Read Ebook The Lady and the Panda The True Adventures of the First American Explorer to Bring Back China's Most Exotic Animal ´ Vicki Constantine Croke –

Own charm and stubbornness Harkness set out for China Everyone was sure she d fail horribly or die trying But with the help of an experienced oung explorer uentin Young Harkness succeeded in bringing back the first live panda out of panda country and to the US Panda fever was ignited and Harkness had a long road to travel in figuring out what her next role would beI read a picture book about Harkness and the first panda to the US and had to read about this woman who succeeded where all the men failed and who helped spur on panda conservation To say that the picture book sugar coats Ruth Harkness tale is a huge understatement It gets the facts right but the full story is not exactly little kid material She had an affair with her guide on the first trek she went on even though she knew he was engaged had no problem trying out opium even after her guide had to fire several porters for their addictions developed a serious problem with depression and alcohol on the 2nd trek she went on and eventually ended up committing suicide Harkness was noble in her fearlessness in heading into the interior of China and daring to do what everyone kept telling her should be left to the men I also really appreciated that she saw the Chinese people as people of eual standing not a common attitude of the day and treated them with respect She made sure to give her guide eual credit for the find though Tutoring Lady Jane you re less likely to have heard of uentin Young I did find it fascinating to learn about what life was like in China at this time from the perspective of internationals This isn t necessarily a happy story It does start off that way with grand success but then Harkness life after that starts to spiral out of control with depression and alcohol It takes her two treks returning with one panda to realize that pandas need to be protected because the area was being decimated in the frenzy her find had created She actually released the 3rd panda she caught instead of taking it to the States Each time Harkness returns to the States and tries to return to normal life she seems and pitiful Which I get as an expat Re entry is not easy and they didn t have any counseling for that back then She also didn t seem to really deal with her husband s death ever and it glared at her when she returned to the States All that to say the story gets and pitiful Recommended ifou want to learn about panda conservation history and unconventional women explorers Not recommended if ou like safe and happy storiesNotes on content Occasional mild swear words No sex scenes but the fact that sexual activity happened is stated Some hunting violence mentioned Deaths in precursor battles of WWII are somewhat gorily described Opium use described Alcohol addiction As per the times moderate drinking and smoking are freuently part of social gatherings Got about 125 pages into the book before it was put away for keeps I was enjoying the book okay just not eager to pick it up again when I put it down The style of writing is dramatic and engaging and apparently the author is doing a LOT of uoting from sources She definitely seems to be a big fan of Ruth Harkness who does seem to be an incredible woman But coming from a history research background I wonder about the objective truth of the story she s telling Authors must always decide what to include and what to leave out and she s such a Harkness fangirl that I wonder what s being left out However Ruth Harkness is definitely a badass heading off into China alone except for almost strangers I had hoped to get to at least something about her interacting with a panda before we got than 13 through the book but perhaps all that backstory was necessary in order to understand future event. Ture a bear that had for centuries lived in secret in a labyrinth of cold lonely mountain.

characters The Lady and the Panda The True Adventures of the First American Explorer to Bring Back China's Most Exotic Animal

