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Seeds of Hope: Wisdom and Wonder from the World of Plants Hardcover – August 27, 2013

27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Though Goodall is known everywhere as the chimpanzee expert who transformed our understanding of primates and ourselves, it comes as no surprise that her profound love of nature and vigorous global activism extend to the plant kingdom. Goodall begins this tribute to the glory of plants and trees and protest against their endangerment with memories of her grandmother’s English country home, where her best friend was a large, cradling beech. She also shares her reverence for the forests of Gombe that nurture chimpanzees. In this far-ranging, gracefully impassioned book, Goodall, aided by frequent coauthor Hudson, shares her fascination with the beingness of plants, from the miracles of seeds to photosynthesis and astonishing strategies of seed dispersal, pollination, defense, and communication. She writes of her mystical experiences with trees, obsessive and daring plant hunters, orchid fever, and the deep psychological benefits of gardening. Goodall celebrates the long history of medicinal plants and decries corporate biopiracy and exposes the horrendous human suffering and environmental damage wrought by today’s cotton industry and the disastrous consequences of genetically modified crops. Appalled by the ongoing destruction of forests, Goodall finds seeds of hope in those who work to protect the green world, upon which we are utterly dependent. A crucial and commanding summons to care and act by one of nature’s most heroic champions. --Donna Seaman

Review

"[A] far-ranging, gracefully impassioned book...A crucial and commanding summons to care and act by one of nature's most heroic champions."—Donna Seaman, Booklist (starred review)

"Goodall makes a passionate case for more aggressive conservation of what's left of our global garden."—-Breanna Draxler, Discover

Praise for Hope For Animals and Their World:

"These accounts of conservation success are inspirational." --Publishers Weekly

"Goodall's intimate writing style and sense of wonder pull the reader into each account... The mix of personal and scientific makes for a compelling read." --Booklist
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (August 27, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1455513229
  • ISBN-13: 978-1455513222
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #325,092 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By M. Reynard VINE VOICE on May 4, 2014
Format: Hardcover
So, the only thing I ever really knew about Jane Goodall was that she was the lady who worked with chimpanzees. That's it. Turns out, she has done a lot more than that. And a lot of that had to do with plants.

From an early age, Goodall loved plants, and even had a special tree at her grandmother's house. While off fighting to save the chimpanzees she was studying the local vegetation as well. In this book there are some accounts of her own experience, but it is also a book of history and current activities in regards to the plant world and the development of world crops. She covers GMO's, plantations, poisonous plants, beneficial plants and much more. The actual book is broken into four parts. My Love For the Natural World, which is just Goodall's history with plants. Hunting, Gathering and Gardening, which talks about the different gardens and seed banks in the world and even has a special section on orchids. Uses and Abuses of Plants, which includes sections on healing, drug plants, plantations, mono-crops and GMO's. And the Way Forward which shows what is going on now to help preserve some of the different plants of the world that are rapidly becoming extinct.

Goodall is almost always polite. When faced with distasteful topics she kind of side steps around the people who are making it bad and instead focuses on those who are doing good and making differences. So nothing is scathing in this book in regards to anyone. And a lot of her personal stories are very nice too. It's easy to see she was close to her family and enjoyed spending time with her grandmother and the garden that she had.

This book covers some controversial topics. Goodall is a pretty large name and she blasts GMO's and other crop practices pretty hard.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Zoeeagleeye VINE VOICE on May 5, 2014
Format: Hardcover
This is not a scholarly book, although it certainly has its share of facts, statistics and studies. It's a human book -- and this encompasses everything from Jane Goodall's childhood experiences (crying over Uncle Tom's Cabin) to what chemical toxins are doing to us (cotton is the "dirtiest crop" and is often picked by children even during spraying).

It is also an accessible book, nothing "difficult" here to plow through, and so that means it is far from boring. Well, I'd thought before I read it that it might contain a tad bit of boredom, but Goodall knows when to pause, when to move forward quickly and when to stop altogether. She tells stories of plants (you will absolutely love the one about "Survivor," the tree who on 9/11 survived a building falling on it) that will make you weep and cheer and laugh. She gives you interesting facts about plants that will stick in your memory, such as the Empress Josephine was crazy for Dr. Dahl's best flower: Dahlias. She raised them herself and would allow no one else to handle them. Also, I'd always thought orchids were rare and timid plants but it turns out they comprise the largest family of flowering plants, over 26,000 species with more than 100 new species being discovered every year. I enjoyed, as well, hearing about the plant explorers who traveled all over the world, had many amazing adventures, only to collect strange and new plants and bring them back to Europe. Finally, Goodall and her group has worked with medicine men and women all over the world, 86 to be exact, and every one of them declares that EVERY PLANT has some kind of healing power. How nice that Mother Earth so looks after her children.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By baker on June 12, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am a fan of Jane Goodall. That being said, I am also a fan of the video series "The Private Life of Plants". I learned more from the video series than from Jane's book, but to be fair, the photography in the video series cannot be duplicated in a book format. Jane Goodall's book does have excellent research and gives the reader a thorough history of specific plants in human history. I love her respect for plants and the delight she obviously has for the plant world. A wonderful, informative narrative.
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39 of 54 people found the following review helpful By BF8 on April 1, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you are a person who pays attention to the devastating effect we are having on the home planet that supports us all, you need a leader who can give you hope. Jane Goodall is one of those persons. I saw her recently in person. I will never forget being in the same room with 5,000 listening people and still feel like I was in the intimate presence of a truly graceful person.
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28 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Kim Willis on April 29, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I so enjoyed the first part of this book, with Goodall reminiscing about her childhood and talking about daring plant explorers and ancient plants and seeds. Then we get to the rant about GM modified food and it goes downhill for me. Much of the "evidence" she uses comes from people and studies that the scientific community does not deem credible and she picks through reports and studies to support her views without offering any of the reports and studies that have differing opinions. I am not "for" GM modified foods and I recognize some issues with them but I have read and studied the issue extensively and believe Goodall did not fairly present the issue.

Beyond that I was troubled by some basic errors in history, dates she uses in early American settlement history for example, and in some farming information that is inaccurate. I can't believe her editors did not pick up on some of this. After all this book was extensively overhauled and foot noted after charges of plagiarism surfaced when the book was first published.

If Goodall had stuck to stories about the wonder of plants and her own experiences with them it would have been a much better book. I know she is passionate about saving the environment and I don't fault her for that. But much of this part of the book just echoes the countless other books out there using less than objective science on the issue. I am not interested in going over that junk science anymore.

Professional reviewers have treated the book gingerly, had Goodall not been 80 years old and a cultural icon the reviews would have been much more scathing. Despite the inaccuracies and copying of material the book still has some beautiful things to say and for that reason most people will enjoy reading it.
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