Hess, Elizabeth. NIM CHIMPSKY. The Chimp Who Would Be Human. First Edition, Second Impression; pp. xiv, 370(last blank); numerous illustrations, notes, bibliography, index; original papered boards; a fine copy in dustwrapper. New York; Bantam Books; (2008).
***A chronicle of an experiment designed to transform the way humans think about animals and humans, this book profiles a young chimpanzee, brought up with a large human family and taught to use sign language proficiently, until the funding for the study ended and he spent the next two decades exiled from his "family" and shuttled in and out of various facilities, including a medical lab. Could a chimpanzee raised from infancy by a human family bridge the gap between species--and change the way we think about the boundaries between animal and human? Here is the strange and moving account of an experiment intended to answer these questions, and of the chimp who was chosen to see it through. Columbia University psychologist Herbert S. Terrace's goal was to teach a chimpanzee American Sign Language in order to refute Noam Chomsky's assertion that language is an exclusively human trait. Nim Chimpsky, the baby chimp, was "adopted" by a graduate student. At first his progress exceeded all expectations--his charm and mischievous sense of humour endeared him to everyone. But no one had thought through the long-term consequences of raising a chimp in the human world. Nim's story will move and entertain at the same time that it challenges us to ask what it means to be human. --From publisher description. #59816
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