Recent & Forthcoming Darwin Books

The Cambridge Companion to Darwin (2nd ed.) edited by Jonathan Hodge and Gregory Radick:

Charles Darwin remains the subject of continuing energetic debate in the fields of philosophy, history of science, biology and history of ideas. This volume offers a collection of newly commissioned essays from experts in their fields, and will provide a student readership with an accessible guide through Darwin’s thought.

What Darwin Saw: The Journey That Changed the World by Rosalyn Schanzer:

In 1831 a 22-year-old naturalist named Charles Darwin stepped aboard the HMS Beagle as a traveling companion of an equally youthful sea captain called Robert FitzRoy. The Beagle’s round-the-world surveying journey lasted five long years on the high seas. The young Darwin noticed everything, and proved himself an avid and detailed chronicler of daily events on the Beagle and onshore. What Darwin Saw takes young readers back to the pages of his journals as they travel alongside Darwin and read his lively and awestruck words about the wonders of the world. We follow Darwin’s voyage, looking over his shoulder as he explores new lands, asks questions about the natural world, and draws groundbreaking conclusions. We walk in his footsteps, collecting animals and fossils, experiencing earthquakes and volcanoes, and meeting people of many cultures and languages. We examine his opinions on life in all its forms. We consider the thoughts of this remarkable scientist, who poured his observations and research into his expansive theories about life on Earth. In this exciting and educational account, Charles Darwin comes alive as an inspirational model for kids who think and question the world around them.

What Mr Darwin Saw by Mick Manning and Brita Granstrom:

In 1831, at only 22 years old, Darwin is offered the position of Naturalist on HMS Beagle’s world voyage. His uncle, Josiah Wedgwood, helps him persuade his father. In those days such a voyage was as unthinkable as a modern day voyage into outer space. Darwin is set to become a parson but returns after 5 years an inspired genius. This book follows the journey of HMS Beagle, with topics such as life on-board the ship for Darwin, the captain, crew and the expedition’s artist. It will follow Darwin as he visits various countries culminating in Galapagos. It explains in simple terms Darwin’s inspired theory of evolution, while also showing something of the adventures and escapades he had during the voyage.

99% Ape: How Evolution Adds Up edited by Jonathan Silvertown:

We share 99% of our genes with apes and even 66% with a tasty grape. In 99% Ape leading experts provide a clear and accessible guide to arguably the best idea that anyone has ever had – evolution by natural selection. Even today, the only mechanism we know of that can produce adaptation is Darwin’s revolutionary theory. This fascinating book introduces the fundamental theories of evolution and discusses advances in our understanding since Darwin’s discovery. It explores our own origins and the genealogy of all living things, as well highlighting the key turning points throughout history. Additional chapters bring Darwin’s theory up to date covering: species diversity including the classic tale of Darwin’s finches; evolutionary psychology and the human mind; the question of morality; and the problem with ‘intelligent design’. With historical vignettes of Darwin’s own life and work throughout, 99% Ape is a comprehensive introduction to evolution and the man who discovered how it works.

Darwin’s Universe: Evolution from A to Z by Richard Milner:

This alphabetically arranged reference, an immensely entertaining browser’s delight, offers a dazzling overview of the life and thought of Charles Darwin and his incredibly wide sphere of influence. Abundantly illustrated and thoroughly cross-referenced, authoritative and up to date, it illuminates how the ideas of evolutionary biology have leapt the boundaries of science to influence philosophy, law, religion, literature, cinema, art, and popular culture. Darwin’s Universe, a thoroughly revised and updated successor to Richard Milner’s acclaimed Encyclopedia of Evolution, now contains more than 100 new essays, including entries on animal behavior–Alex the parrot, Kanzi the bonobo, Digit the gorilla–on women in science–Mary Anning, Rosalind Franklin–and on the latest finds of human fossils. A veritable museum of natural history, it also contains many original discoveries brought to light by Milner’s historical sleuthing. Packed with almost 500 rare illustrations, including several hundred new ones, this Darwin Bicentennial edition will appeal to a wide audience of readers.

Galapagos at the Crossroads Pirates, Biologists, Tourists, and Creationists Battle for Darwin’s Cradle of Evolution by Carol Ann Bassett:

For millions, the Galapagos represent nature at its most unspoiled, an inviolate place famed for its rare flora and fauna. But soon today’s 30,000 human residents will surpass 50,000, a huge problem since almost all of the land is national park. Add invasive species, floods of tourists, and unresolved conflicts between Ecuadorian laws and local concerns: It’s easy to see why the Galapagos were recently added to UNESCO’s World Heritage in Danger list. Each chapter in this provocative, perceptive book focuses on a specific person or group endeavoring either to exploit or protect the Galapagos’ natural resources—from modern-day pirates who poach endangered marine species to environmental activists who patrol protected waters to catch them red-handed. The story Bassett tells explores the inevitable clash in values between these often quirky, always dedicated individuals and their activities. Bassett presents a perspective as readable as it is sensible. Told with wit, passion, and grace, the Galapagos story serves as a microcosm for Earth itself, a perfect example of how an environment can be destroyed.

