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Linden, Eugene 1947(?)–

Linden, Eugene 1947(?)–

PERSONAL: Born c. 1947; married; children: Gillian (daughter), two others. Education: Yale University, graduated, c. 1969.

ADDRESSES: Home—Nyack, NY. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Writer. Also serves on several nonprofit boards and advisory committees, and as an independent director of three companies. Has appeared on television, including The Daily Show, Comedy Central, and on radio, including National Public Radio (NPR).

AWARDS, HONORS: Citation for Excellence, Overseas Press Club, for story "The Rape of Siberia"; Harry Chapin Media Awards Competition for Best Periodical, and Global Media Award for Best Periodical, Population Institute, both 1994, both for story "Megacities"; two Genesis Awards for writing on the subject of Animals, 1994, for "Can Animals Think?," 1995, for "Doomed"; Yale University Poynter fellowship, 2001; Walter Sullivan Award for Excellence in Science Journalism, American Geophysical Union.

WRITINGS:

Apes, Men, and Language, Saturday Review Press (New York, NY), 1975, revised edition, Penguin (New York, NY), 1981.

The Alms Race: The Impact of American Voluntary Aid Abroad, Random (New York, NY), 1976.

Affluence and Discontent: The Anatomy of Consumer Societies, Viking (New York, NY), 1979.

(With Francine Patterson) The Education of Koko, photographs by Ronald H. Cohn, Holt (New York, NY), 1982.

Silent Partners: The Legacy of the Ape Language Experiments, Times Books (New York, NY), 1986.

(Coauthor) An Wang, Lessons (autobiography), Addison-Wesley (Reading, MA), 1986.

The Future in Plain Sight: Nine Clues to the Coming Instability, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1998, updated edition with a new afterword by author, Plume (New York, NY), 2002.

The Parrot's Lament, and Other True Tales of Animal Intrigue, Intelligence, and Ingenuity, Dutton (New York, NY), 1999.

(With Henry Owen and Carol Graham) Closing the Great Divide: Development and the Eradication of Poverty, Council on Foreign Relations Press (Washington, DC), 2001.

The Octopus and the Orangutan: More True Tales of Animal Intrigue, Intelligence, and Ingenuity, Dutton (New York, NY), 2002.

(With Leon Levy) The Mind of Wall Street: A Legendary Financier on the Perils of Greed and the Mysteries of the Market, foreword by Alan Abelson, Public Affairs (New York, NY), 2002.

The Winds of Change: Climate, Weather, and the Destruction of Civilizations, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2006.

Contributor to periodicals, including Atlantic Monthly, Condé Nast Traveler, Foreign Affairs, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, and Wall Street Journal.

SIDELIGHTS: Eugene Linden is a writer whose publications include various works about animal intelligence. Linden's first book, Apes, Men, and Language, relates scientists' attempts to teach sign language to chimpanzees. In addition, the book assesses the results of similar endeavors, and it explores the ramifications of intercommunication between animals and human beings. A Publishers Weekly contributor described Apes, Men, and Language as "loosely organized." Writing in Newsweek, Peter S. Prescott noted that Linden "manages adroitly a short course on language," and he affirmed that "what Linden says about chimps and language is fascinating." Another reviewer, Michael S. Fetta, wrote in Library Journal that Apes, Men, and Language examines the concept of communicative animals and "its implications for man's notion of language."

In a related volume, The Education of Koko, Linden and collaborator Francine Patterson discuss Patterson's efforts to instruct a gorilla in sign language. Jonathan F. Husband, writing in the Library Journal, noted that The Education of Koko "deals readably and nontechnically with some fundamental questions about language and animal intelligence." A Publishers Weekly contributor called the book "valuable."

Silent Partners: The Legacy of the Ape Language Experiments notes the decline of primate-communication projects in the late 1970s, and relates the ensuing experiences of chimpanzees, and the gorilla Koko, who were once involved in those endeavors. Linden reports that Patterson's work with Koko continued, but he reveals that the release of further information diminished considerably. He also notes that some of the communicative chimpanzees were used in AIDS experiments. Library Journal contributor Laurie Bartolini called Silent Partners a "disturbing report," and Ursula K. Le Guin wrote in the New York Times Book Review that Linden's book "is not only a diagnosis of the cruelty and confusion it describes, but also an antidote." Le Guin described the book as "kind, quiet, and fair."

Among Linden's other writings on animals is The Parrot's Lament, and Other True Tales of Animal Intrigue, Intelligence, and Ingenuity, which presents various accounts of the interactions between animals and human beings. The book includes an anecdote about hide-and-seek-playing elephants. A Publishers Weekly contributor called the book a "brisk, detailed report." Writing in Booklist, Nancy Bent observed that the book "creates a compelling argument in favor of consciousness in animals."

