There's something really sad about a book that doesn't work even with all the right ingredients - an extremely important topic, meticulous research and a writer who cares passionately.

In 1981, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) was a tiny, obscure organization operating out of one of the founder's apartments. A decade later it had grown to more than 400,000 members with an annual budget of $10 million dollars. "Monkey Business" chronicles PETA's rise to prominence through the Silver Springs monkey case, an example of truly horrific abuse by animal experimenters, coupled with years of lying and manipulation from the National Institute of Health (NIH).Kathy Snow Guillermo works hard at making all the major players three dimensional, but in the end it's only the monkeys who seem tragically real. Everyone else is either "good," or "bad." But the real problem with "Monkey Business" lies in its focus. Whereas animal experimentation is a high-stakes, emotional topic, Guillermo instead opts for page after page describing NIH's labyrinthine maneuvers, the memos, the dozens of names and endless quotes from peripheral characters.

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The Silver Springs monkeys had filthy, painful lives because a few people were greedy. That's obvious. What's less obvious are the squirmier issues barely touched in this book, such as where does PETA stand on animal rights terrorism? What about the morality of animal testing for AIDS or cancer cures? And, most importantly, is any resolution possible with such a murky issue?

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