Darwin: The Life of a Tormented Evolutionist available in Paperback
"Unquestionably the finest [biography] ever written about Darwin. . . . Darwin has now become, and properly, the quintessentially socially embedded scientist. Desmond and Moore are brilliant in their pursuit of this truly unifying theme."Stephen Jay Gould
Hailed as the definitive biography, this monumental work explains the character and paradoxes of Charles Darwin and opens up the full panorama of Victorian science, theology, and mores. The authors bring to life Darwin's reckless student days in Cambridge, his epic five-year voyage on the Beagle, and his grueling struggle to develop his theory of evolution.
Adrian Desmond and James Moore's gripping narrative reveals the great personal cost to Darwin of pursuing inflammatory truthstelling the whole story of how he came to his epoch-making conclusions.
|Publisher:||Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||6.20(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.60(d)|
About the Author
Adrian Desmond is an Honorary Research Fellow in the Biology Department at University College London. He has written numerous books on evolution and Victorian science.
James Moore is a reader in history of science and technology at the Open University.
What People are Saying About This
Unquestionably the finest [biography] ever written about Darwin. . . . Darwin has now become, and properly, the quintessentially socially embedded scientist. Desmond and Moore are brilliant in their pursuit of this truly unifying theme.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
There's a tongue-in-cheek quality to this biography that leaves you rather uncertain as to what the authors really thought of Darwin. The writing style is breezy, postmodern, very much a look back at Darwin from the 21st century point of view. That makes this chunky book quite easy to read, but it did grate on me sometimes. I did like the way in which this book placed Darwin's life at the center of so many others, and showed the links between his thinking and that of his contemporaries. He comes across as a man always anxious to preserve the status quo and avoid the extreme views both of the religious conservatives and of the atheist scientists. And yet his work was the catalyst for a total upheaval in the way people thought; Darwin was right at the center of the late nineteenth century shift towards secularism that is still playing out today. By the end of his life he was practically regarded as a saint by many, as a devil by others. But the picture I'm left with is of a sickly, fussy, obsessive worker who, after the Beagle voyage that made his name, was happiest in his comfortable yet modest home with his experiments, his devoted wife, and his children.
If you are looking for a book encompassing the complete Charles Darwin then look no further. This one has it all. From his birth to his interment at Westminster Abbey after his death, this biography illuminates all of who Darwin was as a man as well as a scientist. This book is extraordinarily comprehensive as well as being highly readable. After reading this I felt I truly understood who Charles Darwin really was. So much so that I got a little teary eyed at the end when it described his death. This biography contains many many illustrations and photos of Darwin and his friends and family. We all know what Darwin looks like but now you can put a face to the whole Darwin clan. At nearly 700 pages this book is a doozy, but entirely worth the time expended.