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In Quest of the Sacred Baboon: A Scientist's Journey

Biography / Memoir

By: Hans Kummer and M Ann Biederman-Thornson

337 pages, 34 b/w photos, 16 line illus, 1 map

Princeton University Press

Paperback | Dec 1997 | #68319 | ISBN: 069104838X
Out of Print Details
Hardback | Dec 1995 | #47111 | ISBN: 0691037019
Out of Print Details

About this book

Translated by M. Ann Biederman-Thornson
As Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey introduced readers to the fascinating lives of chimpanzees and gorillas, so Kummer brings us face to face with the Hamadryas baboons, the primates he tracked down, and then studied near the Danakil Desert in the early 1960s. Like the nomads with which they share the desert environment, the Hamadryas maintain a society that is strict and patriarchal in its details but multilayered and flexible in its largest units. A book which is at once compelling reading and rich in scientific detail.

This is a book for everyone. The author describes vividly the burning sands and rugged cliffs of Ethiopia, and the fierce wild people who make their home in the unrelenting desert. There is danger and excitement. And there are the hardy and utterly fascinating baboons, with their red faces and silver mantles, the sacred Hamadryas of ancient Egypt. Kummer's scientific talent for observation, his love for his subjects and his magnificent prose make this a powerful and unforgettable book. For the sake of the Hamadryas baboons, please buy it! Jane Goodall From the arresting first page of the preface, which takes the reader straight into the bush, to the moving final paragraph that will resonate with long-term field workers, it is compelling... The thoughtful, personal disclosures are uncommonly telling and deserve wide attention. -- W. C. McGrew Nature A book that encompasses the full body of a remarkable research project. [This] is an extremely satisfying book to read and will appeal to all. It is scientifically valuable, emotionally powerful, and spiritually rejuvenating. -- Conrad Brain New Scientist


<table><TR><TD> <TD>Illustration Credits <TR><TD>Ch. 1 <TD>The Zoo Baboons <TR><TD>Ch. 2 <TD>On to Ethiopia <TR><TD>Ch. 3 <TD>The One-Sided Marriage <TR><TD>Ch. 4 <TD>Tensions, Conventions, and Alliances among Males <TR><TD>Ch. 5 <TD>Life Histories <TR><TD>Ch. 6 <TD>Experts in a Thorny Land <TR><TD>Ch. 7 <TD>Anatomy of the Social Relationship <TR><TD>Ch. 8 <TD>The Net and the Sword <TR><TD>Ch. 9 <TD>The Eye of the Beholder <TR><TD>Ch. 10 <TD>Mahdi <TR><TD>Ch. 11 <TD>The Likely Evolution of Hamadryas Society: A Reconstruction and a Summary <TR><TD> <TD>Conclusion <TR><TD> <TD>Bibliography <TR><TD> <TD>Publications by Authors Outside the Hamadryas Project <TR><TD> <TD>Publications on the Hamadryas by the Zurich Group <TR><TD> <TD>Films <TR><TD> <TD>Index

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