Roger Fouts Next of Kin

ISBN 13: 9780140259032

Next of Kin

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9780140259032: Next of Kin

Roger Fouts fulfilled humankind's age-old dream of talking to animals by pioneering communication with chimpanzees through sign language. Now, in Next of Kin, Fouts tells the dramatic story of his odyssey from novice researcher to celebrity scientist and caretaker of a family of chimpanzees, to his impassioned awakening as a crusader for the rights of animals.

At the heart of this captivating audiobook is Fouts's magical thirty-year friendship with Washoe, the chimpanzee he met when she jumped into his arms. We follow Washoe as she grows from a mischievous baby chimp fresh out of the NASA space program into the matriarch of a clan of chimpanzees. Living and conversing with these sensitive creatures has given Fouts a profound appreciation of how much we share with our closest biological relatives, and what they can teach us about ourselves.

This stirring tale of friendship, courage, and compassion will change forever the way we view our biological -- and spiritual -- Next of Kin.

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Review:

For three decades, primatologist Roger Fouts has been involved in language studies of the chimpanzee, the animal most closely related to human beings. Among his subjects was the renowned Washoe, who was "endowed with a powerful need to learn and communicate," and who developed an extraordinary vocabulary in American sign language. Another chimpanzee, Fouts writes, "never made a grammatical error," which turned a whole school of linguistic theory upside down. While reporting these successes, Fouts also notes that chimpanzees are regularly abused in laboratory settings and that in the wild their number has fallen from 5,000,000 to fewer than 175,000 in the last century.

About the Author:

Roger Fouts is a professor of psychology at Central Washington University and co-director with his wile, Deborah Fouts, of the Chimpanzee and Human Communications Institute. His extraordinary accomplishments with Washoe and her chimpanzee family over the past three decades have generated international publicity in magazines and newspapers and on television. He is a frequent speaker on chimpanzee behavior and on behalf of improved conditions for captive chimpanzees in biomedical research.

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