Elizabeth Marshall Thomas

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Elizabeth Marshall Thomas (born September 13, 1931)[1] is an American author. She has published fiction and non-fiction books and articles on animal behavior, Paleolithic life, and the !Kung Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert.


Thomas is the daughter of anthropologist Lorna Marshall and Laurence K. Marshall, co-founder of the Raytheon Corporation, and the sister of ethnographic filmmaker John Marshall.[2] She grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts and attended Abbot Academy in Andover, Massachusetts.[1] After beginning undergraduate studies at Smith College, Thomas took a break to travel in Africa with her family and later completed a degree in English from Radcliffe College.[2] Between 1950 and 1956, she took part in three expeditions to live with and study the Ju/'hoansi (!Kung Bushmen) of the Kalahari Desert in Namibia and Botswana.[3] During these trips, Thomas kept a journal which she later drew on when writing her first book, The Harmless People.[1]

A popular success and New York Times bestseller,[2] The Hidden Life of Dogs also drew criticism from some in the scientific and dog training communities for Thomas' observational methods and analysis.[2][4] Thomas wrote a follow-up book, The Social Life of Dogs: The Grace of Canine Company, as well as books on feline and deer behavior.



Ethology and animal culture[edit]



  1. ^ a b c Reiten, Linda. "Thomas, Elizabeth Marshall". Encyclopedia of Anthropology. 
  2. ^ a b c d McCarthy, Susan (June 27, 2000). "Elizabeth Marshall Thomas". Salon.com. Retrieved November 18, 2012. 
  3. ^ Thomas, Elizabeth Marshall (1989). The harmless people (Rev. ed., 2nd Vintage Books ed.). New York: Vintage Books. pp. 'About the Author'. ISBN 067972446X. 
  4. ^ Adler, Jerry; Teresa Namuth (11/1/1993). "The (secret) world of dogs". Newsweek 122 (18).  Check date values in: |date= (help)

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