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March 1, 1995

The Monkey Wars

Author Affiliations

UCLA School of Medicine Los Angeles, Calif


by Deborah Blum, 294 pp, $25, ISBN 0-19-509412-3, New York, NY, Oxford University Press, 1994.

JAMA. 1995;273(9):752. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520330084045

Here, for a change, is a refreshing, informative, and interesting book about animal research.

Deborah Blum began her work with a Pulitzer Prize—winning series for the Sacramento Bee in 1984. It culminated in her book The Monkey Wars. In preparation, Blum crossed the country numerous times. She visited many of the main nonhuman primate research facilities and animal rights groups. She traveled and talked with those who had fled from the research laboratory because of their disgust with conducting research on nonhuman primates. She spent time with investigators who, by studying monkeys, significantly advanced medical knowledge about humans, and with those who became targets of animal rights activists, even to the point of fearing for their lives. She talked with members of Congress and walked the halls of the major primate research funding agencies. In short, the author performed an extraordinary amount of on-site, face-to-face research. She has been fair

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