From world-renowned scientist Jane Goodall, as seen in the new National Geographic documentary Jane, comes a poignant memoir about her spiritual epiphany and an appeal for why everyone can find a reason for hope.
Dr. Jane Goodall's revolutionary study of chimpanzees in Tanzania's Gombe preserve forever altered the very, definition of humanity. Now, in a poignant and insightful memoir, Jane Goodall explores her extraordinary life and personal spiritual odyssey, with observations as profound as the knowledge she has brought back from the forest.
The world's most famous, and perhaps most beloved, female scientist has previously related much of her life's outer journey--most notably in In the Shadow of Man and Through a Window, which described her groundbreaking work with the chimpanzees of Gombe, in Africa. In this marvelous book, however, Goodall reveals--with clarity, great passion and purpose--her inner journey. How invigorating it is to read the memoir of a scientist who proclaims frankly, and in language often infused with power and grace (a nod to Goodall's coauthor Berman, author of The Journey Home, etc.), an abiding faith in the sacredness of all life. Goodall, who's 65, covers her entire life here, from her earliest years in England, raised by a strong and loving family, through her apprenticeship under Louis Leakey and her years at Gombe, to her more recent work as an activist for environmental causes and animal rights. There are passages that verge on the mystical ("I and the chimpanzees, the earth and trees and air, seemed to merge, to become one with the spirit power of life itself"), a scattering of not terrific poems and great swaths of rapturous nature writing. The book's tone is highly emotional, sometimes sentimental, but Goodall is no naif. A chapter entitled "The Roots of Evil" describes her shocking discovery of chimps' capacity for cannibalistic attacks on members of their own community; "Death" details her despair at the suffering and demise of her husband, Derek, from cancer. Despite the darkness, however, throughout her life's adventures--and there are enough, in jungle and city, to make this book viscerally as well as morally thrilling--Goodall has nurtured a fundamental understanding that goodness can prevail, with each person's help. This is a moving and inspiring book that will be treasured by all concerned about the fate of the planet and its inhabitants. 16 pp. of b&w photos. Simultaneous Warner AudioBook; author tour.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Selfish human should come above self. For improvement all have to improve : surrounding , self, peers..... There is abundance in nature So give give give.......
If you're an animal lover or someone of nature who wants to read and "see" the life of Gombe, Africa in your mind with the most descriptive passages to help you paint that picture....READ THIS!!! She's very open and real in her book, she is herself and is not afraid to share her opinion.
Jane & her Chimps became my friend
From the first chapter I felt a kindred spirit with Jane's quiet passion for life. Through this stimulating book, I traveled to a country I've never seen and a joined a community of Chimpanzees; each with a personality and individual characteristics. And by the end of the book, Jane & I have become friends, and could easily sit and talk about her present and future dreams. I can't tell you of many writers that make me feel that way. You lifted my spirits and made me want to begin ( even in small ways), to make a change.
Paul Funston: Napa, CA