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Common Read: 2023-2024 The Book of Hope: About the Authors

About the Authors

Jane Goodall standing next to a waterfallJane Goodall (b. 1934)

In July 1960, at the age of 26, Jane Goodall traveled from England to what is now Tanzania and ventured into the little-known world of wild chimpanzees.

Equipped with little more than a notebook, binoculars, and her fascination with wildlife, Jane Goodall braved a realm of unknowns to give the world a remarkable window into humankind’s closest living relatives. Through nearly 60 years of groundbreaking work, Dr. Jane Goodall has not only shown us the urgent need to protect chimpanzees from extinction; she has also redefined species conservation to include the needs of local people and the environment. Today she travels the world, speaking about the threats facing chimpanzees and environmental crises, urging each of us to take action on behalf of all living things and planet we share.

When Jane Goodall entered the forest of Gombe, the world knew very little about chimpanzees, and even less about their unique genetic kinship to humans. She took an unorthodox approach in her field research, immersing herself in their habitat and their lives to experience their complex society as a neighbor rather than a distant observer and coming to understand them not only as a species, but also as individuals with emotions and long-term bonds. Dr. Jane Goodall’s discovery in 1960 that chimpanzees make and use tools is considered one of the greatest achievements of twentieth-century scholarship. Her field research at Gombe transformed our understanding of chimpanzees and redefined the relationship between humans and animals in ways that continue to emanate around the world.

Source: The Jane Goodall Institute website

Doug AbramsDouglas Abrams (b. 1967)

Doug Abrams is an author, editor, literary agent, and truth hunter who is committed to helping catalyze the next evolutionary stage of our global culture.

In addition to co-writing The Book of Joy with the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu, he also worked with Stephen Hawking on his last book, the global bestseller Brief Answers to the Big Questions.  He has had the privilege of working with other Nobel Laureates including Nelson Mandela, Jody Williams, and Elizabeth Blackburn.  He has worked with many visionary scientists.  He is also devoted to spreading the importance of conservation and fighting climate change.  He is currently working with Christiana Figueres, the former UN Secretary on Climate, who led the Paris Climate Agreement, on The Future We Choose: Ending the Climate Crisis, and with plant ecologist Suzanne Simard on Finding the Mother Tree, about her work discovering the communication and network intelligence of trees and forests, and how cooperation is as important to survival as competition.  Doug has also worked with Desmond Tutu as his coauthor, editor, and literary agent for almost two decades.  

He was also on the founding team of, a philanthropy website that has pioneered new forms of giving and been responsible for giving over half a billion dollars to charity.

He lives with his wife, Rachel, an integrative family physician, author, and lifelong conversation partner. He has three grown children, Jesse, Kayla, and Eliana.




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