History of Science

Darwin's Disciple

by Joel S. Schwartz
Philadelphia (PA): Lightning Rod Press / American Philosophical Society, 2010. 806 pages.

Darwin’s Disciple tells the story of Darwin’s younger colleague George John Romanes through his correspondence, annotated by Joel S. Schwartz. “While the collection is not exhaustive—though the full Darwin/Romanes correspondence is included—Schwartz has succeeded in his task,” writes reviewer John M. Lynch.

The Cambridge Companion to Darwin, second edition

edited by M. J. S. Hodge and Gregory Radick
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009. 548 pages.

Reviewer John S. Wilkins writes, “As the sesquicentenary of Darwin’s Origin of Species in 2009 showed, there is an enormous amount of material one might have to become familiar with if one wants to have an informed view of Darwin, and so a standard reference book is required. This is that book — the second edition of the volume, updated somewhat and with new essays.

Defining Darwin

by Michael Ruse
Amherst (NY): Prometheus Books, 2009. 271 pages.

According to reviewer Brian Regal, “Defining Darwin is another in a long line of works geared towards general audiences to help them understand the various complex issues involved in evolutionary studies and history.

Did Darwin Write the Origin Backwards?

by Elliott Sober
Amherst (NY): Prometheus Books, 2011. 225 pages.

Elliott Sober’s Did Darwin Write the Origin>cite> Backwards? contains five chapters, reviewer Doren Recker explains: “on: (1) the

Naming Nature: The Clash between Instinct and Science

by Carol Kaesuk Yoon
New York: WW Norton, 2009. 299 pages

Reviewer Andrew J. Petto writes, “the story of the history and diversity of life is a saga of descent from shared ancestral populations. Therefore, our way of naming organisms ought to reflect those biologic relationships.

Transformations of Lamarckism

edited by Snait B. Gissis and Eva Jablonka
Cambridge (MA): MIT Press, 2011. 432 pages.

“The central message of the volume is that a Lamarckian perspective should be taken into account in biology in order to produce a new evolutionary synthesis that would describe and explain the biological world better than the classical theory of evolution,” writes reviewer Francesca Merlin.

The Lucy Man: The Scientist Who Found the Most Famous Fossil Ever!

by C. A. P. Saucier
Amherst (NY): Prometheus Books, 2011. 136 pages.

Reviewer Tom Wanamaker writes, “Don Johanson is a major figure in the field of science and this book should give anyone, expert or beginner, a better appreciation of the man and his work.

Emma Darwin: A Victorian Life

by James D. Loy and Kent M. Loy
Gainesville (FL): University Press of Florida, 2010. 437 pages.

“This most recent biography of Emma Darwin is an old-fashioned ‘life’ in the best Victorian sense, both an uplifting portrait of Emma’s qualities and an entertaining window into a world gone by,” write reviewers Stanley A Rice and Lisette Rice. “Emma Darwin was herself interesting and admirable, not just as the wife of Charles Darwin.

The Price of Altruism: George Price and the Search for the Origins of Kindness

by Oren Harman
New York: WW Norton, 2010. 464 pages.

“Anyone interested in evolutionary biology or the history of science will enjoy and appreciate this book,” writes reviewer Stephen Pruett-Jones, which provides a chronological treatment of the history of scientific thought about altruism and its evolution, “focusing primarily on George Price, but also detailing the lives and contributions of the other scientists contributing to the debate and theory about altruism.

The Science and Humanism of Stephen Jay Gould

by Richard York and Brett Clark
New York: Monthly Review Press, 2011. 223 pages.

Reviewer David F. Prindle praises York and Clark’s “cogent summaries of concepts and issues that must be understood if Gould’s thought is to be understood and appreciated,” but is in the end disappointed by their uncritical across-the-board agreement with Gould’s political and scientific views, writing, “the authors give us, not a judicious account of politics and science, but a propaganda tract written in elevated language. ...