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In the Shadow of Man

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  6,401 ratings  ·  303 reviews
This best-selling classic tells the story of one of world's greatest scientific adventuresses. Jane Goodall was a young secretarial school graduate when the legendary Louis Leakey chose her to undertake a landmark study of chimpanzees in the world. This paperback edition contains 80 photographs and in introduction by Stephen Jay Gould.
Paperback, 297 pages
Published April 21st 2000 by Mariner Books (first published 1971)
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Yegor Voronin There are fairly explicit descriptions of mating and also death (including an infant chimp), but other than that it's quite suitable for kids. Maybe l…moreThere are fairly explicit descriptions of mating and also death (including an infant chimp), but other than that it's quite suitable for kids. Maybe look ahead and skip the parts you don't deem appropriate.(less)

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 ·  6,401 ratings  ·  303 reviews

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Jul 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Roy Lotz
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
Bionic Jean
Louis and Mary Leakey were ground breaking British paleoanthropologists and archaeologists whose work importantly demonstrated that humans evolved in Africa. Coming along behind them in the the field of study regarding primates were three others who had worked with them: Biruté M.F. Galdikas, living alongside orangutans, Diane Fossey studying mountain gorillas, and Jane Goodall working with chimpanzees. These three leading female primatologists formed a group of what Louis Leakey (presumably ton ...more
Mar 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: environment
Nearly 50 years after being published , In the Shadow of Man by Jane Goodall is still a fascinating read.

This is one of those special books where after reading, I wished for the existence of time machines. I wanted to be there with the author as she conducted her ground breaking research in the Gombe area, not seeing chimpanzees in a zoo.

The content, covering the ground breaking research amidst the close contact with the chimpanzees, is itself enough reason to read this book. But the story is a
Apr 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. Normally I don't read science books, but kind of made an exception with this one because I admire Jane Goodall and her work with the chimpanzees. Thankfully for me, this book wasn't over my head and didn't use huge scientific words that I wouldn't know because I'm not a scientist. Goodall is a good writer. She picks out her words carefully for non-scientist to understand. She wants everyone to understand animals as much as she does and this book does that perfectly.

Mary La douceur
Jul 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Highly recommend this read for both the scientific research and the delightful observations of Jane Goodall. Did you know her efforts lead to so many concepts about animals that we now take for granted? For example, that they have feelings, develop bonds and demonstrate some degree of grief when a family member dies. This has lead to research in dogs, birds and cats with similar insights!
Mar 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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.
Udit Nair
This book has been on the list for quite some time. I am grateful that I took time and completed this book. This book is culmination of years of research done by one of the most beloved primatologist that is Jane Goddall. It's a mixture of both which is the scientific curiosity and compassion. Along with that the incredible insights weaves a great story around the chimpanzees of gombe.

When we look back it can be said that jane goddall committed a big mistake by allegedly anthropomorphizing the
Jul 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: great, favorites
I would say this book ranks as one of the most wonderful, most pleasurable, most romantic records of a scientific research-adventure. Dr. Jane Goodall is often referred to as one of 'Leakey's Angels', but it seems more true to say that Dr. Louis Leakey is Dr. Jane Goodall's angel, for he set her on the path of one of the most eventful research lives ever-- from accompaniment of Louis Leakey's team to a paleoanthropological expedition, to a trial run observing vervet monkeys, to establishment of ...more
Missy J

Once again, if it weren't for my book club, I wouldn't have picked up this book. Who doesn't know Jane Goodall? I was prepared that this memoir would focus on her work with chimpanzees. She began her research in the sixties and started out observing the chimpanzees from a distance with binoculars, gradually getting closer to them and gaining their trust. At the beginning she was faced with a lot of obstacles and she still had to learn about the new terrain around her. I was impressed how she
Jun 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science, early-man
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
Oct 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The first of Goodall's works, this book details her early, pioneering research on chimpanzees. As Gould said in the introduction, this book is less about sterile experiments in a lab and more on observing the chimps in all their majesty. The light, seemingly effortless style keeps a lay reader engaged throughout. One is taken through the journey of Goodall's entry into this field of research, her early struggles, hardships and failures, and the success is studying chimpanzees in a manner never d ...more
Selaine Henriksen
Apr 02, 2012 rated it really liked it

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 we'
Tanja Berg
Dec 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, science
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
Sep 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Really, when I picked up this book, I was not that interested in chimpanzees but interested in Jane Goodall. I wondered how someone with no formal training initially became such an expert and world renowned figure.

