648 pages, 19 illus
The book begins with Wallace's 12 years of often harrowing travels in the Western and Eastern Tropics, which place him in the pantheon of the greatest explorer-naturalists of the nineteenth century. It traces step by step his discovery of natural selection and then follows the remaining 50 years of his life. In addition to his divergence from Darwin on two fundamental issues - sexual selection and the origin of the human mind - he pursued topics that most scientific figures of his day avoided, including environmentalism and the possibility of life on Mars.
This is a...beautifully written biography, devoid of pretension and with both a wonderful eye for detail and an impressive command of history and fact. - Oren Solomon Harman, American Scientist "Slotten's book is the most detailed study of its kind published to date and provides a vivid account of Wallace's rich ninety-year life." - Nature"
IntroductionOrigins of a HereticThe Struggle for ExistenceA Daring PlanTravels on the AmazonAnd the Rio NegroDisaster at Sea... and a Civilized InterludeThe Malay ArchipelagoThe Mechanism RevealedBeautiful DreamerA Turn Toward the UnknowableThe Olympian Heights and the Beginnings of the FallWallace and The Descent of ManThe Descent of WallaceThe War on SpiritualismPhoenix from the AshesTo the Land of Epidemic DelusionsThe New NemesisThoroughly Unpopular CausesSatisfaction, Retrospection, and WorkA National Treasure CelebratedBiographical Index
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Ross A. Slotten is a scholar of Alfred Russel Wallace. He lives in Chicago.