In a follow up to The Parrot's Lament, and Other True Tales of Animal Intrigue, Intelligence, and Ingenuity titled The Octopus and the Orangutan: More True Tales of Animal Intrigue, Intelligence, and Ingenuity, Linden relates stories about animal intelligence as passed on by people who work with animals and perhaps know them best, including zookeepers, trainers, and veterinarians. For example, one tale relates how an octopus can pick locks, another tells of elephants opening their cages and switching habitats at night, and still another features a dolphin that seems to chastise its trainer. In addition to vignettes featuring unexpected examples of animal intelligence, the author discusses the differences between animal and human intelligence. Nancy Bent, writing in Booklist, noted that the author's "chatty writing style … makes for entertaining and enlightening reading." Ann Hart, writing in Kliatt, commented: "This book will entertain and inform anyone with the slightest interest in animals."

In addition to writing about animals, Linden has published works exploring various aspects of economics, including consumerism and the consequences of philanthropy. In Affluence and Discontent: The Anatomy of Consumer Societies, he observes that consumers are motivated by insecurity rather than need. A Publishers Weekly contributor called the book "provocative, thoroughly engrossing." Another reviewer, Donald H. Granbois, wrote in Business Horizons that Linden's volume constitutes a "provocative discussion of the origins of contemporary American culture," and he noted the book's "anthropological interpretation of evolutionary forces."

In The Alms Race: The Impact of American Voluntary Aid Abroad, Linden reports on the ineffectiveness of CARE and other similar philanthropic organizations. Linden charges that CARE operated in impoverished Lesotho, South Africa, without sufficient regard for the local population and surroundings. He alleges, furthermore, that CARE staff lived in what Carol Holbrook characterized in a Library Journal review as a "lavish lifestyle." Holbrook, while noting Linden's "moralizing approach," conceded that the book possesses "value." A Choice contributor wrote that The Alms Race "raises a legitimate question as to just what the developed West is trying to do in less-developed countries." A Publishers Weekly contributor referred to the book as "toughminded and disquieting."

Among Linden's other works is The Future in Plain Sight: Nine Clues to the Coming Instability, in which he offers various projections on the world in the mid-twenty-first century. He writes about overpopulation, new diseases, the rise of religious fundamentalism, and environmental instability and its effects on climate, and he notes the widespread health disasters that might ensue as a consequence. "Linden emphasizes repeatedly that climate is the inescapable context for all plant and animal activity," Judson Gooding wrote in Across the Board. Gooding explained that Linden's "apparent intention is to ring alarm bells … and in so doing to urge remedial or holding actions that will at least delay the disaster, or instability, he sees ahead." Adweek contributor Debra Goldman described The Future in Plain Sight as "a book about the present, entirely envisioned within the limits the present imposes on our imaginations." Writing in Booklist, Gilbert Taylor called it "a well-written bit of fatalism." Mark Hertsgaard, in his Los Angeles Times Book Review appraisal, found that "much of [its] analysis is dead-on." In Foreign Affairs, Francis Fukuyama cautioned potential readers: "For those troubled by their ability to sleep soundly at night, this book provides nine reasons why the world may experience dramatic instability" by the mid-2000s.

In The Winds of Change: Climate, Weather, and the Destruction of Civilizations, Linden returns to his interest in the environment and makes the case that the world's environment has been relatively stable and benign but is on its way to undergoing enormous changes that will typically reflect the Earth's more common severe weather cycles over the millennia. As a result, argues Linden, the impact on life and on the world's cultural, social, and political institutions will be significant. Based on research into the world's historical weather patterns, Linden discusses abrupt and catastrophic weather changes, such as the Little Ice Age of the fourteenth century that devastated Norse settlers. He also delves into the science of climate change. A Publishers Weekly contributor referred to the book as an "articulate polemic." Doug Macdougall, writing in the Chronicle of Higher Education, noted: "Linden deals easily with the basic science behind climate change, making understandable even such seemingly obscure concepts as geochemical proxies, the characteristics of cores of ice or ocean sediment that can be used to infer properties such as past temperatures." A Kirkus Reviews contributor wrote that "this text provides a sound orientation to a controversial subject."

Linden collaborated with Wall Street financier Leon Levy to write The Mind of Wall Street: A Legendary Financier on the Perils of Greed and the Mysteries of the Market. The book offers investment advice and a look at the market based on Levy's fifty years of experience on Wall Street. The book includes numerous stories, both exciting and amusing, to illustrate good and bad investment moves. The authors also include biographical vignettes of some of Wall Street's most important financiers. A Publishers Weekly contributor called The Mind of Wall Street a "well-written investment book [that] delivers both adventure and financial insight." Justin Dini, writing in the Institutional Investor, commented: "The book manages to pack into a mere 224 pages the fascinating details of Levy's life, his overall investment philosophy, his role in Wall Street's evolution and his take on how the Street has changed over the years."

