Visions of Caliban: On Chimpanzees and People

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University of Georgia Press, 2000 - Nature - 379 pages
Using Shakespeare's play The Tempest and its characters Prospero and Caliban as structural metaphors representing the master-slave relationship between humans and chimpanzees, authors Dale Peterson and Jane Goodall collaborate in this exploration of our interaction with the species that shares more than 98 percent of our genetic makeup. After introducing us to an animal that fashions and uses tools, exploits forest medicines, transmits learned cultural behaviors, and exhibits human-like emotions, Peterson and Goodall present an illuminating, frequently startling study of the current threats to wild chimpanzees' habitats and the many abuses that chimps have endured and continue to face at the hands of humans. They address conservation issues and ethical questions concerning keeping chimpanzees in captivity, whether as pets or for entertainment or research, and offer firsthand evidence of the drastically declining numbers of chimpanzees in the wild.

Through their in-depth exploration of our relationship with chimpanzees, Peterson and Goodall demonstrate our close ties to these animals and also reveal how distant humans have become from their own place in nature. Both an informative, entertaining collection of stories about the authors' research experiences with chimps and a poignant call for a change in our perceptions and treatment of them, Visions of Caliban is a moving and important work.


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VISIONS OF CALIBAN: On Chimpanzees and People

User Review  - Kirkus

Peterson (English/Tufts), eloquent chronicler of nonhuman primates (The Deluge and the Ark, 1989), combines forces with chimp expert Goodall (Through a Window, 1990, etc.) to produce a Baedeker-cum ... Read full review

Visions of Caliban: on chimpanzees and people

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In this sequel to his book about endangered primates, The Deluge and the Ark ( LJ 9/1/89), Tufts English professor Peterson uses Shakespeare's The Tempest as an extended allegory of the relationship ... Read full review

Selected pages


Sounds and Sweet Airs
Man or Fish?
To Snare the Nimble Marmoset
Calibans Island
What Ho Slave
No Doubt Marketable
The Stuff of Dreams
To Laugh to Beat
I Acknowledge Mine
Our Pardon
The Chimpanzees of Africa
Recommendations to USDA

In Mine Own Cell
Endowed with Words Confined in Rock

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About the author (2000)

Dale Peterson is also the author of Chimpanzee Travels: On and Off the Road in Africa, Storyville, USA (both Georgia), and The Deluge and the Ark: A Journey into Primate Worlds. He is co-author, with Richard Wrangham, of Demonic Males: Apes and the Origins of Human Violence. He teaches at Tufts University. Jane Goodall is recognized worldwide for her research and field work with chimpanzees. She has written more than twenty books, including In the Shadow of Man, The Chimpanzees of Gombe: Patterns of Behavior, Through a Window: My Thirty Years with the Chimpanzees of Gombe, and, most recently, the best-selling Reason for Hope.

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