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The Annotated Origin

annotated by James T. Costa
Cambridge (MA): Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2009. 576 pages.

According to reviewer Allen D. MacNeill, “The introduction to The Annotated Origin alone is worth the price of the book” for its biography of Darwin and its discussion of Darwin’s rush to publish in 1859. But “Costa then analyzes and annotates virtually every page of the Origin,” with annotations that “run the gamut from personal anecdotes to hard-science references” and “provide a detailed framework for Darwin’s argument, showing how the various explanations and examples are marshaled in such a way as to support Darwin’s underlying argument for ‘descent with modification by means of natural selection’.” MacNeill concludes, “I recommend it with the highest possible praise.”