Linden has also served as the coauthor of Lessons, an autobiography by An Wang, a computer technologist and founder of Wang Laboratories. The volume includes recollections of Wang's experiences in China during the nation's occupation by the Japanese, and it recalls Wang's negotiations with I.B.M. over the sale of Wang's patent for magnetic core memory. James Fallows wrote in the New York Times Book Review that Lessons provides "a delicious lesson" on "the importance of revenge and getting even as spurs to business success."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Across the Board, February, 1999, Judson Gooding, review of The Future in Plain Sight: Nine Clues to the Coming Instability.

Adweek, September 7, 1998, Debra Goldman, "Future Imperfect."

American Scientist, November-December, 2002, review of The Octopus and the Orangutan: More True Tales of Animal Intrigue, Intelligence, and Ingenuity, p. 557.

Booklist, July, 1998, Gilbert Taylor, review of The Future in Plain Sight; September 1, 1999, Nancy Bent, review of The Parrot's Lament, and Other True Tales of Animal Intrigue, Intelligence, and Ingenuity; August, 2002, Nancy Bent, review of The Octopus and the Orangutan, p. 1902.

Business Horizons, September, 1981, Donald H. Granbois, review of Affluence and Discontent: The Anatomy of Consumer Societies, pp. 78-80.

Choice, November, 1976, review of The Alms Race: The Impact of American Voluntary Aid Abroad, p. 1174; May, 1980, review of Affluence and Discontent, p. 428.

Chronicle of Higher Education, April 14, 2006, Doug Macdougall, review of The Winds of Change: Climate, Weather, and the Destruction of Civilizations, p. B10.

Detroit Free Press, April 9, 2006, Marta Salij, review of The Winds of Change.

Economist, January 4, 2003, review of The Mind of Wall Street: A Legendary Financier on the Perils of Greed and the Mysteries of the Market.

Foreign Affairs, July-August, 1998, Francis Fukuyama, review of The Future in Plain Sight, p. 122.

Futurist, July-August, 2006, review of The Winds of Change, p. 63.

International Investor, December, 2002, Justin Dini, review of The Mind of Wall Street, p. 100.

Kirkus Reviews, June 15, 2002, review of The Octopus and the Orangutan, p. 859; January 1, 2006, review of The Winds of Change, p. 30.

Kliatt, November, 2003, Ann Hart, review of The Octopus and the Orangutan, p. 39.

Library Journal, April 1, 1975, Michael S. Fetta, review of Apes, Men, and Language, p. 670; May 15, 1976, Carol Holbrook, review of The Alms Race, p. 1216; December 1, 1979, Glenn T. Petersen, review of Affluence and Discontent, p. 2582; October 1, 1981, Jonathan F. Husband, review of The Education of Koko, p. 1936; March 15, 1986, Laurie Bartolini, review of Silent Partners: The Legacy of the Ape Language Experiments, p. 74.

Los Angeles Times Book Review, November 8, 1998, Mark Hertsgaard, review of The Future in Plain Sight, p. 9.

M2 Best Books, December 24, 2002, review of The Octopus and the Orangutan.

Modern Office Technology, December, 1986, Henry Holtzman, review of Lessons, p. 92.

New Republic, March 2, 1987, Joseph Nocera, "Iacocc-Heads," pp. 32-36.

Newsweek, February 3, 1975, Peter S. Prescott, "Ape Talk," pp. 63-64.

New York Times Book Review, May 25, 1986, Ursula K. Le Guin, "Apologies to the Primates," pp. 3, 21; October 26, 1986, James Fallows, "The Electronics of Revenge," p. 41.

Publishers Weekly, December 2, 1974, review of Apes, Men, and Language, p. 59; April 26, 1976, review of The Alms Race, p. 54; October 8, 1979, review of Affluence and Discontent, pp. 60-61; March 18, 1983, review of The Education of Koko, p. 516; June 22, 1998, review of The Future in Plain Sight, p. 76; September 6, 1999, review of The Parrot's Lament, and Other True Tales of Animal Intrigue, Intelligence, and Ingenuity; October 28, 2002, review of The Mind of Wall Street, p. 62; November 28, 2005, review of The Winds of Change, p. 35.

Science News, November 9, 2002, review of The Octopus and the Orangutan, p. 303; March 11, 2006, review of The Winds of Change, p. 159.

Time, August 17, 1998, review of The Future in Plain Sight, p. 76.

Washington Post, March 10, 2006, Eric Pianin, review of The Winds of Change, p. A02.

ONLINE

American Prospect Web site, http://www.prospect.org/ (August 29, 2006), Jared Irmas, "Tipping Points," interview with author.

E/The Environmental Magazine Web site, http://www.emagazine.com/ (August 29, 2006), Jim Motavalli, "Eugene Linden: The Winds of Change are Blowing."

Eugene Linden Home Page, http://www.eugenelinden.com (August 28, 2006).

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