Jane Goodall is an naturalist and primatologist whose work revolutionised how we understand animal intelligence. From her work with chimpanzees and other animals in Gombe, Tanzania, she came to understand the impact that people had on ecology and so she also became an activist as well. She’s now in her 80’s and speaks regularly about her work.
In this book, she has a dialogue with Douglas Abrams about the reasons that she feels hopeful for the future. The book is the second in a series, Global Icons, the previous being The Book Of Joy, where he teamed up for a conversation with the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
I think it’s so important to feel like we have some control over our lives and our future, and to have hope. This is and has been a very difficult time, and I think books like this are just what we need. Hope is not, as the book tells us, a blind optimism or foolish toxic positivity. It’s about keeping on going and trusting that there’s always a light in the dark. I really loved this message, and I loved Jane Goodall just a little bit more as I read it. She’s wonderfully wise and reassuring, and though she knows the statistics, she’s wise to the fact that people relate to stories more than numbers. The book is smart and well researched, and always interesting, and it’s always refering back to facts and research. It’s not cloud in the sky stuff.
The book starts with telling us what hope is and defining it, and then going through four main reasons that Jane has for having hope. These are the amazing human intellect, the resilience of nature, the power of young people and the indomitable human spirit. I really enjoyed every page. There was so much in it, not just about hope, but about life and little scientific things I didn’t know. It’s a really good read, and I recommend it. Especially if you’re struggling a bit lately to keep your chin up.
Read It If: you are a hopeful person or need reasons to have hope. It’s a wonderful shot of positivity based on reality.
Thank you to Celadon who sent me this book for review.
The Book Of Hope is out today