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Reason for Hope: A Spiritual Journey Hardcover – Sep 1 1999


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (Sept. 1 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446522252
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446522250
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 2.5 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 567 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #237,723 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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As a young woman, Jane Goodall was best known for her groundbreaking fieldwork with the chimpanzees of Gombe, Africa. Goodall's work has always been controversial, mostly because she broke the mold of research scientist by developing meaningful relationships with her "specimens" and honoring their lives as she would other humans.

Now at the age of 60, she continues to break the mold of scientist by revealing how her research and worldwide conservation institutes spring from her childhood callings and adult spiritual convictions. Reason for Hope is a smoothly written memoir that does not shy away from facing the realities of environmental destruction, animal abuse, and genocide. But Goodall shares her antidote to the poison of despair with specific examples of why she has not lost faith. For instance, she shares her spiritual epiphany during a visit to Auschwitz; her bravery in the face of chimpanzee imprisonment in medical laboratories; and devotes a whole chapter to individuals, corporations, and countries that are doing the right thing. But most of all Goodall provides a beautifully written plea for why everyone can and must find a reason for hope. --Gail Hudson

From Publishers Weekly

The world's most famous, and perhaps most beloved, female scientist has previously related much of her life's outer journeyAmost notably in In the Shadow of Man and Through a Window, which described her groundbreaking work with the chimpanzees of Gombe, in Africa. In this marvelous book, however, Goodall revealsAwith clarity, great passion and purposeAher inner journey. How invigorating it is to read the memoir of a scientist who proclaims frankly, and in language often infused with power and grace (a nod to Goodall's coauthor Berman, author of The Journey Home, etc.), an abiding faith in the sacredness of all life. Goodall, who's 65, covers her entire life here, from her earliest years in England, raised by a strong and loving family, through her apprenticeship under Louis Leakey and her years at Gombe, to her more recent work as an activist for environmental causes and animal rights. There are passages that verge on the mystical ("I and the chimpanzees, the earth and trees and air, seemed to merge, to become one with the spirit power of life itself"), a scattering of not terrific poems and great swaths of rapturous nature writing. The book's tone is highly emotional, sometimes sentimental, but Goodall is no naif. A chapter entitled "The Roots of Evil" describes her shocking discovery of chimps' capacity for cannibalistic attacks on members of their own community; "Death" details her despair at the suffering and demise of her husband, Derek, from cancer. Despite the darkness, however, throughout her life's adventuresAand there are enough, in jungle and city, to make this book viscerally as well as morally thrillingAGoodall has nurtured a fundamental understanding that goodness can prevail, with each person's help. This is a moving and inspiring book that will be treasured by all concerned about the fate of the planet and its inhabitants. 16 pp. of b&w photos. Simultaneous Warner AudioBook; author tour. (Sept.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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THIS IS A STORY ABOUT A JOURNEY, the journey of one human being through sixty-five years of earth time: my journey. Read the first page
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth on May 16 2001
Format: Paperback
Others have written so well and have covered so much territory, thus I shant repeat what has been said. Would simply like to note that this is a book about a woman and by a woman who set out to partake an adventure that most single women sans a college degree just didnt do forty years ago. And this is what makes the book so wonderful, because she is now sixty and reflecting on what was, where she has come from as well as where she still hopes to go.
Personally I appreciated the sharing of what it was like to be married and raising a child in an outback area, then divorcing, finding and loving a man who sadly died and here she is reflecting upon life. Yes it has some deeply religious/spiritual undertones but again, it is nice to read of a science minded soul who does ackowledge something bigger than the self. This is a book I am enjoying sharing with all my over 40 and 50 age group women friends.
Just wish Ms Goodall would slow down. A PBS special I saw recentiy showed her hectic schedule and how she had been ill, but that she has the sincere and serious concern that primate lands are quickly disappearing and that nations need to wake up before it is to late.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 10 2004
Format: Paperback
Jane Goodall writes openly and honestly about her awesome and inspiring life. Jane Goodall tells us about her amazing travels-- from a young ambitious girl growing up in the birches of England to a brillant woman documenting apes' behavior in the forests of Africa to bravely fighting for environmental change around the world.
In this book, Jane Goodall pours from the deep corners of her heart. By sharing her personal experiences, Jane Goodall is a witness to the true innate goodness of all human beings, the triumph of the human spirit, and the great God in which we all live, move, and have our being.
Jane Goodall ponders the greatest of human questions throughout her book. Is God real and present in our world, even with all of the modern discoveries of science? Can human beings achieve greater levels of moral, intellectual, and spiritual growth and overcome the great obstacles that they face? Jane Goodall makes sense of these questions and helps the reader to come to a better understanding of how to live in the world.
I read this book for an assurance that science only adds to the wonder and mystery of existence, and that science can help us come closer to God. My favorite part was when Jane Goodall went to the forest after the death of her second husband, and felt a connection to the "great spiritual energy of life itself." She reaffirmed her conviction by discovering how science was only a part of the human pursuit of understanding and knowledge, not the complete and final truth.
At the end of the book, Goodall asks a significant question as she reaches the autumn of her life, "And when I reach the end, it will be the beginning?" I recommend this book to all who want to remember that the journey of growth, understanding, and knowledge we are all on is always just beginning.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Debby Ng on Feb. 29 2004
Format: Paperback
Jane is a remarkable woman, who's story of struggle as a young and inexperienced scientist with what were thought to be absurd ideals and methods of study, received much flack from the scientific community of her time. Still, many scientists under go the rigors of the scientific community's lateral and blinkered thinking. Reason for Hope, serves more than to encourage individuals into believing that each is capable of achieving their ideals and dreams, but that the simpler, intangible qualities like motivation, tenacity, courage and love, can triumph in the end with belief and resilience.
Jane made an amazing and commendable effort to be honest and humble with her readers, sharing her deepest and seemingly most private thoughts, which all have played a part in shaping her life and character. anyone will appreciate this book, be they from a scientific, animal welfare, spiritual or casual background. because jane's work relates to of all of us in the simplest of ways - we all have ambitions we wish to fulfill, depending on what they are we're often hard challenged and many of us have been defeated, yet we hold true to our beliefs and jane reminds us all, that that is which matters most - that is which will pull through to the end. that that, could only be, our reason for hope.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gwyneth Calvetti on June 6 2001
Format: Paperback
I was one of those kids who was just at an age to be fascinated by the National Geographic when Ms. Goodall's first article was published in it. I looked at the pictures, yes, but then went beyond them to the remarkable text about her remarkable experiences. I eagerly gobbled up each new installment of her life among the chimps of Gombe.
As a college student in communication disorders, my early interest in primates that was spawned by her work reasserted itself, when I did my senior paper on the chimp language studies being done at that time, taking an anthropological point of view. I had thought maybe one day I would find myself following chimps through the African forests. I have been to Africa, but have not seen the chimps, though that may yet happen.
This is a book written by a very public woman who has maintained a very private personal life. I was especially interested to see what she had to say about religion and science, and more than anyone else I have read, she embodied the true sense of what it means to be spiritual. Her description of the vivid experiences she had upon the death of loved ones, and her eventual healing and acceptance of what life had dealt her, was particularly poignant and inspiring. Her views of what is really important in this world are clearly shaped by her unique experience among the chimpanzee community at Gombe, but she elucidates so clearly these values for all to consider.
Most amazing to me, however, is her willingness to accept the call she felt to leave her beloved Gombe behind most of the time to travel the world, hoping to create change in our attitudes and specific practices that harm animals and the environment.
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