16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
This is behavioral science done correctly,
This review is from: In the Shadow of Man (Paperback)
Jane Goodall is a unique undividual whose work should be studied by those who think that the animal rights people don't have a clue. Her efforts at gaining the trust of chimpanzee's in their natural habitat have spauned a host of up-and-comers who will continue to carry her work to the next level.
Goodall distinguished herself by sitting in the bush on a daily basis until the local chimpanzee tribal members came close enough to make physical contact with her. That an English woman scientist would journey to Tanzania to engage in this type of research is unusual and certainly puts her at "the top of her class".
She follows the lives and behavior patterns of her subjects until her research sounds like a Michener novel with its generational emphasis and timelines of family heritage. Within this effort she follows each subsequent offspring through each of their successive cycles from birth and death.
What is fascinating is how she describes personality differences, the kind that come from hard-coded genetic diffences, the same as we find in human individuals. The mating behavior sounds like something out of "Cosmopolitan". The squabbles and fighting behavior could be that of any large Homo Sapien family. While Chimp's aren't on the same intellectual level as humans they certainly come closer than any other species. Jane Goodall deserves every accolade she gets for bringing us a lens through which to observe another geneological line of a species that has developed from our common ancestors.
Her work suggests that we should rethink our medical research toward more humane treatment of these animals whose behavior is too similar to ours to ignore. This is an excellent book.