Darwin’s Lost World: The Early History of Life on Earth by Martin Brasier:

Darwin made a powerful argument for evolution in the Origin of Species, based on all the evidence available to him. But a few things puzzled him. One was how inheritance works – he did not know about genes. This book concerns another of Darwin’s Dilemmas, and the efforts of modern palaeontologists to solve it. What puzzled Darwin is that the most very ancient rocks, before the Cambrian, seemed to be barren, when he would expect them to be teeming with life. Darwin speculated that this was probably because the fossils had not been found yet. Decades of work by modern palaeontologists have indeed brought us amazing fossils from far beyond the Cambrian, from the depths of the Precambrian, so life was certainly around. Yet the fossils are enigmatic, and something does seem to happen around the Cambrian to speed up evolution drastically and produce many of the early forms of animals we know today. In this book, Martin Brasier, a leading palaeontologist working on early life, takes us into the deep, dark ages of the Precambrian to explore Darwin’s Lost World. Decoding the evidence in these ancient rocks, piecing together the puzzle of what happened over 540 million years ago to drive what is known as the Cambrian Explosion, is very difficult. The world was vastly different then from the one we know now, and we are in terrain with few familiar landmarks. Brasier is a master storyteller, and combines the account of what we now know of the strange creatures of these ancient times with engaging and amusing anecdotes from his expeditions to Siberia, Outer Mongolia, Barbuda, and other places, giving a vivid impression of the people, places, and challenges involved in such work. He ends by presenting his own take on the Cambrian Explosion, based on the picture emerging from this very active field of research. A vital clue involves worms – burrowing worms are one of the key signs of the start of the Cambrian. This is fitting: Darwin was inordinately fond of worms.

A Third Window: Natural Life beyond Newton and Darwin by Robert W. Ulanowicz:

I was not able to find any information on this one.

Darwin by Alice B. McGinty and Mary Azarian:

Filled with the fascinating words of Charles Darwin—designed as handwritten entries—this picture book biography reveals the assembling of a profound idea: the survival of the fittest. Two hundred years after his birth, 150 years after the publication of his ORIGIN OF SPECIES, this thought-provoking, splendidly ilustrated account invites us into the private thoughts, hopes and fears of a soul who forever changed the way we see the world.

Darwin: A Life in Poems by Ruth Padel:

I was not able to find any information on this one.

A Natural Calling: Life, Letters and Diaries of Charles Darwin and William Darwin Fox by Anthony W. D. Larkum:

This book provides new factual material on Charles Darwin, following many years of research into Darwin’s relationship to his cousin William Darwin Fox. It is a biographical and historical account of the letters exchanged by these two men and the diaries of W D Fox have never been accessed before. The relationship between Darwin and Fox has been acknowledged as a major biographical source on Darwin. Here the life of Fox is carefully pieced together and compared and contrasted with that of Darwin. Since Darwin and Fox were undergraduates together at Christ’s College, Cambridge, and corresponded with each other for the rest of their lives, dying within two years of each other, the diaries allow us a vivid insight into the unique relationship of these two naturalists and family friends. Both were studying to be clergymen of the Church of England, when Darwin was offered a place on The Beagle. Thereafter their lives diverged, as Fox became the country parson that Darwin might have been. Never the less, Fox supplied many facts to Darwin, which were used in the “Origin of Species” and later books. The views and opinions exchanged between these two men greatly enlarge our appreciation of the life and contribution of Charles Darwin at a profoundly personal level.

Sparks of Life: Darwinism and the Victorian Debates over Spontaneous Generation by James E. Strick:

How, asks James E. Strick, could spontaneous generation–the idea that living things can suddenly arise from nonliving materials–come to take root for a time (even a brief one) in so thoroughly unsuitable a field as British natural theology? No less an authority than Aristotle claimed that cases of spontaneous generation were to be observed in nature, and the idea held sway for centuries. Beginning around the time of the Scientific Revolution, however, the doctrine was increasingly challenged; attempts to prove or disprove it led to important breakthroughs in experimental design and laboratory techniques, most notably sterilization methods, that became the cornerstones of modern microbiology and sped the ascendancy of the germ theory of disease. The Victorian debates, Strick shows, were entwined with the public controversy over Darwin’s theory of evolution. While other histories of the debates between 1860 and 1880 have focused largely on the experiments of John Tyndall, Henry Charlton Bastian, and others, Sparks of Life emphasizes previously understudied changes in the theories that underlay the debates. Strick argues that the disputes cannot be understood without full knowledge of the factional infighting among Darwinians themselves, as they struggled to create a socially and scientifically viable form of “Darwinian” science. He shows that even the terms of the debate, such as “biogenesis,” usually but incorrectly attributed to Huxley, were intensely contested.

