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Reason for Hope: A Spiritual Journey

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  3,488 ratings  ·  419 reviews
Her revolutionary studies of Tanzania's chimpanzees forever altered our definition of "humanity." Now, intriguing as always, Jane Goodall explores her deepest convictions in a heartfelt memoir that takes her from the London Blitz to Louis Leaky's famous excavations in Africa and then into the forests of Gombe. From the unforgettable moment when a wild chimpanzee gently gra ...more
Paperback, 298 pages
Published October 1st 2000 by Grand Central Publishing (first published 1998)
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Average rating 4.19  · 
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Books Ring Mah Bell
Every so often, if you are lucky, you pick up a book that speaks to you. A book that seems to know what you are struggling with at that very moment, and that book somehow soothes your soul. That was this book for me.

As a kid, I thought Goodall was awesome. Living in nature with chimpanzees! Hoots!

A few years ago, my love for her was solidified while reading The Far Side. You see, Gary Larson had a cartoon of some chimps, the female is plucking a hair off the male and says
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Jan 13, 2012 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Animal Lovers
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Ultimate Reading List
The book is by the famous anthropologist Jane Goodall, whose studies of chimpanzees revolutionized how we think of our closest relative among living species and thus how we define being human. Her title signals this book is about a lot more than that groundbreaking work. This was found in the Nature section of my neighborhood bookstore, but was recommended to me as "inspirational non-fiction" on the Ultimate Reading List. Her credited co-author Philip Berman is a theologian and the project was first conceived ...more
Apr 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
excellent. i would wish that all those whom i deeply love would read this book. of course, it doesn't work that way. but my deep wish will continue. this book says it all -- it is a personal account of a woman of substance; it is an environmental and animal rights book; it is a spiritual book; it is educational (i learned about cultural or pseudospeciation); and finally, it is a travelogue. i only read books that i strongly suspect i will enjoy or learn quality info from. Ms. Goodall's Reason fo ...more
Nov 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
My absolute favorite book of all time. Science, spirituality, poetry, humanity, animal behavior, motherhood, our past and our future all wrapped into one beautiful story. Jane Goodall went to the jungle at a time when it was unheard of for a woman to do so, she studied science with such a passion although she had no degree whatsoever. She looked into the depths of the jungle while contemplating the infinite stars in heaven. She looks into the darkness of our past and finds light for our future.
Jun 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bio-memoir
A very serious book covering very serious subject matter. I found this almost exhausting to read, especially the last third. I even took a highlighter out at one point so I wouldn't have to search some of the text for quotes.

I believe most people my age are familiar with the work of Jane Goodall. In this memoir she gives some background into her childhood and describes her years observing chimpanzee behavior. She draws very interesting parallels to humanity and our struggle with the aggression
Bill McDavid
Apr 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Before reading this book I only knew of Jane Goodall as “that woman who studies apes”. This autobiography is an open window into the soul of a woman who I now consider to be a very special gift to humanity… a gift to all living things on this earth. She takes us through her formative years and helps us to understand the origins of her compassion for animals. Goodall also writes with great candor about her marriages, her spiritual ups and downs, her victories and her defeats along with the great ...more
Sep 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Reason for Hope is the single most inspiring book I have ever had the privilege of reading. Five out of Five stars is an understatement. Jane Goodall is kind, compassionate and honest as she writes about her life experiences, the human race, our duties as part of the human race. She speaks candidly about how we might go on hoping when so much of what we have created here on earth is harming the things we need most to take care of: mother nature, the wildlife, and each other. Her peaceful outlook on ...more
I love Jane Goodall, but this wasn't quite as powerful as I expected it to be. It was interesting reading about spiritual views from a scientist, and I loved her detailed descriptions of her time in Gombe with the chimpanzees. Goodall really has experienced a lot of sadness and horror in her life and it was inspiring to see how she always managed to turn back to faith. But a lot of the book was just too preachy for me and (do I dare say this? Yes, I dare) too Christian. I guess when I picked up ...more
Jan 16, 2019 rated it liked it
I enjoyed hearing about Jane’s upbringing and how it has shaped her amazing worldview today. She also narrated the audiobook in her lovely soothing English accent!
Joana Martinho
Apr 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites, owned
"Each one of us matters, has a role to play, and makes a difference. Each one of us take responsibility for our own lives, and above all, show respect and love for living things around us, especially each other. Together we must reestablish our connections with the natural world and the Spiritual Power that is around us. And then we can move, triumphantly, joyously, into the final stage of human evolution- spiritual evolution."

