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Radical by nature : the revolutionary life of Alfred Russel Wallace

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"Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913) was perhaps the most famous naturalist in the world by the end of his life-- explorer extraordinaire, co-discoverer with Darwin of the principle of natural selection, collector of thousands of species new to science, and best-selling author. Wallace had fallen into obscurity in the 20th century, largely eclipsed by Darwin, but the 2013 centennial of his death led to renewed interest and Wallace is likely to garner attention again in 2023 with the bicentennial of his birth. Against this backdrop, James Costa is proposing a new biography of Wallace. The chapters are arranged chronologically, treating the arc of Wallace's life in a narrative that interweaves key events with the development of Wallace's thought. He devote extra space to the 8-year Malay Archipelago odyssey as the adventure that Wallace himself declared the "central and controlling incident" of his life and became foundational to modern evolution and biogeography. Costa of course discusses Wallace's famous corresondence with Darwin, and how Wallace graciously applauded Darwin's achievement, and became of his closest friends and defenders. In later years, Wallace became associated with "the spiritualist movement" and taking up a range of social causes including championing better working conditions, land preservation, reform in public education, and legal rights for women. Ultimately, Costa argues that the key to understanding Wallace is to realize that he was singularly open to novel, even radical, ideas in scientific and social realms"--
"A major new biography of the brilliant naturalist, traveler, humanitarian, and co-discoverer of natural selectionAlfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913) was perhaps the most famed naturalist of the Victorian age. His expeditions to remote Amazonia and southeast Asia were the stuff of legend. A collector of thousands of species new to science, he shared in the discovery of natural selection and founded the discipline of evolutionary biogeography.Radical by Nature tells the story of Wallace's epic life and achievements, from his stellar rise from humble origins, to his complicated friendship with Charles Darwin and the leading scientific lights of Britain, to his devotion to social causes and movements that threatened to alienate him from scientific society.James Costa draws on letters, notebooks, and journals to provide a multifaceted account of a revolutionary life in science as well as Wallace's family life. He shows how the self-taught Wallace doggedly pursued bold, even radical ideas that caused a seismic shift in the natural sciences, but how he also courted controversy with nonscientific pursuits such as spiritualism and socialism. Costa describes Wallace's courageous social advocacy of women's rights, labor reform, and other important issues. He also sheds light on Wallace's complex relationship with Darwin, describing how Wallace graciously applauded his friend and rival, becoming one of his most ardent defenders.Weaving a revelatory narrative with the latest scholarship, Radical by Nature paints a mesmerizing portrait of a multifaceted thinker driven by a singular passion for science, a commitment to social justice, and a lifelong sense of wonder"--

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Avon Free Library 508.092 COS (Text)
Adult Nonfiction
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