Raversing parts of the world I ve never seen and this exuberant biography of a Manhattan dress designer turned international explorer held me rapt with one caveat that I ll explain at the end Ruth Harkness did not come from a wealthy sophisticated family but with determination a flair for design and a savvy intelligence that allowed her to read people Harkness managed to create a cosmopolitan New York City life for herself even in the midst of the 1930 s Great Depression She fell in love with then married a rich boy adventurer who hoped to be the first to bring a live panda out of China and into the US When he died in the process Harkness surprised all her high fashion socialite friends by deciding she would be the one to take on his missionHarkness ended up loving China especially the wild rugged mountainous densely forested far western areas where the giant panda makes its home and it s thrilling to read about her rough and tumble travels the variety of local people she spent time with and the off the map exotic places she visited But Harkness didn t avoid China s urban areas entirely There was plenty of Euro American drinking and partying when she stopped in international cities like Shanghai to gather the team funds and provisions needed for her venture but unlike many contemporary Westerners she respected the Chinese culture and treated her Chinese expedition guide like a partner even briefly having a love affair with him When Harkness successfully brought a baby panda out of China much was made of the fact that though she was just a woman she succeeded where many men had failed so far the men had been shooting pandas and bringing back their pelts Harkness treated her panda with great care trying to understand its needs and sacrificing her own comforts but the caveat I mentioned in the first sentence is that it makes me uncomfortable and sad to read about a baby animal being taken from its mother and native habitat to be put in a zoo Harkness agonized about this too even releasing back into the wild another panda she captured Other than that I totally fell under the spell of this lively enthusiastically written book The author had access to a trove of personal letters written by Harkness and retraced some of Harkness s journey herself so while reading it was easy to imagine I was right there experiencing it all myself This one really bothered me a lot I like memoirs and this one sounded like it would be fascinating since the woman managed to bring back a baby panda alive She was the first one to do so and the passion love she had for the pandas is amazing But her lifestyle was uite destructive her choices were also destructive an Somewhat interesting book about a woman venturing into what was considered a man s occupation Ruth Harkness wanted to capture an elusive panda in the memory of her husband and bring it back alive to the states She may have inadvertently caused a shift from the appeal of sending back only skins and parts to institutions to live specimens But in doing so pandas were killed or kept alive in inhumane conditions With all the interest generated in capturing a live panda China learned uickly that pandas could be a lucrative national treasure Light read overall with a glimpse in the explorercollector world of the early 20th century when there were areas of the world still fairly untouched by humans Ruth Harkness was a dress designer living in New York City when she got word her explorer husband had died before even getting off in earnest on his expedition to bring back a live panda In a shocking move especially for the 1930s she decided to go and finish what he started With no exploration experience only some of her husband s contacts and her. E who took on the uest that cost her husband his life and trekked to Tibet in 1936 to cap.

She floats through the air with the greatest of ease the oung fashionista on the flying trapeze Or a oung attractive rich girl who never worked a day in her life goes on fun jaunts in China and lucks herself into bringing a panda back to the United States I have to respect the author for laying out an unvarnished book about a woman who was about as unrelateable to me as possible and making me careReminiscent of the world of explorers pictured in the boyhood dreams of the old man in Up the world of The Lady and the Panda is every bit as mysterious and romantic Harkness finds romance in the dashing uentin Young who helps her realize her deceased husband s goal of capturing a live panda Little did she expect that the act would touch off a storm of panda hunting that would essentially cause them to become endangered To her credit Harkness realized this and regretted her actionsAlong the way Croke fashions a picturesue if a bit claustrophobic at times image of China in the 1930s I wanted to know about life in China at the time rather than just the parties and hoity toity circles where Harkness found herself And it would have been good to hear about the last panda rather than Harkness s descent into depression And I could have gone without the author s use of the terms Coolie and MulattoThough I found the main character a little repulsive due to her rich girl attitudes and slight depravity the book still was interestingThanks for reading I picked this up on a whim at a used book store and certainly got way than my 150 worth Adventure Romance History Glamour Tragedy Cute animals This book has all that and Highly recommended Started this book earlier but had to return to the library Putting this on pause True story of a novice explored and game hunter Ruth Harkness who brings back the first live panda to the western world in 1936 Her idea of capturing a baby panda proved to the correct call as mature pandas all died I admired her pluck and courage she was however supported by her team and uentin Young and others who made her first foray into the wilds of Chine possible Other trips she made and explorations in other countries paled in comparison While I first found myself championing her unexperience woman versus seasoned but awful male big game hunters her later trips filled me with dismay Success in capturing a panda seemed wrong forcing the poor creature to live elsewhere depriving it of its native habitat all in the name of money and fame However I am looking at this from present day sensibilitiesFor me the only reason to have animals in captivity is to breed them to save them from extinction which we humans have brought about a la Gerald Durrell Hard to read about the callous self serving hunters who thought nothing of taking an animal s life The story of the first expedition was interesting except after all that buildup it was such a letdown how easy Harkness co got their first panda It s also strange to say that they shot over 700 photographs but none came out because a piece of film got stuck in the camera I m really confused about this Didn t they notice that everytime they opened the camera to load filmI ll have to agree with some things pointed out by other reviewers This book was about the lady than the panda I m also curious as to what happened to Mei Mei It is also hypocritical for Harkness to go on her second expedition but not actually search for pandasThis book read better compared to another nonfiction book I just finished There was that balance in setting the scene to give readers an idea what was happening at the time Harkness physical actions and her state of mind through the letters she sent I love reading about the exploits of interesting people A New York Times BestsellerHere is the true story of Ruth Harkness the Manhattan socialit.

Read Ebook The Lady and the Panda The True Adventures of the First American Explorer to Bring Back China's Most Exotic Animal ´ Vicki Constantine Croke –

The Lady and the Panda