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Charles Darwin: A Celebration of His Life and Legacy

edited by James T Bradley with Jay Lamar

Montgomery (AL): NewSouth Books, 2013. 253 pages.

The product of Auburn University’s celebration of the Darwin anniversaries in 2009, “this anthology would be of interest to anyone wishing to gain a grasp of the impact of Darwin on the disciplines discussed in these essays, and anyone seeking lucidity regarding the theory of organic evolution,” writes reviewer Carol Anelli, who particularly liked the contributions by Richard Dawkins; Kelly A Schmidtke, John F Magnotti, Anthony A Wright, and Jeff Katz; Anthony Moss; and James T Bradley.

Darwin Deleted: Imagining a World without Darwin

by Peter J Bowler

Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013. 318 pages.

Darwin Deleted, writes reviewer William Kimler, “is a fully fleshed imagining of the type of evolutionary theory that might have developed had Darwin not lived,” which “gives us a brilliant scholar, fully in command of his material, enjoying himself in thinking through what might otherwise have been by constructing a counterfactual history.” “[A]nyone who has read a biography of Darwin or followed the controversies over evolution will find a graceful, cogent discussion full of small gems and larger lessons.”

Looking for a Few Good Males

by Erika Lorraine Milam

Baltimore (MD): The John Hopkins University Press, 2010. 236 pages.

Looking for a Few Good Males provides a historical survey, essentially limited to the twentieth century, of concepts and research concerning biological issues of female reproductive choices,” reviewer Lee Ehrman explains. Especially valuable in her view are “a chronological record of experiments into sexual selection—described, documented, and interpreted as nowhere else. These chapters ... span American, British, and French-American collaborations ... . These unique chapters, utilizing interviews, are valuable, and soon to be irreplaceable.”

Once We All Had Gills

by Rudolf A Raff

Bloomington (IN): Indiana University Press, 2012. 354 pages.

According to reviewer Scott F Gilbert, “it is well worth while to read this book for many reasons. One is to read of a life, a life in science, well lived. But this is not only an autobiography of Rudolf Raff; it is a biography of contemporary embryology and how it, too, has changed during the past half-century. Moreover, this is a book about natural history as path to science.”

The Evolving God

by J David Pleins

New York: Bloomsbury, 2013. 171 pages.

“This is a marvelous book on Darwin and religion,” writes reviewer Keith Stewart Thomson. “It repeats much that is already familiar, including the progressive loss of faith that is laid out in the Autobiography and letters. And it contains much that readers will find new because, if it is true that few people read On the Origin of Species seriously for content, even fewer delve deeply into The Descent of Man.” Thomson praises the “wonderful details” of Pleins’s account.

The Life of David Lack

by Ted Anderson

Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. 256 pages.

Although Ted R Anderson’s “short book is packed with interesting detail,” reviewer Paul Lawrence Farber concludes, “the biography suffers from its close focus on Lack’s writings and personal life at the expense of looking at the broader intellectual and institutional context of his work. Nonetheless, The Life of David Lack is a welcome addition to the literature on the history of evolution, and it will be of interest to all of those who teach about evolution in their classes.”