From the Publisher
“... an outstanding overview of Wallace’s intellectual world.”—British Journal for the History of Science
“... this collection of [Wallace’s] writing, each section introduced by relevant remarks on Wallace’s thinking at the time, is enthralling.”—New Scientist
“Berry’s anthology of the most important writings ... should be read to appreciate fully the sophistication of Wallace’s biological thought.”—Times Literary Supplement
“Berry’s editorial commentary is succinct, accurate, and generally right to the point, and he has chosen his selections wisely, giving his readers a splendid, if somewhat teasing glimpse of Wallace’s genius.”—Choice Outstanding Academic Title of 2002
“In Infinite Tropics, Andrew Berry does a wonderful job of excerpting Wallace’s many writings ... Berry tells this story, ‘one of the most celebrated in the history of science’, beautifully”—Daily Telegraph
This anthology of excerpts from the basic writings of Alfred Russel Wallace (l823-l913) introduces the reader to his pioneering explorations in natural science and his critical insights into social issues. He is best remembered for codiscovering, independently of Charles Darwin, the mechanism of natural selection to explain the process of organic evolution. Yet as an extensive traveler, astute observer, and avid collector, Wallace also made valuable contributions to entomology, ornithology, biogeography, and anthropology particularly as a result of his long-term research in the Amazon and Malaysia. He focused on insect camouflage and mimicry (especially in butterflies) and described numerous life forms, from the wild orangutan to the birds of paradise. However, after embracing both evolutionary teleology and theistic spiritualism, Wallace claimed that the human species is unique in this dynamic universe. Although he remains in Darwin's shadow, Wallace was an important naturalist during the Victorian age. Edited by Berry, a research associate at Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology, this excellent book on Wallace's life and thought is recommended for large academic and public libraries. [Coming in September from Oxford University Press is Michael Shermer's In Darwin's Shadow: The Life and Science of Alfred Russel Wallace. Ed.] H. James Birx, Canisius Coll., Buffalo, NY Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.