Picture of author.

Hugo van Lawick (1937–2002)

Author of In the Shadow of Man

14+ Works 1,838 Members 16 Reviews

About the Author

Image credit: hugovanlawick.com

Works by Hugo van Lawick

In the Shadow of Man (1971) — Photographer — 1,343 copies
Sand Rivers (1981) — Photographer — 163 copies
My Friends the Wild Chimpanzees (1967) — Photographer — 140 copies
Innocent Killers (1970) 77 copies
Last Days in Eden (1984) — Photographer — 29 copies
Savage Paradise (1977) 14 copies
Among Predators and Prey (1986) 12 copies
Ultima del branco (1994) 2 copies
De jagers van Serengeti (1972) 2 copies
ABZebra 1 copy
Serengeti Symphony [1998 film] — Director — 1 copy

Associated Works

Animal Stories: Tame and Wild (1979) — Contributor — 23 copies
Jane [2017 film] (2017) — Photographer — 8 copies
Jane's Journey [2010 film] (2011) — Photographer — 7 copies


Common Knowledge



Absolute classic, and still an excellent read.
hierogrammate | 11 other reviews | Jan 31, 2022 |
Jane Goodall (then Jane Van Lawick)’s account of her groundbreaking work with chimpanzees in Tanzania in the 1960s. She observed and interacted with chimps in a way that no Westerner had before, and documented and published them for the world to see. Her work completely changed the way that scientists, and eventually the general public, viewed both apes and humans.

I’ve come to realize that narrative scientific observation published well before I was born is not for me. I have grown up knowing the things that Goodall discovered, like that chimpanzees have individual personalities and can use tools. I appreciate the lifetime of hard work that Goodall had to accomplish in order to provide me with this knowledge basically from birth, but the book was very tedious for me to read. I read a copy from the library, which turned out to be a first edition, and then later bought my own copy. Apparently this book is not very popular anymore? My large library system only had the one copy and the bookstore did not have it in stock.… (more)
norabelle414 | 11 other reviews | Aug 12, 2020 |
It's rare for me to give a book 5 stars so it deserves some justification. Jane Goodall has been around a long time, as she nears the end of her life (85 now) we can begin to evaluate her life as a whole. Her non-profits are global and effective, she is a beloved global super-star whose mere presence instills a sense of peace and harmony at conferences and gatherings that have nothing to do with primates. She travels so much she has not lived more than 3 weeks in any one place since 1985. So returning to her origin story, what this book is, we see her as simple young woman, a secretary with no college degree. This enchanting story of discovery of the chimpanzees and of herself is so romantic and timeless it's for the ages. And it all comes back to this book. Granted she first made public attention around 1965, in newspapers and National Geographic magazine, but her 1971 memoir is (still) hugely influential. She actually wrote it to raise money after National Geographic pulled funding for research. In 2017, 100s of hours of lost color film from the 1960s were re-discovered and director Brett Morgen put together a documentary simply called Jane (music by Philip Glass!) which in combination with the book, which the film is based on, makes for some of the most compelling multi-media I have experienced in a while. Goodall leaves one feeling enriched, her impact is remarkable and inspiring.… (more)
1 vote
Stbalbach | 11 other reviews | May 6, 2019 |
Set in Tanzania, In the Shadow of Man is a mix of factual observations and personal impressions. First and foremost, it dispels the idea that chimpanzees are unintelligent, shallow creatures driven only by their immediate bodily needs. I commend this, and the author deserves credit for killing what was apparently a genuine strain of belief that humans are defined by their ability to use tools. Certainly, in the 21st century, when so many enlightening wildlife documentaries reach our television sets, this is no longer a revelation or a surprise. I feel as though this may have been a seminal work which is now superseded by more thorough investigations, both amateur and scientific.

As a Hindu, I've been brought up around epics such as the Ramayana and Mahabharata, where we find armies of intelligent bears, cows as possessors of virtues humans should possess, giant birds attacking demons in flying chariots, the god of wisdom depicted as an elephant, a monkey as the most faithful servant to humans. Hence, even if I had not seen any David Attenborough, I would not have been surprised by monkeys fishing for termites with stalks of grass.

Jane Goodall is not an academic, and having read what others think of her methods, I tend to agree with her detractors that human interference, such as gifting bananas or physical contact with the chimpanzees, can alter their behaviour and distort any conclusions. Jane admits as much and expresses some regret for making social contact with some of her subjects. In non-academic fashion, she names her chimpanzees and gives them personalities; even in descriptions of humans, I prefer to see what they do rather than be told how they are. Another gripe I have is that it is clear she is emotionally attached to some of the chimpanzees and let this affect her professional judgement; for example, feeding bananas to those lower in the chimpanzee social hierarchy when nature should have been left to take its course. Lastly, a true study should acknowledge its scope and limitations, while Jane seemed more intent on extolling the virtues of her organisation.

What I missed most was scientific explanation, which may or may not have been available at the time: DNA analysis; hormonal changes and imbalances; statistics for nutrient composition in the chimpanzee lifecycle; evolutionary traits; comparison with other primates; etc. There may be more thorough accounts which marry observation with science. As yet, I don't know of any better account, and will give Jane the credit for some astute, albeit sometimes biased, observations.
… (more)
1 vote
jigarpatel | 11 other reviews | Feb 27, 2019 |



You May Also Like

Associated Authors


Also by

Charts & Graphs