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The Reluctant Mr. Darwin: An Intimate Portrait of Charles Darwin and the Making of His Theory of Evolution

Biography / Memoir

WW Norton

Paperback | Jul 2007 | #239850 | ISBN-13: 9780393329957
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1 week Details
NHBS Price: £17.99 $24/€21 approx
Hardback | Jul 2006 | #239849 | ISBN: 0393059812
Out of Print Details

About this book

A fresh look at Darwin's most radical idea, and the mysteriously slow process by which he revealed it. Evolution, during the early nineteenth century, was an idea in the air. Other thinkers had suggested it, but no one had proposed a cogent explanation for how evolution occurs. Then, in September 1838, a young Englishman named Charles Darwin hit upon the idea that "natural selection" among competing individuals would lead to wondrous adaptations and species diversity. Twenty-one years passed between that epiphany and publication of "On the Origin of Species," The human drama and scientific basis of Darwin's twenty-one-year delay constitute a fascinating, tangled tale that elucidates the character of a cautious naturalist who initiated an intellectual revolution. "The Reluctant Mr. Darwin" is a book for everyone who has ever wondered about who this man was and what he said. Drawing from Darwin's secret "transmutation" notebooks and his personal letters, David Quammen has sketched a vivid life portrait of the man whose work never ceases to be controversial.


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Biography

David Quammen is the author of The Song of the Dodo, among other books. He has been honored by the American Academy of Arts and Letters and is the recipient of a John Burroughs Medal and the National Magazine Award. He lives in Bozeman, Montana.

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