Há razões para ter esperança.
Mar 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is the kind of book you have for a couple years, having bought it at a used book store for a couple bucks, but it sits around, until one day you spy it on your shelf and decide to toss it in your bag "just in case." Then when you open it to start reading, the next thing you know, it's been an hour and you're already on page 54!

Amazon reviewers have called Jane Goodall not a "great writer" but I feel like the simple style contributes to the flow of the writing - you don't realize
Helen Noble
Jul 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This memoir is highly evocative and beautifully written. If I had any influence on the UK educational curriculum I would make it a compulsory read. My reasoning? It teaches much more about the natural world, and it's champions, than anything else I've read. The implications for humanity and the future of the earth are clearly demarcated. Jane Goodall gives us a unique, heartfelt, insider's view of the world of the chimpanzee and the influence that we humans exert on the future of all of us. We a ...more
Not sure what to say about this book. I read it because of who I am, what I think and feel.
What she dd when she was a young girl must have been great. She is one of the people in the world who manages to do things that change things in the world, based on her beliefs. How I wish to be able to do that!
In the books she explained how and where she manages to find a way to keep having hope in humanity and the world. I share many of her thoughts and opinions but I can't be as positive about ma
Jamie Delili
Sep 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Any one that needs hope
Recommended to Jamie by: No one
I've read this book many times. Jane Goodall is my hero. I've had the absolute privilege of meeting her once and it was a highlight in my life. This book is the first of hers that I read. It is wonderful if you need an inspirational pickup. It does not lean towards religion, it simply explores what keeps her moving forward in a life where sometimes there only seems to be suffering and gigantic walls to be hurdled. It's an easy read and I love it :)
Aug 10, 2016 rated it liked it
I was fascinated to learn about Goodall's life and her research with the chimpanzees, but could have done without all the religious stuff. Granted, it's probably not fair to get annoyed at all the religion in a book with the subtitle "A Spiritual Journey."
Mar 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
I heard Jane speak and her talk was pretty much the first part of this book. She is an inspiration and a remarkable, accomplished person. The style was very readable and much like her personality; calm, thoughtful and deliberate. I did not find much hope until the very end and then it was meager. When she frequently references the atrocities humans do to one another, the rape of the planet, the greed of many, the aggression of both animals and humans and the status of our environment, I found my ...more
May 06, 2019 rated it liked it
I enjoyed the insights into early chimp observation, but didn't really get into Jane's philosophy. Too much woo, and "call it god, call it a conscience" type of mysticism. I was pretty unimpressed with her grasp of evolutionary theory, particularly how natural selection operates, which is disappointing in someone who's rubbed shoulders with real scientists her whole life. She critiques Dawkins' The Selfish Gene, but she can't possibly have read it, because he directly answers those criticisms th ...more
Tabbie Elliott
Dec 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
“We have a responsibility toward the other life-forms of our planet whose continued existence is threatened by the thoughtless behavior of our own human species. . . . Environmental responsibility – for if there is no God, then, obviously, it is up to us to put things right.”
Andrea Selaty
Jul 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely loved it! I listened to it in one day, any chance I got. Love her story, her gentle voice and her way of looking at the preciousness of all life. I’m inspired and excited to learn more about her.
Apr 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Audiobook is read by the author.
Jul 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I wish I could give more than five stars to this fantastic, moving, gripping book. Also, I really wish I could get the whole world to read it and take home at least one of the many important messages of this book.
Paul Bolduc
Aug 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jane Goodall is a truely remarkable person. Her views on humanity and all animals is inspiring. This book will transform you, the way you think. It's a "must read".
Christin Badinghaus
Jan 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
New all time favorite book!! This book made me laugh and cry and everything in between. I love Jane Goodall! ❤ ...more
May 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
The name Jane Goodall often brings to mind sentimental visions of Africa and an unimposing, tree-hugging scientist turned activist. Indeed, Jane Goodall spent much of her life in the African wilderness, alone but for the company of flora and fauna (including her famed chimpanzees) and continues, now well into her 80′s, to travel the world spreading awareness about a wide range of environmental issues. The stereotype of calm, collected, and relentlessly hopeful is grounded in truth. I’m apparentl ...more
Apr 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, goodall
This book was an amazing story of the life of Jane Goodall. Since a very early age, Jane loved animals especially monkeys which she would see at the zoo. She would go outside with her large stuffed monkey (called Jubilee) where she was able to explore the grounds and other wild life (ie birds,etc). Throughout her childhood, she said, "I was daydreaming about my life in the African forest with Tarzan." Jane was an avid reader, her favorites: The Story of Doctor Doolittle; The Jungle Book; Edgar R ...more
Regine Haensel
Jul 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
I saw Dr. Jane Goodall speak many years ago at what was then the Centennial Auditorium in Saskatoon. As soon as she walked out on stage, I thought, this is one of the great women of the century. She wasn`t like a famous actor or musician, but very unassuming and down to earth, and she had a presence, even before she greeted us in Chimpanzee. Her passion for life and the natural world shone through, as did her belief that we can achieve positive change.

