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In Review

Hope for Animals and Their World

by Jane Goodall with Thane Maynard and Gail Hudson
416 pages, Grand Central Publishing, 2009

Jane Goodall, inspired by Tarzan books, moved to Africa in her twenties to live with and learn about chimpanzees. She is such an icon that she deserves her very own species classification. Her dedication and tireless enthusiasm have not only contributed significantly to our understanding of evolution, but have also served as inspiration for countless others.

book cover thumbnail 'hope for animals and their world' by Jane Goodall

In her latest book, Hope for Animals and Their World, Goodall magnanimously shines a light on individuals who are helping animals in danger of extinction to reestablish their populations. These lesser-known scientists are no less heroic, doing work that can be as dangerous as it is frustrating. They are environmentalists who not only must be experts in animal behavior, but also must navigate relationships with politicians, lobbyists, and other beasts to be successful in their efforts.

Although the book can be uneven, going into greater depths on some endangered species than others, the book encompasses a wide range of locales and fauna. Insects, mammals, birds, fish – Goodall’s love for them and the people who care for them is apparent throughout her writing.

What is most significant about the book is the hope it provides – the knowledge that despite the detrimental actions of some humans, there are those with the foresight and intelligence to strategize on behalf of animals and develop recovery plans for them. Throughout the book, Goodall wisely emphasizes that the existence of such good-hearted individuals should not lull us into a false sense of security or otherwise prevent us from heightening efforts to prevent more animals from nearing the brink of extinction. She provides an extensive list of organizations that desperately need assistance, either through financial donations or some other show of support, thereby giving us all an opportunity to feel like king of the jungle.

– Audrey Webb


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