You can now read 10 articles each month for free on

The Boston Globe


Book Review

‘Seeds of Hope’ by Jane Goodall

While other boys in my elementary school used to discuss how one day they might marry Farrah Fawcett-Majors or Chris Evert, my fantasies usually involved Jane Goodall. I was never sure whether Goodall was the person I wanted to marry or the one I wanted to become, but the intelligent, nurturing compassion she exhibited on National Geographic television specials about her work with chimpanzees helped to inspire in me a lifelong love affair with nature.

Now, at 78, the primatologist, environmental activist, author, and lecturer continues at a pace that rivals that of a secretary of state, heading up the Jane Goodall Institute and leading its “Roots and Shoots” program for young people, while also maintaining a 300 day a year travel schedule. Goodall seems to view her latest book, “Seeds of Hope: Wisdom and Wonder From the World of Plants,” co-written with Gail Hudson and featuring a foreword by Michael Pollan, as something of a departure from her previous work (“Jane Goodall has written a book about plants? Surely not,” she imagines a reader saying). But in fact, the book seems like a perfectly logical outgrowth of her career.

Loading comments...

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than $1 a week