Book Review | The Chimpanzee Manifesto
Title: The Chimpanzee Manifesto
Author: Nathaniel Gold
Well, I’ll admit this book isn’t what I expected. When I first read the description of this book as I thought I’d be getting a book of caricatures and cartoons of chimps. I also had The Barenaked Ladies song “Another Postcard” running through my head. I have an admittedly strange sense of humour and it sounded fun.
The reality is that this book has more than twenty finely drawn renderings of chimpanzees, yes, dressed in clothes and in situations that look familiar… Oh wait, they are familiar! A ballet dancer reminicent of Edgar Degas’ “Ballet Class”, with the head of a chimp. Chimps staring from behind a barb-wired fence, looking like concentration camp pictures from World War II. A chimp in a red shirt, checking the lie of a golf ball, Chimp Woods, perhaps? A chimp in an American flag shirt, looking remarkably like a picture of Abbie Hoffmann, the political and youth activist from the 60s and 70s.
These pictures are haunting, all the chimps’ eyes hold emotion. A reminder that humans and chimps share 96% of their DNA. Theartist’s stated goal is that human’s will put aside their “need for complication” and live more like the chimps. They live in a state of pure love, enjoying and respecting the simple things. In his note at the end of the book, he quotes Jane Goodall, “The least I can do is speak out for those who cannot speak for themselves.” He points out that dressing up a chimp as a human may be cute and funny, but it is also cruel and wrong. I found this book to be an eye-opener. I’ll leave it up to you to buy this book or not, but I was touched by it in ways that I cannot express.
*I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this novel.*