Judith M. Heimann

The most offending soul alive : Tom Harrisson and his remarkable life

University of Hawai'i press

Honolulu, 1999
bibliothèque insulaire
regards sur l'Insulinde

parutions 1999

The most offending soul alive : Tom Harrisson and his remarkable life / Judith M. Heimann. - Honolulu : University of Hawai'i press, 1999. - VIII-468 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
ISBN 0-8248-2149-1
NOTE DE L'ÉDITEUR : An English eccentric and adventurer, Tom Harrisson (1911-1976) sought knowledge and renown in a dizzying number of fields, while breaking most of the rules of “ civilized ” society.


By age twenty-one, Harrisson had carried out pioneering ornithological research and explored the fauna of Northern Borneo. While still in his twenties, he wrote a best-selling book based on his experiences living among cannibals in the South Pacific. The next decade found Harrisson applying the techniques of bird-watching to his fellows Britons in what became Mass-Observation, a precursor of modern market research. Later he won the DSO for parachuting into Borneo behind enemy lines and organizing an army of blow-piping headhunters who eventually killed more than a thousand Japanese soldiers.

After the war Harrisson settled in Borneo, where, as curator of the Sarawak Museum, he transformed it into a model and inspiration for the region ; he led efforts to save the orang-utan, the green sea turtle, and other endangered species ; he discovered the oldest modern human skull known at the time ; he published widely in the scientific and popular press, and appeared frequently on the BBC and British television.
  • Tom Harrisson, « Savage civilisation », London : Victor Gollancz, 1937 ; New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 1937
  • « Borneo jungle : an account of the Oxford Expedition to Sarawak » ed. by John Ford, C.H. Hartley, Tom Harrisson (et al.), London : L. Drummond, 1938
  • Tom Harrisson, « Living among cannibals, an account of the author's experiences on the island of Malekula » ill. by Ellis Silas, London : Harrap, 1943 ; New York : AMS press, 1979
  • Tom Harrisson, « World within : a Borneo story », London : Cresset press, 1959 ; Singapore, New York : Oxford university press, 1986
  • Tom Harrisson, « The Malays of South-West Sarawak before Malaysia, a socio-ecological survey », London : Macmillan, 1970 ; East Lansing : Michigan state university press, 1970

mise-à-jour : 21 septembre 2011
Judith M. Heimann : The most offending soul alive, Tom Harrisson and his remarkable life