Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “In the Shadow of Man” as Want to Read:
In the Shadow of Man
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

In the Shadow of Man

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  5,794 ratings  ·  266 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)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.34  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,794 ratings  ·  266 reviews

Sort order
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
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
Shelves: own
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!
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.
Jun 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: early-man, science
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
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
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
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
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
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
Jan 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ترجمه کتاب به ویراستار سپرده نشده و این نقطه ضعف مهم کتاب است. غیر از این موضوع جک و جانوری جذابش امتیازش را بالا میآورد. غیر از یک جا در متن کتاب که اظهارنظر نویسنده و نگاهش به جنسیت هم سطح نگاه آزاد امروز نیست و آزار دهنده است. که شاید این را بشود بهخاطر سال تالیف کتاب دانست و کمی از آزارش کم کرد. ...more
May 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Jane Goodall is everything I aspire to be in life, and this book was just amazing.
Claire Couch
Dec 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Life changing.
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
Dec 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: animals
a real joy to read. i even found myself with a favorite chimp (fifi) while going through the chapters. it’s endlessly fascinating how intricate the lives are of our earth friends.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Oct 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite biological/non fiction books!
Dec 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
I have most deep respect and admiration for these people who devote their entire life to a wildlife cause.
Rafay Omar
Apr 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Today I am writing in the shadow by of man by Jane Goodall book review. This is a non-fiction book. This book tells us about Jane Goodall's life in Gombe and how she observed the chimpanzees in the wild. This is different and similar to my last deep book, In the other one the events in the book were fictional, but he wanted to make a point that these things happen in real life, in this one the events are fully real and she also wanted to make a point about how chimpanzees are very similar to us. ...more
Mar 13, 2019 rated it did not like it
Today I am writing the review of the book In the shadow of a man by Jane Goodall. This book is non-fiction. This book tells us all about the life of Jane Goodall and how she observed chimpanzees in the wild. First, this book is different than my previous deep book this is about a life of someone and this is non-fiction. The previous deep book was fiction. I recommend this book to people who want to change the world and make there life meaningful.

The lesson from this book is that always work har
Premal Vora
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Jane Goodall received a stuffed chimpanzee from her father called Jubilee as an alternate to a teddy bear. Thus began her lifelong "affair" with chimpanzees. While, by 1961, it was well known that chimps were one of the most intelligent animal species, they had not been studied in their natural habitat. Jane wrote to a British zoologist expressing her willingness to work as a secretary for him. He accepted and, as they say, the rest is history.

She was encouraged to take a greater role than just
Set in Tanzania, In the Shadow of Man is a mix of factual observations and personal impressions. First and foremost, it dispels the idea that chimpanzees are unintelligent, shallow creatures driven only by their immediate bodily needs. I commend this, and the author deserves credit for killing what was apparently a genuine strain of belief that humans are defined by their ability to use tools. Certainly, in the 21st century, when so many enlightening wildlife documentaries reach our television s ...more
Nov 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
In answer to the question, "If you could invite five famous people, living or dead to a dinner party, who would they be?", I'd invariably include on my list naturalist, environmentalist, humanitarian Jane Goodall. She is a giant among the human race; a woman worthy of every child's worship for her devotion to reminding us of the responsibility we have for taking care of our planet as well as the animals with whom we share it with. For me, there is an ethereal, spiritual aspect to Jane Goodall's ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Teaching Non-Fiction with Jane Goodall 1 1 Mar 27, 2018 07:27PM  
Around the Year i...: In the shadow of man, by Jane Goodall 1 14 May 25, 2016 04:52AM  
  • Jane Goodall: 40 Years at Gombe
  • Bonobo: The Forgotten Ape
  • Reflections of Eden: My Years with the Orangutans of Borneo
  • Walking with the Great Apes: Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, Birute Galdikas
  • Jane Goodall: The Woman Who Redefined Man
  • Next of Kin: My Conversations with Chimpanzees
  • Kanzi: The Ape at the Brink of the Human Mind
  • Bonobo Handshake: A Memoir of Love and Adventure in the Congo
  • Lucy: the beginnings of humankind
  • Gorillas in the Mist
  • A Primate's Memoir: A Neuroscientist's Unconventional Life Among the Baboons
  • The Emotional Lives of Animals: A Leading Scientist Explores Animal Joy, Sorrow, and Empathy - and Why They Matter
  • Living Free (Story of Elsa, #2)
  • Woman in the Mists: The Story of Dian Fossey and the Mountain Gorillas of Africa
  • The Company of Wolves
  • Where the Wild Things Were: Life, Death, and Ecological Wreckage in a Land of Vanishing Predators
  • Soul of a Lion: One Woman's Quest to Rescue Africa's Wildlife Refugees
  • Elephant Memories: Thirteen Years in the Life of an Elephant Family
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
“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.”
More quotes…