In her book In The Shadow of Man, readers discover that her early love of animals, taking the initiative to get herself to Africa, and the luck to meet Louis Leaky, who saw her potential, are factors that loom large. But it was her patience, eye for detail, and willingness to live in
Oct 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite biological/non fiction books!
May 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Jane Goodall is everything I aspire to be in life, and this book was just amazing.
Katherine Ginensky
Apr 12, 2020 rated it liked it
Okay 30 pages were just up and missing from my copy of this book!! Maybe another star was hidden in there! I think when this book came out 60(!!!) years ago it was much more revolutionary. It read like a novel and you get to know the individual chimps which is fun. But, I wanted something more form it? I think is she had talked more about the social context of her research or maybe what she was really doing with it that’d be better. She talked about getting her PhD but not ever the topic. Someti ...more
Vicky Hunt
Monkey Business

A descriptive and practical study of chimps in Tanzania, In the Shadow of Man functions much like a practicum course undertaken by Elementary School teachers in college. Concurrently with every course, students are assigned to a nearby school classroom where they sit, observe, and take notes on exactly what is happening in the classroom. This often involves the details of instruction, and learning. But, in one particular psychology course, our assignment was the campus daycare, wh
Zarina Marsaleh
Apr 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
The drive for the pioneer field study on a group of chimpanzees living on the shores of Lake Tanganyika was due to the fact that the remains of prehistoric man were often found on a lakeshore. It was possible that an understanding of chimpanzee behavior today might shed light on the behavior of our stone age ancestors. In other words, it is for the interest in understanding ourselves. Overall genetic similarity between human and chimpanzee is more than 95%, though a world of fascinating differen ...more
Teagan E
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
Jul 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing

Jane Goodall is as fascinating as her research. I loved reading her story and about her development from student to researcher (and the work and patience that goes into this) and her observations on chimpanzees. There was one chapter that was a touch gruesome on chimpanzees hunting. I mention this only because I tend to read while eating breakfast, and reading about chimps banging baboon heads on rocks to get the brains out was not a great accompaniment to scrambled eggs! So if you're a Eating R
A magnificent and illustrative book.

It's both educative and thought-provoking, this because she reflects about how we treat non-human primates and animals in general, also the way how we raise children and other matters

In this book, Goodall describes her work and findings about chimps, she is the person that knows the most about chimps so it's always good to read her own words. You probably already know about her findings (that chimps are tool makers, that they are carnivores... etc.) but the bo
Samantha Rizzo
Jul 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: faves, activism
An absolutely remarkable book on the chimp communities in Gombe.
At times I was laughing, at others I was crying.
Goodall reports the good and the bad, the horrific and the uplifting. Every page was captivating and it was such an easy read, though not necessarily emotionally.
I was particularly attached to the chimp family of Flo, Fifi, Faben, Figan and Flint, and the plight of some of the chimps who were orphaned, struck by flu or polio.
Jane Goodall is an amazing person who has shed so much light
Dec 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I just loved this book.  This book was published almost 20 years before I even existed and still this book is an amazing read. Jane Goodall's research is written in a funny and entertaining way and anyone can read it to know more about chimpanzees. And a lot of beautiful photographs by Hugo van Lawick. Even if you are not interested in chimpanzees, I can promise you that you will not get bored reading this book.
Dec 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a wonderful gift (signed copy!) Goodall brings such compassion to get observations about chimpanzees without ever losing the sense that they are wild animals. I learned a lot about chimp behavior from this book--and it even made me think differently about human behavior, especially power relationships.
Feb 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
If I could suggest any one Jane Goodall book, this would be the book. This is where she started. It is emotionally charged and incredibly educational. I cannot think of a better book on Primatology. Bottom line is, Jane Goodall is an amazing person and this book captures that.
Sep 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Great journey! An enlightening and very distinctive book about the chimpanzees' communities and behaviour. It satisfied my curiosity for the problems in studying such animals and living by them in the wild. Jane Goodhall is one of the most inspiring naturalists of our times.
Kirsten Cutler
Mar 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Re-read this book. First read in 1971 when I was studying Anthropology at Berkeley. Incredible story of Jane Goodall's establishment of the Gombe study of chimpanzees, and an introduction to a fascinating cast of chimp characters.
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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 Strea

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“At that moment there was no need of any scientific knowledge to understand his communication of reassurance. The soft pressure of his fingers spoke to me not through my intellect but through a more primitive emotional channel: the barrier of untold centuries which has grown up during the separate evolution of man and chimpanzee was, for those few seconds, broken down.

It was a reward far beyond my greatest hopes.”
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