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Ancestral Passions: The Leakey Family and the Quest for Humankind's Beginnings (A Touchstone book) Paperback – 1 Mar 1999
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About the Author
VIRGINIA MORELL is the author of Ancestral Passions, Blue Nile, and Wildlife Wars, which she co-authored with Richard Leakey. She is contributing correspondent for Science and a regular contributor to National Geographic Magazine. Her 2008 NGM article, “Minds of Their Own,” was the kernel of her forthcoming book, How We Know Animals Think. MARY ROACH is the author of Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife, Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex, and Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void. PETER MILLER is the author of The Smart Swarm: How Understanding Flocks, Schools, and Colonies Can Make Us Better at Communicating, Decision Making, and Getting Things Done. He is a senior editor at National Geographic and has served as a writer and editor at the magazine for more than 25 years.
Top Customer Reviews
Some Leakey peccadilloes, never secret, are fully documented here: Louis's constant womanizing and his "adoption" of young female researchers, such as Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Birute Galdikas; Mary's scotch-drinking, her cigar-smoking, and her intolerance of those on her Stinker List, some of them other researchers; and Richard's boyish brashness and arrogance, along with his health problems and dislike of Donald Johanson. Less appreciated, however, is the fact that before Louis's work and significant discoveries, people still believed that early man was from China or Europe, not Africa. Mary Leakey was the first person ever to excavate a Paleolithic site, and her meticulous care about documenting the tools and animals found in the same stratae as her hominid fossils, told here in detail, revolutionized the way fossils were recovered and catalogued. Richard found as many hominid fossils in two years (1971 and 1972) as Mary and Louis found in 36 years, and his level of dedication to research since finding his first hominid fossil at age 6, his mentoring of young researchers, and his creation of museums and foundations in Nairobi have perhaps received less attention than they deserve.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
While Richard Leakey certainly has earned his detractors, his accomplishments are worthy as is his devotion to his native country of Kenya. There is much good to be said of a man who traveled and gave lectures and used the money earned to pay the way for native Kenyans to advance their educations abroad.
I highly recommend this book.
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