"Peterson vividly and significantly enriches our understanding of Goodall as a scientist, spiritual thinker, and humanist." Booklist, starred review
"A loving depiction of a remarkable woman who charmed the world as much as it captivated her." Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"I haven't read such a compelling, illuminating biography in years."
Richard Rhodes, Pulitzer Prizewinning author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb
Dr. Jane Goodall is well known as a respected scientist, an inspirational conservationist, and a passionate animal activist. But less understood is the importance of Goodall's revolutionary discoveries about wild chimpanzees to the science of primatology. Dale Peterson, in the first-ever full biography, reveals the story of her amazing life in Jane Goodall: The Woman Who Redefined Man.
Readers of this incredible account will gain a new understanding and appreciation of Goodall's life and work. How did this novice naturalist, working at first as a secretary, make such significant discoveries? Through a combination of luck (in meeting Louis Leakey) and her own unique intuitions, Goodall uncovered the personal and social traits of humankind's closest living relatives, the chimpanzees. In defining what it means to be a chimpanzee, she redefined what it means to be human. Peterson details how Goodall developed new standards and a new intellectual style for the study of animal behavior, from her first trip to the Gombe Stream National Park to her role as teacher and mentor to a new generation of field scientists. Peterson shows how truly remarkable her accomplishments are and how unlikely it is that anyone else could have achieved them.
During his ten years of work on this biography, Peterson traveled with Jane Goodall around the world, interviewing her family, friends, former students, teachers, and colleagues. He had unprecedented access to her private materials, including personal correspondence and original field notes. An intimate and authoritative portrait, Jane Goodall will be a revelation to all readers even those who think they already know Dr. Goodall through her own writings.
Dale Peterson is the coauthor with Jane Goodall of Visions of Caliban (a New York Times Notable Book and a Library Journal Best Book) and the editor of her two books of letters, Africa in My Blood and Beyond Innocence. His other books include The Deluge and the Ark, Chimpanzee Travels, Storyville USA, Eating Apes, and (with Richard Wrangham) Demonic Males. His books have been designated an Economist Best Book, a Discover Top Science Book, a Bloomsbury Review Editor's Favorite, a Village Voice Best Book, and a finalist for the PEN New England Award and the Sir Peter Kent Conservation Book Prize in England. He resides in Massachusetts.