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In The Shadow Of Man

4.32 of 5 stars 4.32  ·  rating details  ·  4,041 ratings  ·  169 reviews
World-renowned primatologist, conservationist, and humanitarian Dr. Jane Goodall’s account of her life among the wild chimpanzees of Gombe is one of the most enthralling stories of animal behavior ever written. Her adventure began when the famous anthropologist Dr. Louis Leakey suggested that a long-term study of chimpanzees in the wild might shed light on the behavior of ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 287 pages
Published 1973 by Fontana (first published January 1st 1971)
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My tattered and beloved copy of this book now bears the inscription:
Follow Your Heart
Jane Goodall

I read this book about ten years ago, and to this day it remains one of my favorites. Jane Goodall had gone to secretary school and just happened to have a connection to the Leakey family, whose discoveries have shaped our view of evolution today. A young woman with no prior knowledge about chimpanzees finds herself in the middle of the Gombe, following chimps as they go about their daily busi
Shortly before or after (I don't remember) I studied abroad in Kenya with Richard and Meave Leakey, I decided to read the books by 'Leakey's angels': Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Birute Galdikas. These three are known for their pioneering field studies of the three great apes—chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans, respectively. I thought that In the Shadow of Man was a far better read than Gorillas in the Mist. I never did get around to Galdikas's book...

When I read this book, I loved it. I su
Goodall is a great writer. She loves her work, and she makes readers love it too. She has a great, subtle sense of humor and a beautiful style: as passionate as she is about her work, she does not take herself too seriously.
Bought the book on a whim and kept it sealed for a month since there were various functions being held at home. Once that got over, I started reading the book and was hooked from the word go, right in the introduction by Jane Goodall.
It was a strange situation! I wanted to read the book in one go, I wanted to savour the book bit by bit like a delicacy. Despite stopping to think over what I read and deliberately keeping the book away, I finished reading it in 6 days. It's very rarely that a book
Teagan D
I loved this. I can't promise that everyone would - I have a feeling it was a case of "this was the perfect book for where I am emotionally/intellectually/spiritually at the moment and it struck home." But even if you were to read it and not feel compelled to give it five stars, I really think you'd like it. Jane's writing made me feel as if we were sitting together over coffee; she's well-written without being pretentious, careful in her observation and description without being dry or over-sci ...more
Selaine Henriksen

Last week my friend Sandy and I went to see a movie about Jane Goodall's life which she was there to present and then had a Q&A session and signed autographs. She's 77! Sandy said that was definitely one of her items on her bucket list. Whenever Sandy and I get together something strange happens. She ended up with a touch of the flu that struck just as we were leaving and then throwing up outside of the car on the street. I'm sure my neighbors, because natch it was back in the 'hood, thought
I read Jane Goodall's In the Shadow of Man (Houghton Mifflin 1971) years ago as research for a paleo-historic novel I was writing. I needed background on the great apes so I could show them acting appropriately in their primeval setting tens of thousands of years ago. While I did get a marvelous treatise from this book on their wild environ, I also got my first introduction to the concept that they are almost-human, maybe even human cousins.

But I digress. Back to Jane Goodall.

This is the memoir
You can pick this book up at any used book store for just a few dollars and it was a very easy, informative read.

Obviously, if you are interested in primates (chimpanzees, though she does speak briefly on some other species such as Baboons who seem to always be in camp) this is a must read. She makes some amazing observations and I find it amazing that chimpanzees can live so long in the tough conditions of the jungle.

The book gets rather depressing in my opinion when you hit the Death chapter
Nose in a book (Kate)
This is a memoir as well as a scientific book, but most of all it is the story of the specific group of chimps that Goodall got to know over many years (this book covers the first decade). You can watch her early progress as a scientist, as the first part of the book describes her gradually learning to do the job through trial and error, while the latter half is effectively her actual study results. These chapters are split fairly scientifically into subjects such as hierarchy, feeding, parentho ...more
One of my favorite biological/non fiction books!
I have most deep respect and admiration for these people who devote their entire life to a wildlife cause.
James F
This is probably Jane Goodall's best known book, telling the story of the first ten years of her research at the Gombe Stream Chimpanzee Reserve. The stories of the chimpanzees she studied are fascinating. Later work has modified some of her conclusions, but the descriptions of the chimpanzees and their behavior are fundamental. I read this years ago in the original 1971 edition; I reread it in the 1988 revised edition, which seems to be the same except for a new introduction by Stephen Jay Goul ...more
H. P. Reed
Watching the progress of a new science through Goodall's account is fascinating.
Tippy Jackson
Overall enjoyable. She does a good break down of chimp relationships. Some parts were sad. I will say that I think the manner of studying chimps by luring them to your camp with bananas is of course altering the very behaviors you're trying to objectively study. However, I do think she still gains a lot of valuable information and she is constantly asking the right questions. More than the answers, it is her never ending questions that I enjoyed. I also believe she has a good idea of how her set ...more
Dec 06, 2008 Larry rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone who thinks we were created special.
This book is #1 on my list of the books that most influenced my life. The orginial publishing date I am guessing was in the 60's or early 70's when the author, the elfin like Jane Goodall, was both young and unknown. She was a disciple of Leakey but possessed of an intellect equal or surpassing his. This single book, written well before all the later DNA work was to me the crystal window into the evolution of human beings. Whatever Christian based uncertainties I had vanished upon my reading of ...more
Tanja Berg
Rating 4* out of 5. I've had a fascination with the great apes since National Geographic made a feature of orangutans sometime around 1980. I couldn't read, but I saw the picture of a child about my age sharing a bath with an orangutan baby and crying. I could relate. "Reflections of Eden: My Years with the Orangutans in Borneo" by Birute Galdikas was the first book I read. It was her story in National Geographic too. I read about Dian Fossey's "Gorillas in the mist" (or possibly "Woman in the M ...more
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Kalie Lyn
Almost everyone has heard of Jane Goodall and her work with the chimpanzees. However, the stories of the chimpanzees themselves, and what made Jane fall in love with them in the first place, is something not everyone is familiar with. In the Shadow of Man is a book about those stories, and about the early years, which would become many years, of Jane Goodall’s study, research, and fascination with human’s closest living relatives.