`Reason for Hope`, first publish
Nov 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing

Jane Goodall was one of my heroes before reading this book, but now, there just aren't words.

It was very interesting to see a scientists point of view on religion because a lot of scientists tend to be atheist. Jane Goodall's story about her life, and how it came to be was simply amazing (and lucky!). She reminds me of my myself.

I'm an animal rights activist, and with all of the cruelty and horror going on in our world, I sometimes question my faith in God. With her
Feb 08, 2019 rated it liked it
The name Jane Goodall has always conjured images of field notes and chimpanzees. Reading this memoir helped me know her as a person, and how she became a lifelong advocate for chimpanzees and other wild life. Venturing into the Gombe without formal qualifications, at the young age of 26, in a place that was so remote from anything she ever knew - Jane Goodall is clearly an inspiring figure who defied mainstream science to argue that humans are not so unique after all. It was surprising to learn ...more
Sowmya Lakshminarayanan
Feb 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Some books are slow runners, some are page turners, some feels good when you read them and then there is the other kind - that leaves a tiny yet significant mark on you forever, changing your perceptions along the course and sometimes moving you to tears

Jane Goodall's Reason for hope: A spiritual journey is definitely one such kind -

In her narrative description of 40 years of observation of Chimps in Gombe, Jane not only compares and contrasts behaviors of aggression and compassion,
Jul 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anthropologists, women, science-buffs, people who like reading about spirituality
An inspiring story about Goodall's spiritual and intellectual journey from a young girl in England to a chimpanzee researcher and activist in Africa. I thought this book was a breath of fresh air after several other "depressing" Africa books I plowed through on my vacation. Goodall struck me as someone who is acutely aware of all the problems with our society, yet never jaded. Her comparisons between chimp behavior and human behavior are absolutely fascinating. Several of her insights about xeno ...more
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For the Australian academic and mystery writer, see Professor Jane R. Goodall.

Dame Jane Morris Goodall, DBE (born Valerie Jane Morris-Goodall), is a British primatologist, ethologist, anthropologist, and UN Messenger of Peace. Considered to be the world's foremost expert on chimpanzees, Goodall is best known for her 45-year study of social and family interactions of wild chimpanzees in Gombe Stre
“Each one of us matters, has a role to play, and makes a difference. Each one of us must take responsibility for our own lives, and above all, show respect and love for living things around us, especially each other.” 43 likes
“It is these undeniable qualities of human love and compassion and self-sacrifice that give me hope for the future. We are, indeed, often cruel and evil. Nobody can deny this. We gang up on each one another, we torture each other, with words as well as deeds, we fight, we kill. But we are also capable of the most noble, generous, and heroic behavior.” 34 likes
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