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The second volume of Jane Goodall's remarkable self-portrait in letters, Beyond Innocence details some of the eminent scientist's greatest triumphs and her deepest tragedies. It covers the years following the publication of her groundbreaking book In the Shadow of Man, which, along with her articles in National Geographic, made her famous. Goodall's candid letters recount major events in her life and research, including her astonishing discoveries about chimpanzee behavior, the birth and raising of her son, the ...
The second volume of Jane Goodall's remarkable self-portrait in letters, Beyond Innocence details some of the eminent scientist's greatest triumphs and her deepest tragedies. It covers the years following the publication of her groundbreaking book In the Shadow of Man, which, along with her articles in National Geographic, made her famous. Goodall's candid letters recount major events in her life and research, including her astonishing discoveries about chimpanzee behavior, the birth and raising of her son, the breakup of her marriage to Hugo van Lawick, the kidnapping by guerrillas of a group of her students, her marriage to Derek Bryceson and his death, and her growing concern about the future of her beloved chimpanzees at Gombe and elsewhere in the world. Beyond Innocence tells how many of the dreams of Goodall's youth were shattered, but also how she changed from a rather private observer to a public crusader.
|List of Correspondents||xi|
|1.||The Tool-Using Vulture, 1966||5|
|2.||Polio Epidemic, 1966-1967||13|
|3.||Domestic Interlude, 1967||36|
|4.||Hope and Loss, 1968-1969||73|
|5.||Innocent Killers, 1968-1970||106|
|6.||The Stanford Years, 1971-1975||140|
|7.||The Dark Side, 1975-1979||191|
|8.||The Bryceson Years, 1973-1980||223|
|9.||Moving On, 1981-1986||262|
|10.||The Laboratory Nightmare, 1987-1990||311|
|11.||Reason for Hope, 1987-1999||354|
Posted June 4, 2001
This book continues the autobiography of Dr. Jane Goodall through her letters that began with Africa in My Blood. Dr. Goodall has been a prolific letter writer throughout her life, and this volume contains many interesting and revealing examples of her personal views. The book's strength is in taking you behind the scenes into events that are more briefly alluded to in her formal writing. The editor, Dale Peterson, has done an outstanding job of putting the letters in context and summarizing their material in useful ways. The editing is stronger than in Africa in My Blood. Despite the quality of the volume, I still prefer Africa in My Blood as a more moving and powerful expression of Dr. Goodall's life. In these letters, you will generally find her more reserved and distracted than in Africa in My Blood. I do recommend that you read this volume. You will add usefully to your knowledge of Dr. Goodall. To get some sense of how many letters Dr. Goodall has written, this book contains selections from over 2000 which contain a total of between one and two million words! During one two day stretch in early February (7-8) 1973, Dr. Goodall wrote 63 letters! The flavor of the book is pretty well captured by this quote about how the book 'traces a falcon's rising gyre that turns beyond innocence through experience into wisdom, on to focused dedication.' The book is organized around themes, so that you can more clearly see the connections. A delightful surprise came in the beginning with a description of how Dr. Goodall and her first husband discovered Egyptian vulures using rocks to break open ostrich eggs, one of the few examples of tool-using animals ever discovered. Dr. Goodall is also known for having uncovered the chimpanzee use of tools, as well. There is a nice photograph to show this in process. You will enjoy the many family photographs in the book, as well. During this period of time, Dr. Goodall becomes a mother and raises her son, informally known as Grub for his eating habits. She also accompanies her first husband on many expeditions to the Serengeti. The book also details the evolution of Gombe into a permanent research site, including the awful setbacks when researchers died and when a major kidnapping occurred. The many research findings of those years from Gombe are included including the effect of the polio epidemic, and the discovery of cannibalism and war among the chimpanzees. The book provides more glimpses of how she feel in love with and married her second husband, and her reactions to his untimely death due to cancer. Dr. Goodall has become an animal rights advocate, and the beginnings of that awareness are developed here. She saw her first bio-medical laboratory with chimpanzees in it during 1987, and was appalled by what she saw. Since then, she has worked to change the way these labs are run to honor the high intelligence and social nature of the chimpanzees. Much remains to be done. I encourage you to also read her other works. Having gotten to know the person, you should know her work as well. Chronologically, In the Shadow of Man is first. Learning with her is probably better than jumping ahead and reading the latest research first. Her way of describing the research makes you see the chimpanzees as individuals. To start at the end would be like reading a novel backwards. Dr. Goodall's amazing life should be a source of strength to all. Where could your curiosity and passion take you that no one else has gone before? Do you have the courage to act on that curiosity and passion? Are you prepared for the inevitable pain? Be sure to take yourself seriously in this assessment. Dr. Goodall seems quite surprised by all that she accomplished. Your potential probably exceeds what you think you can do, as well. Look in new places and in new ways! Donald Mitchell, co-author of The Irresistible Growth Enterprise and The 2,000 Percent SolutionWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.