Fox at the Wood's Edge: A Biography of Loren Eiseley

Overview


Loren Eiseley challenges us to this day with his uneasy interpretation of humanity's place in the world. The haunting melancholy that pervades much of Eiseley's work grew out of a loveless childhood in which he spent much time alone in the natural world. His mother was mentally ill and his father, a singularly unsuccessful traveling salesman, spent little time at home. Perhaps in an effort to compensate, Eiseley drove himself relentlessly to succeed. Gale E. Christian-son's biography offers an unexpurgated ...
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Overview


Loren Eiseley challenges us to this day with his uneasy interpretation of humanity's place in the world. The haunting melancholy that pervades much of Eiseley's work grew out of a loveless childhood in which he spent much time alone in the natural world. His mother was mentally ill and his father, a singularly unsuccessful traveling salesman, spent little time at home. Perhaps in an effort to compensate, Eiseley drove himself relentlessly to succeed. Gale E. Christian-son's biography offers an unexpurgated evaluation of a man whose difficult past helped shape the brilliant essays that continue to dazzle new audiences.
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Editorial Reviews

Kansas City Star

"A well-researched, compassionate volume . . . by far the best biography of Eiseley."—Kansas City Star
New York Times Book Review

"A literate, well-documented chronicle."—New York Times Book Review
Kansas City Star

"A well-researched, compassionate volume . . . by far the best biography of Eiseley."—Kansas City Star

New York Times Book Review

"A literate, well-documented chronicle."—New York Times Book Review

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Eiseley's The Immense Journey , published in 1957, brought recognition to the anthropologist-philosopher whose intense reflections on mankind and the universe imaginatively blend science and the humanities. In this revealing, gracefully written biography, Christianson, history professor at Indiana State University, presents an insecure and diffident man who depended heavily on others for emotional support. Eiseley (1907-1977), who grew up in poverty, a timid loner in an isolated family, spent his undergraduate years at the University of Nebraska and received his doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania. In 1938 he married Mabel Langdon, who provided his life with security, order and stability. Eiseley produced works of synthesis as opposed to original research, and as a writer of natural history and a popularizer of science he is accounted to be unequaled. (Aug.)
Library Journal
In his lifetime (1907-77), Eiseley was better known and more widely acclaimed than any American anthropologist save Margaret Mead. He was at least as ambitious as she, but was plagued by a gnawing self-doubt that never troubled her; as a consequence, Eiseley's work is vastly more compelling, and his reputation continues to grow. This volume, which plods a bit during the early years, soars as it charts the professional career of one who never decided whether he was a scientist or a poet, and whose work demonstrates the irrelevance of the distinction. Eiseley played a large part in establishing anthropology's once-respected place in U.S. intellectual life, and those who wonder why that place is no more would do well to read this book. Christianson is also the author of In the Presence of the Creator: Isaac Newton and His Times (Free Pr., 1984) --Glenn Petersen, Baruch Coll., CUNY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803264106
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2000
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 518
  • Product dimensions: 1.07 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 6.00 (d)

Meet the Author


Gale E. Christianson is a professor of history at Indiana State University. He is the author of numerous biographies, including Edwin Hubble: Mariner of the Nebulae.
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