496 pages, 9 b/w photos, 21 b/w illustrations
Evolutionary biologist and paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould has perfected the art of the essay in this brilliant new collection. These thirty-four essays, most originally published in Natural History magazine, exemplify the keen insight with which Dr. Gould observes the natural world and convey the infectious enthusiasm for fossils and evolutionary theory that has made his books award-winning, national best-sellers.
In his latest musings on evolution and other natural phenomena, Gould reveals the uncanny interconnections among distinctly human creations – museums, literature, music, politics, and culture – encompassing a delightfully, wide range of topics, from giant fossils, fads, and fungus to baseball, beeswax, and blaauwbocks, from a humanistic look at Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and Erasmus Darwin's poetry to the fallacies of eugenics and creationism and the moral imperatives of thinking people to meet the ethical challenges that pseudo-science presents.
"[Gould] writes in a consistently graceful, approachable style, with easy elegance and clarity, and he is an incomparable explainer of difficult ideas."
- Phillip Lopate, New York Times Book Review
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Stephen Jay Gould was the Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology at Harvard University and Vincent Astor Visiting Professor of Biology at New York University. A MacArthur Prize Fellow, he received innumerable honors and awards and wrote many books, including Ontogeny and Phylogeny and Time's Arrow, Time's Cycle (both from Harvard).