A natural history rich in observation of the animal world and how humans participate in it, Silent Thunder is also a passionate story of scientist Katy Payne’s spiritual quest as she turns a keen eye on her role in this world. Starting with the story of her revolutionary discovery that elephants use infrasonic sounds—sounds below the range of human hearing—to communicate, Payne shares what she learned from her fascinating field research in Africa, research that reveals new insights into elephants’ social lives. When five of the elephant families she studies are the victims of culling, Payne’s approach to her research changes, as she fights valiantly to protect the elephants. The result of her research, and the touching insights gained from Africans she worked with and the elephants she studied, give a vivid impression of Payne’s view from the front lines of the natural preservation effort. Like Peter Matthiessen’s The Snow Leopard and the writings of Jane Goodall, Silent Thunder demonstrates how a commitment to all life can bring one’s own into a new focus.