda for the general public is very well written and extremely informative. The author is a much respected biologist. A really good read.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating story 31 Aug 1999
By Angel Lee - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is the fascinating story of the author's expedition to study Mountain Gorillas in 1959-60. Told as a detailed narrative, it is as much an adventure story as a scientific analysis.
From the riveting first encounter with a family of gorillas through the identification of several distinct groups, their daily routine is revealed. The gentleness that Schaller found dispelled many long held myths about Gorilla behavior.
Beyond the gorillas, this is also the complete story of a region, its people and other flora and fauna. The issues of preservation of these animals and their habitat are much the same as those faced today.
This is the documentation of an important pioneering work that paved the way for Fossey and other researchers who would follow. Illustrated with photos and maps, it is a compelling read from cover to cover.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Look at the life of Gorillas through Schaller's Eyes 7 Sep 1998
By Justin Chandlr-Aston (garfield1@bigfoot.com) - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
George Schaller takes you with him as he goes to the Virunga Volcanoes to study the Gorillas. He takes a look at the gorillas, but with a more personal approach than with "The Mountain Gorilla". Instead of pouring out scientific facts, he shares with you some of his feelings and experiences as he watched them. This was a refreshing look at the life of gorillas from his own perspective. I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in Gorillas.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Gorilla study and more 11 Mar 2005
By Shoshana Lavinghouse - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a wonderful combination of anthropology, history, ecology, and gorilla studies. Schaller writes in a captivating and inviting style. I loved that he presented his datea on gorillas, the focus of his presence in Africa, within his own experience there. Imbeded within was ecological commentary expectable with endandered creatures; however, Schaller managed to make this contribute favorably to his book rather than the whining diatribe it could have been.

Highly recommendable for both social reading as well as a suppliment to an anthropology class.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The year of the Gorilla 30 Dec 2007
By Reader Rooz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Just read this book and found it a fascinating pre Dian Fossey insight into the gorillas and their environment. Easy to read. For those having travelled or about to travel in Rwanda, Uganda it gives a great insight into the way life was back in the 50's-60's. Enjoyed the social insight into the Gorilla's and description of the other mammals and primates encountered along with the flora and fauna.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ANOTHER MASTERPIECE OF GENIUS AND PLEASURE 25 Oct 2010
By James Schaller - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
"Dr. George" is simply one of the great naturalists of our time, and writes in such a delightful and interesting manner, that even though his topics are not always my favored subject matter, he causes me to love what was not a passion.

The profound gifts of this brilliant scientist includes always being clear and making you feel present, and has made him a top world expert on any topic he handles.

He is simply a treasure who is able to make his explorations profoundly satisfying.
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