The Monkey Wars

Paperback | November 1, 1995

byDeborah Blum

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The controversy over the use of primates in research admits of no easy answers. We have all benefited from the medical discoveries of primate research--vaccines for polio, rubella, and hepatitis B are just a few. But we have also learned more in recent years about how intelligent apes andmonkeys really are: they can speak to us with sign language, they can even play video games (and are as obsessed with the games as any human teenager). And activists have also uncovered widespread and unnecessarily callous treatment of animals by researchers (in 1982, a Silver Spring lab was chargedwith 17 counts of animal cruelty). It is a complex issue, made more difficult by the combative stance of both researchers and animal activists. In The Monkey Wars, Deborah Blum gives a human face to this often caustic debate--and an all-but-human face to the subjects of the struggle, the chimpanzees and monkeys themselves. Blum criss-crosses America to show us first hand the issues and personalities involved. She offers a wide-ranging,informative look at animal rights activists, now numbering some twelve million, from the moderate Animal Welfare Institute to the highly radical Animal Liberation Front (a group destructive enough to be placed on the FBI's terrorist list). And she interviews a wide variety of researchers, manyforced to conduct their work protected by barbed wire and alarm systems, men and women for whom death threats and hate mail are common. She takes us to Roger Fouts's research center in Ellensburg, Washington, where we meet five chimpanzees trained in human sign language, and we visit LEMSIP, aresearch facility in New York State that has no barbed wire, no alarms--and no protesters chanting outside--because its director, Jan Moor-Jankowski, listens to activists with respect and treats his animals humanely. And along the way, Blum offers us insights into the many side-issues involved: theintense battle to win over school kids fought by both sides, and the danger of transplanting animal organs into humans. "As it stands now," Blum concludes, "the research community and its activist critics are like two different nations, nations locked in a long, bitter, seemingly intractable political standoff....But if you listen hard, there really are people on both sides willing to accept and work within thecomplex middle. When they can be freely heard, then we will have progressed to another place, beyond this time of hostilities." In The Monkey Wars, Deborah Blum gives these people their voice.

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From Our Editors

A gritty, in-the-trenches report on the battle over primate use in medical research, inspired by a series of articles by the author that won a Pulitzer Prize in 1992. Deborah Blum provides an unflinching look at the experiments that chimps and monkeys endure in research labs and gives equal accord to both researchers and animal rights ...

From the Publisher

The controversy over the use of primates in research admits of no easy answers. We have all benefited from the medical discoveries of primate research--vaccines for polio, rubella, and hepatitis B are just a few. But we have also learned more in recent years about how intelligent apes andmonkeys really are: they can speak to us with si...

Deborah Blum, a science writer, won a Pulitzer Prize in 1992 for the series of articles that have inspired this book.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:334 pages, 7.95 × 5.35 × 0.67 inPublished:November 1, 1995Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019510109X

ISBN - 13:9780195101096

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From Our Editors

A gritty, in-the-trenches report on the battle over primate use in medical research, inspired by a series of articles by the author that won a Pulitzer Prize in 1992. Deborah Blum provides an unflinching look at the experiments that chimps and monkeys endure in research labs and gives equal accord to both researchers and animal rights activists.

Editorial Reviews

"A brilliant and unblinking look at one of the most disturbing issues of the 1990s, penned by one of the nation's most distinguished science journalists."--Keay Davidson, Science Writer, San Francisco Examiner, and co-author of Wrinkles in Time