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Book Name: In the Shadow of Man

Author: Jane Goodall

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Overall Rating: (4.75/5) View all reviews (total 8 reviews)

"An instant animal classic." --Time"Apart from its enormous scientific value, IN THE SHADOW OF MAN is absolutely fascinating to read as a story of discovery . . . The whole book is enthralling." --Boston Globe"I can't imagine a more vivid or unexpectedly moving introduction to chimpanzees in the wild than Jane Goodall's." -- George Stade --The New York Times"Jane Goodall's work with chimpanzees represents one of the Western world's great scientific achievements." --Stephen Jay Gould--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


A Fascinating Look at Dr. Goodall's Early Years With The Chimpanzees

by Andrew Wyllie "History Buff"

This book takes you back to when Jane Goodall first started studying the chimpanzees at Gombe. She describes the early struggles to start the research and her experiences trying to get close enough to them to be able to observe their behavior and get to know them.The most fascinating part of reading this book is when she describes how the chimpanzees will gesture towards one another and those gestures are familiar to us as humans since we do something either similar or exactly the same. It makes the reader wonder if those gestures come from our distant common ancestor with the chimpanzees.In this day of modern conveniences, it is reassuring to be reminded how a young woman (and her mother at first) ventured out into a strange country to study an animal that people knew very little about, but that we are closely related to. It is thanks to her efforts that we have learned so much about them.I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in learning about the early years of Dr. Goodall's work along with anyone who wants a close-up look at how chimpanzee society matches our own. I plan on reading the next book soon to find out what else has happened during her study.

An engaging classic

by Arthur Digbee

We know so much about chimpanzee behavior now, it's hard to remember that in the 1950s we knew almost nothing. Louis Leakey identified one of his young assistants at Olduvai Gorge, Jane Goodall, as a promising scientist. With some advice but no training, he sent her off to Gombe Stream Reserve in Tanzania.Goodall successful observations have taught us much about chimps, and about primates in general. She earned her Ph.D despite not having engaged in any undergraduate studies, established the Gombe Stream Research Center, and became a leading scientist. Goodall documented chimps making and using tools, eating and sharing meat, and developing complex social relationships. All were novel observations violating the preconceptions of her predecessors. Goodall also gave the chimps names, fed them bananas to keep them nearby, and interacted with them in various ways - practices that attracted controversy. Her photographer (and later husband), Hugo van Lawick, helped introduce Goodall and the Gombe chimps to readers of National Geographic.In this book, Goodall tells the stories of her chimps. Though there are some small pieces of her personal story included, the focus remains on the chimps. She organizes the first half of the book chronologically around her study, and the second half analytically around chimpanzee infancy, youth, adulthood, and so on. She does not engage the sometimes-negative reaction that her work engendered, often because this young woman's observations forced "expert" men in the field to rethink long-held beliefs.The book is an engaging read, though it probably has more detail than a general reader wants or needs. It's also inspiring to see careful, patient observation yield big scientific payoffs.

An extraordinary account - even decades later

by Debbie Lee Wesselmann

IN THE SHADOW OF MAN, first published in 1971, remains one of the most extraordinary observations of chimpanzee behavior in the wild. Goodall begins with the story of how she arrived in Africa and her first days there, but wisely switches the attention from herself to the endangered chimpanzees she studies. She not only recognizes individuals but learns their distinctive personalities, describing in compelling detail the smallest of moments that illuminate who these great animals are. Unlike most scientists of the time, Goodall documents emotions and complex political behavior, the social hierarchy and parenting abilities, the aggression and the bonds formed between chimps that can only be described as friendships. In eloquent prose, Goodall tells the stories of these chimps - most notably that of Flo and her family - and will forever change the way you view chimpanzees.The book contains several black and white photographs of the chimps, a real treat after getting to "know" these chimps in writing.If you have any interest at all in primates or in animals generally, this is a must-have book.

This is behavioral science done correctly

by Eugene A Jewett "Eugene A Jewett"

Jane Goodall is a unique undividual whose work should be studied by those who think that the animal rights people don't have a clue. Her efforts at gaining the trust of chimpanzee's in their natural habitat have spauned a host of up-and-comers who will continue to carry her work to the next level.Goodall distinguished herself by sitting in the bush on a daily basis until the local chimpanzee tribal members came close enough to make physical contact with her. That an English woman scientist would journey to Tanzania to engage in this type of research is unusual and certainly puts her at "the top of her class".She follows the lives and behavior patterns of her subjects until her research sounds like a Michener novel with its generational emphasis and timelines of family heritage. Within this effort she follows each subsequent offspring through each of their successive cycles from birth and death.What is fascinating is how she describes personality differences, the kind that come from hard-coded genetic diffences, the same as we find in human individuals. The mating behavior sounds like something out of "Cosmopolitan". The squabbles and fighting behavior could be that of any large Homo Sapien family. While Chimp's aren't on the same intellectual level as humans they certainly come closer than any other species. Jane Goodall deserves every accolade she gets for bringing us a lens through which to observe another geneological line of a species that has developed from our common ancestors.Her work suggests that we should rethink our medical research toward more humane treatment of these animals whose behavior is too similar to ours to ignore. This is an excellent book.


