Between Man and Beast by Monte Reel
An Unlikely Explorer, the Evolution Debates, and the African Adventure that Took the Victorian World by Storm

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"Between Man and Beast" addresses big topics—evolution, abolition—but they remain in service of the narrative, providing context for colorful conflict.
-WSJ online

Synopsis

In 1856, Paul Du Chaillu ventured into the African jungle in search of a mythic beast, the gorilla. After wild encounters with vicious cannibals, deadly snakes, and tribal kings, Du Chaillu emerged with 20 preserved gorilla skins—two of which were stuffed and brought on tour—and walked smack dab into the biggest scientific debate of the time: Darwin's theory of evolution. Quickly, Du Chaillu's trophies went from objects of wonder to key pieces in an all-out intellectual war. With a wide range of characters, including Abraham Lincoln, Arthur Conan Doyle, P.T Barnum, Thackeray, and of course, Charles Darwin, this is a one of a kind book about a singular moment in history.

 

About Monte Reel

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A former reporter for The Washington Post, Reel is the author of the critically acclaimed The Last of the Tribe.
 
Published March 12, 2013 by Anchor. 434 pages
Genres: History, Biographies & Memoirs, Travel, Science & Math, Sports & Outdoors. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Between Man and Beast
All: 2 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 0

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by David Quammen on Apr 04 2013

Although in the early chapters it seems a little scattered, its transitions flaccid, once Du Chaillu and his poor stuffed apes have made their debut in London, it rattles along with fine, wacky momentum.

Read Full Review of Between Man and Beast: An Unl... | See more reviews from NY Times

WSJ online

Excellent
Reviewed by Matthew Hutson on Mar 22 2013

"Between Man and Beast" addresses big topics—evolution, abolition—but they remain in service of the narrative, providing context for colorful conflict.

Read Full Review of Between Man and Beast: An Unl... | See more reviews from WSJ online

Reader Rating for Between Man and Beast
80%

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