By: SJ Gould
540 pages, Figs
From the author of Wonderful Life comes this panorama of issues and controversies in evolution. 'His collections of essays are discontinuous but, as in a pointillist painting, the individual elements eventually provide a picture of enormous dimensions. In this current collection, Gould discusses the duck-billed platypus, male nipples, the clitoris, Franz Anton Mesmer and the odd dinosaur. Gould's point is that evolution is not a ladder but a bush; ever dividing, branching and making twigs.' The Times
'He fossicks through history, here and there picking up a bone, an imprint, a fossil dropping and, from these, tries to reconstruct the past afresh in all its messy ambiguity. It's the droppings that provide the freshness: he's as likely to quote from Mark Twain or Joe DiMaggio as from Lamarck or Lavoisier.' Guardian
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