by Kate

Like another reviewer, I'm an anthropology student and I had to read this book for a class I'm taking. Never has a book, meant for education, made me both laugh and cry out loud. It was simply wonderful. You will learn a lot about chimpanzees, and I promiss you will never watch them in the zoo, in the same way, again. Even if you are not looking to learn about chimpanzee developement and behavior, the book is excellent on a purely entertainment level. Even though this book is was a required reading, I was so impressed that I'm going out to buy her other books... just out of interest.

A Scientific Classic

by R. Silva "Rick Silva"

In her own words, Jane Goodall writes of her landmark studies of wild chimpanzees at the Gombe Stream Reserve in Tanzania. Starting out in 1960, Goodall, a student of legendary anthropologist Louis Leakey, set out for Tanzania to set up the first long-term research study on chimpanzees in the wild.Overcoming political strife, harsh living conditions, lacks of funding, and the initial mistrust of the animals themselves, Goodall's work grew into a remarkable long-term scientific achievement. Goodall went on to devote more than forty years of work to the study of what many believe is mankind's closest evolutionary relative.This book covers her early years, setting up the camp, establishing a rapport with the animals, and learning about chimpanzee society and behavior. She describes her own experiences as well as the experiences of several chimps that she had the experience of following closely as they lived and grew in the Gombe Stream Reservation.Goodall names the animals, and relates story after story of their personalities and their conflicts. She uncovers the dominance hierarchy of chimp society, and traces the changing leadership of the community. Goodall was the first to observe tool-making behavior in Chimpanzees, and she relates the excitement of that early discovery.In spite of her obvious affection for the animals she is studying, Goodall does not hold back when it comes to describing the brutality of some aspects of chimpanzee biology and society. She observed first-hand the devastating results of a polio epidemic on the local chimps, and she doesn't shrink from dealing with issues of aggression, neglect, and bullying that she oberved.She candidly discusses her own mistakes as well, pondering on the compromises that she made early on to get close to the animals while raising the possibility that she could be altering their behavior by her use of feeding stations and close direct interaction.Goodall's writing style is vivid, intense, and loaded with little details that bring the reader right into her world alongside the chimpanzees. She captures good scientific observations without losing her talent for storytelling, and draws readers into the lives of the chimpanzees whose lives she follows.The book is supplemented by four sections of photographs by Goodall's husband and fellow researcher Hugo van Lawick, and it also includes an appendix with illustrations of chimpanzee facial expressions and behaviors. Stephen Jay Gould writes an excellent introduction to this edition, focusing on the importance of Goodall's work and on the importance of observational technique in the sciences.This is a true classic of scientific writing, and a must-read for anyone interested in the study of animal societies in the wild.

Jane Goodall's Observations on Chimpanzees

by Steven A. Peterson

A really fine volume. Jane Goodall describes her study of chimpanzees at the Gombe Stream in Tanzania. She and her team has studied these animals over a long period of time. This covers the social behavior of the chimpanzees in the earlier years of the study.The story occurs at several levels. One, simply, is the interaction of individuals with their own personalities--Flo, David, Goliath, Faben, Merlin, Passion, and so on. Another level is the group/society. What is the structure of the society studies?The book covers the life cycle of chimpanzees in this environment-- from infant on. It explores relations with other species. It looks at the variety of behaviors that characterize chimpanzee society--reproduction, feeding, hierarchy, predation, and so on. The book also addresses the challenges facing chimpanzees as humans encroach further.In the end, a riveting book, well worth reading.

Story of a good beginning

by Thomas Hofer

Jane Goodall does an excellent job in describing how she started her career as a zoologist and humanitarian worker. She gives excellent descriptions of how chimpanzees interact as family members, how they feel like people do - and what people can learn from them. Her book makes us readers aware of how close animals can come to how human beings feel and act, and that man is by no means far superior to animals. It also gives us an incentive to appreciate animals and to respect them. Obviously, Jane Goodall observes and then accurately narrates. Even in the shadow of man, animals develop healthy, and man needs to respect that.

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