The Story of Life

by Richard Southwood
New York: Oxford University Press, 2004. 272 pages.

The Story of Life, based on the eminent zoologist Richard Southwood's lectures to first-year students at Oxford University, manages to review the history of life, from its earliest beginnings to the present day — and it even offers a glimpse into the future. It is generously illustrated with line drawings and maps, too! "This remarkable book succeeds, within less than 300 pages, in summarizing everything essential about all living creatures for more than three billion years. If you are looking for one convenient, reliable, highly readable reference to replace your whole library, this is it," writes Jared Diamond.