Summary and book reviews of The Book of Hope by Jane Goodall

The Book of Hope

A Survival Guide for Trying Times (Global Icons Series)

by Jane Goodall, Douglas Abrams

The Book of Hope by Jane Goodall, Douglas Abrams X
The Book of Hope by Jane Goodall, Douglas Abrams
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  • Published:
    Oct 2021, 272 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Elisabeth Herschbach
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About this Book

Book Summary

In this urgent book, Jane Goodall, the world's most famous living naturalist, and Douglas Abrams, the internationally bestselling co-author of The Book of Joy, explore through intimate and thought-provoking dialogue one of the most sought after and least understood elements of human nature: hope.

In a world that seems so troubled, how do we hold on to hope?

Looking at the headlines―the worsening climate crisis, a global pandemic, loss of biodiversity, political upheaval―it can be hard to feel optimistic. And yet hope has never been more desperately needed.

In The Book of Hope, Jane focuses on her "Four Reasons for Hope": The Amazing Human Intellect, The Resilience of Nature, The Power of Young People, and The Indomitable Human Spirit.

Drawing on decades of work that has helped expand our understanding of what it means to be human and what we all need to do to help build a better world, The Book of Hope touches on vital questions, including: How do we stay hopeful when everything seems hopeless? How do we cultivate hope in our children? What is the relationship between hope and action? Filled with moving and inspirational stories and photographs from Jane's remarkable career, The Book of Hope is a deeply personal conversation with one of the most beloved figures in the world today.

While discussing the experiences that shaped her discoveries and beliefs, Jane tells the story of how she became a messenger of hope, from living through World War II to her years in Gombe to realizing she had to leave the forest to travel the world in her role as an advocate for environmental justice. And for the first time, she shares her profound revelations about her next, and perhaps final, adventure.

The second book in the Global Icons Series―which launched with the instant classic The Book of Joy with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu―The Book of Hope is a rare and intimate look not only at the nature of hope but also into the heart and mind of a woman who revolutionized how we view the world around us and has spent a lifetime fighting for our future.

There is still hope, and this book will help guide us to it.

I
What Is Hope?

Whisky and Swahili Bean Sauce

It was the night before we were to begin our dialogues. I was nervous—because the stakes were high. The world seemed to need hope more than ever, and in the months since reaching out to Jane to ask if she wanted to share her reasons for hope in a new book, the subject of hope had been uppermost in my thoughts. What is it? Why do we have it? Is hope real? Can hope be cultivated? Is there really hope for our species? I knew my role was to ask the questions we all wrestle with as we experience adversity and even, at times, despair.

Jane is a global hero who has traveled the world for decades as a messenger of hope, and I was eager to understand her confidence in the future. Equally, I wanted to know how she had sustained hope during her own challenging and pioneering life.

As I was eagerly and anxiously preparing my questions, the phone rang.

"Would you like to come around for dinner with the family?" Jane asked. I had just landed in Dar es ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

While The Book of Hope is in part a pep talk for the despairing—a "survival guide for trying times," as the subtitle suggests—it is also a stirring call to action, an urgent plea to do all we can to bring the planet back from the brink before it is too late. Structured as an extended conversation narrated by Abrams, the book follows Goodall from Tanzania to the Netherlands to her family home in Bournemouth, England to record their discussions on topics such as the psychology of hope, the role of spiritual beliefs, and the crucial connection between saving the environment and tackling issues of social and economic injustice...continued

Full Review (777 words).

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(Reviewed by Elisabeth Herschbach).

Media Reviews

The Guardian (UK)
A lifetime of experience and wisdom combines with much-needed optimism in this guide to the climate crisis and what we can do about it.

Kirkus Reviews
Ultimately, this is less a self-help book than the personal testament of a traditional idealist with the belief that we are put on Earth for a purpose...An estimable researcher and activist tells stories and delivers uplifting advice.

Library Journal
An inspiring, personal, hopeful look at ways in which people can work towards solutions to serious problems to prevent further environmental disaster. This book will appeal to Goodall's many fans, conservationists, and anyone who cares about the planet and needs a dose of hope.

Publishers Weekly (starred review)
This illuminating conversation between naturalist Goodall and Abrams teases out Goodall's thoughts on why one should feel hopeful in 'dark times'...Her infectious optimism and stirring call to action make this necessary reading for those concerned about the planet's future...Goodall's rousing testament will resonate widely.

Booklist (starred review)
Vibrant with wry humor, scientific fact, grassroots advances, compassion, and spiritual depth, this compelling and enlightening dialogue of hope amplifies Goodall's mantra: 'Together we can. Together we will.'

Reader Reviews

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Beyond the Book

Survivor Trees

Hiroshima survivor tree Destructive and unsustainable human habits are wiping out ecosystems around the world at alarming rates, not only threatening millions of wildlife species with extinction but also endangering human health and well-being. "[H]umans depend on the natural world for food, air, water, clothing—everything," as acclaimed primatologist and naturalist Jane Goodall says in The Book of Hope. "But ecosystems must be healthy to provide for our needs."

Dire as the situation is, however, it is not too late to start repairing the damage we've done. And as Goodall argues, one major reason to remain hopeful that we can heal some of the harms we've inflicted is the resilience of nature—its power to adapt, survive and thrive, to rebound and ...

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