Fire in the Stone: Prehistoric Fiction from Charles Darwin to Jean M. Auel (Early Classics of Science Fiction) by Nicholas Ruddick:

Like books such as Clan of the Cave Bear, prehistoric fiction (“pf”) contains a surprisingly large and diverse group of fictional works by American, British and French writers from the late nineteenth century to the present that describe prehistoric humans. Nicholas Ruddick explains why prehistoric fiction could not come into being until after the acceptance of Darwin’s theories, and argues that many early prehistoric fiction works are still worth reading even though the science upon which they are based is now outdated. Exploring the history and changes within the genre, Ruddick shows how prehistoric fiction can offer fascinating insights into the possible origins of human nature, sexuality, racial distinctions, language, religion, and art. The book includes discussions of well-known prehistoric fiction by H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, Jack London, Alan Golding, Arthur C. Clarke, and Jean Auel and reminds us of some unjustly forgotten landmarks of prehistoric fiction. It also briefly covers such topics as the recent boom in prehistoric romance, notable prehistoric fiction for children and young adults, and the most entertaining movies featuring prehistoric humans. The book features original illustrations that trace the changing popular images of cave men and women over the past 150 years.

Design in the Age of Darwin: From William Morris to Frank Lloyd Wright by Stephen F. Eisenman:

Charles Darwin’s monumental The Origin of Species, published in 1859, forever changed the landscape of natural science. The scientific world of the time had already established the principle of the “intelligent design” of a Creator; the art world had spent centuries devoting itself to the celebration of such a Designer’s creation. But the language of the book, and its implications, were stunning, and the ripples Darwin made when he rocked the boat spread outward: if he could question the Designer, what effect might there be on the art world, and on mortal designers’ renderings of Creation? Published in partnership with the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art to accompany its exhibit, this catalog of essays and more than fifty color exhibition plates invokes these two senses of “intelligent design”—one from the debates between science and theology and the other from the world of art, particularly architecture and the decorative arts. The extensive exhibition includes furniture, metalware, glassware, textiles, and designs on loan from public and private collections in the United States and England. Among the artwork included are items from William Morris, C. R. Ashbee, Christopher Dresser, C. F. A. Voysey, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Louis Sullivan. Through these pieces and the accompanying examinations, the book explores how popular conceptions of the theory of evolution were used or rejected by British and American artists in the years that followed Darwin’s publication.

Evolution vs. Creationism: An Introduction (2nd ed.) by Eugenie C. Scott:

The evolution versus creationism conflict is here to stay. Even after their devastating defeat in the Kitzmiller v. Dover decision, advocates of intelligent design and other forms of creationism continue to revise their strategies for undermining the teaching of evolution-and thus of science in general-in American schools. In this revision of Evolution vs. Creationism, Eugenie Scott, one of the leading proponents of teaching evolution in the schools, describes these ever-changing efforts to undermine science education and shows what students, parents, and teachers should be aware of to help ensure that American science education prepares our students to compete in the 21st century. This second edition of Evolution vs. Creationism will help readers better understand the issues involved in these debates.

PREVIOUSLY: Recent & Forthcoming Darwin Books (June 20, 2008)

PREVIOUSLY: Recent & Forthcoming Darwin Books (May 21, 2008)

2 thoughts on “Recent & Forthcoming Darwin Books

  1. And don’t forget The Rough Guide to Evolution

    Have you ever wondered what Charles Darwin would have had on his iPod? Or exactly how Cartman from South Park fits into the Theory of Evolution? The Rough Guide to Evolution delves into all of this and more, from the life and works of the eminent scientist to the impact of evolutionary thinking on modern times. Read about the evolutionary history of life on Earth, the stark evidence for evolution – including feathered dinosaurs – and how Darwin’s breakthrough is still denied by creationists, who have repeatedly tried to ban evolution from the classroom. Providing a complete and authoritative overview of one of the most controversial topics of our age, the guide is an accessible one-stop-shop for all things Darwinian, while listing resources for those keen to dig deeper into our murky beginnings. Find out exactly how Charles Darwin and The Origin of the Species have affected human life in the 150 years since its publication – everything from Darwinian tourism to the evolution of The Simpsons – as well as some new angles that make The Rough Guide to Evolution a must-have for die-hard Darwin fans.
    Rediscover Darwin’s earth-shattering explanation for the diversity of life with The Rough Guide to Evolution.

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