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Academic & Professional Books  Natural History  Biography, Exploration & Travel

Darwin's Man in Brazil The Evolving Science of Fritz Müller

Biography / Memoir Coming Soon
By: David A West(Author), Richard M Burian(Foreword By), Vassiliki Betty Smocovitis(Foreword By)
317 pages, 32 b/w illustrations
Darwin's Man in Brazil
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  • Darwin's Man in Brazil ISBN: 9780813062600 Hardback May 2016 Usually dispatched within 5 days
  • Darwin's Man in Brazil ISBN: 9780813064956 Paperback 2018 Available for pre-order : Due Dec 2018
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About this book

Fritz Müller (1821-1897), though not as well known as his colleague Charles Darwin, belongs in the cohort of great nineteenth-century naturalists. In Darwin's Man in Brazil, David A. West recovers Müller's legacy. He describes the close intellectual kinship between Müller and Darwin, detailing a lively correspondence spanning seventeen years, in which the two men often discussed new research topics and exchanged ideas. Darwin frequently praised Müller's powers of observation and interpretation, counting him among those scientists whose opinions he valued most.

A free thinker who refused to sign the Christian oaths required of teachers in Prussia, Müller emigrated to Brazil in 1852 to become a pioneer farmer researching tropical biology. In the 1860s he reorganized his biological research in order to test Darwin's theory of evolution. Conducting field studies to answer questions generated from a Darwinian perspective, Müller was unique among naturalists testing Darwin's theory of natural selection because he investigated an enormous diversity of plants and animals rather than a relatively narrow range of taxa.

Despite the importance and scope of his work, however, Müller is known for relatively few of his discoveries. West remedies this oversight, chronicling the life and work of this remarkable and overlooked man of science.

Customer Reviews


David A. West (1933-2015) was associate professor emeritus of biological sciences at Virginia Tech, USA and the author of Fritz Müller: A Naturalist in Brazil.

Biography / Memoir Coming Soon
By: David A West(Author), Richard M Burian(Foreword By), Vassiliki Betty Smocovitis(Foreword By)
317 pages, 32 b/w illustrations
Media reviews

"A valuable introduction to Fritz Müller, a colorful and important figure in the story of natural history, but someone who has been seriously neglected by historians of science. This volume helps us gain a better understanding not only of Müller's many contributions but also of the development of Darwin's ideas about species diversity."
– Vassiliki Betty Smocovitis, author of Unifying Biology

"Impeccable research on practically every available facet of Müller's life. Relevant for both historians of science and scientists alike."
– Adriana Novoa, coauthor of From Man to Ape: Darwinism in Argentina, 1870-1920

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