Not only is this book informational and descriptive about the comp
Only three stars mainly because of the subject, book deservers five but you have to be a hardcore chimpanzee lover and probably have a scientific approach to fully enjoy this. For me, it was a struggle to finish. Jane Goodall certainly has done an amazing work and helped to break some boundaries. For me the obvious comparison is of course Gorillas In The Mist that I read a while back. I can't help it but somehow Dian Fossey's guerilla like, rebellious and outrageous efforts to defend the gorilla ...more
What a book ! Very rich in details about Jane Goodall life in Gombe and chimpanzees behaviors.
The Jane Goodall study in Gombe is the longest study on a primate group. It is also the first time we observed that human primates are not the first one to use tools !
It is very inspiring and allows to put our so-called "human" skills and behaviors in perspective.
I am very proud to be a primate and a cousin fo chimpanzees !
Steven 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
I read this on the plane on my way to Colombia. Goodall writes well, and I loved the chapter about her initial arrival at the Goombe Reserve, when she hiked alone each day and sat quietly for hours hoping to see Chimpanzees feeding. While observing or hiking wild boars, Boas and Leopards would pass within feet of her and she maintained a cool head.

And then . . . she starts feeding the Chimps, and naming them, and attributing all sorts of emotions to them. After my initial shock and distate for
I read about a third of this in February when we were choosing a summer reading book and then started again just recently to prepare for the discussion. In between, I had the opportunity to hear Dr. Goodall speak. I really enjoyed this book and marveled at its accessibility to a layperson like myself. The students I had today caused me to consider why many of them thought the book was silly and seemed to question the importance of the discoveries. It made me wonder what it must have been like re ...more
Parts of this book were very enjoyable. The early chapters especially are very good at conveying the awe and sense of adventure Goodall felt at Gombe. And I enjoyed learning more about chimpanzees. But her methods left me unsettled. If chimps have evolved a natural fear of humans, we should think very carefully before training it out of them. Teaching them not to fear us may be in our best interest, but I doubt it's in theirs.
This was an incredibly riveting, interesting, amusing, amazing book. In the 1960s, Jane Goodall left secretarial work to travel to the Gombe Stream Chimpanzee Reserve (now the Gombe National Park), along with her mother because officials there did not believe a young woman her age should be unaccompanied, to begin studying chimpanzees. The author's love for her work, for the chimps, for nature, for the reserve, come through fiercely. This is a very detailed and impressive account of her time the ...more
An amazing read! A well written book with intriguing stories about chimpanzees. The author does a great job adding a personal, light-hearted touch while providing enough information for readers to learn about the chimpanzees as species. I gave four stars only because I do not agree with some of the anthropocentric perspectives/world views of the author revealed through her writing - I study environmental management, and I suppose that back in 1960s, they had a different sort of conservation cult ...more
Carlos Bennett
Le pondría 6 estrellas si tuviera la opción. Durante las decenas de años en que Jane Goodall siguió a los chimpancés, la cantidad de intriga política y social dentro de la comunidad de simios es increíble. El drama alcanza cotas altas (mini-spoiler: hay cambios de líderes, rivalidades amargas, traiciones, amistad inter-especies, promiscuidad, incesto y hasta una epidemia de polio). O sea, es como Game of Thrones, pero con simios (o sea mejor).
Es un libro realmente conmovedor. Recomendado para c
There is nothing so significant about the book except that it is over before you realize you have been utterly immersed in Goodall's journey and her life with the chimpanzees, transforming your perspective on nature, humanity, our past and our future.
Back in 1971 when I first read this, it was one of the more important motivations in moving me from being a fashionable hip chick in New York to a rabid environmentalist in California. In my desire to catalog my books I now discover that I have a first printing edition of this classic published then as written by Jane van Lawick-Goodall.

I thought this was interesting. Hugo van Lawick, then her husband, is not only credited with the photographs, of which this edition contains many, both B/W and
I love the way Goodall's observations of the chimpanzees are so similar to the observations someone would make of humans. The chimps go to each other for physical contact (a hug, pat on the back, etc) when they are frightened, after a fight, when they want to show affection, in greeting, or when they need comfort. I'm noticing that everywhere now: kissing a bumped head, my son fighting with his best friend at a park and then hugging him ten seconds later, two adult males greeting each other with ...more
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