Jane Goodall in Tanzania, Dian Fossey in Ruanda, Birute Galdikas in Borneo--all three women were Leakey protegees, and all have set up remote stations to observe wild apes in their natural environment. Goodall, the best known, still has the best story (though of course she has told her own)--partly because of the ground-breaking nature of her work, partly because her active, sociable subjects the chimpanzees have so much going for them. Fossey's findings are less sensational as her subject, the more peaceable, familial mountain gorilla, had already been studied by Schaller, though her careful observations are paying off in a fuller picture and like Goodall she now directs a staff of scientists and students. Galdikas, the only primatologist of the trio to work with a partner, has spent five years in Borneo with her husband, habituating the slow, unspectacular baboon and discovering quite different behavior patterns in the young ""rehabs"" they raise and the solitary, somber specimens they track through the rain forest. Kevles mixes descriptions of the scientists at work with summaries of what they've discovered; she contributes no dazzling perspectives to compensate for the second-hand reportage, but she handles her eminently exploitable subject respectably--and appends a bibliography of more solid works.