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The Invention Of Nature : Alexander Von Humboldt's New World (2015, original release: 2015)

Call Number 509.2/WULF,A

(0 holds on 1 copy)
LocationCall NumberItem Status
Adult Nonfiction509.2/WULF,AAvailable
Published: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2015 ©2015
Edition:  First American edition
Description:  xix, 473 pages : illustrations (some color), maps (some color) ; 25 cm
ISBN/ISSN: 9780385350662, 038535066X, 9780385350662,
Language:  English


A portrait of the German naturalist reveals his ongoing influence on humanity's relationship with the natural world today, discussing such topics as his views on climate change, conservation, and nature as a resource for all life

Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) was an intrepid explorer and the most famous scientist of his age. In North America, his name still graces counties, towns, a river, parks, bays, lakes, and mountains. His restless life was packed with adventure and discovery, whether he was climbing volcanoes, racing through Siberia, or translating his research into bestselling publications that changed science. Among Humboldt's most revolutionary ideas was a radical vision of nature as a complex and interconnected global force that does not exist for the use of humankind alone. Now Andrea Wulf brings the man and his achievements back into focus: his daring expeditions and investigation of wild environments around the world and his discoveries of similarities between climate and vegetation zones on different continents. She also discusses his prediction of human-induced climate change, his remarkable ability to fashion poetic narrative out of scientific observation, and his relationships with iconic figures such as Simón Bolívar and Thomas Jefferson. Wulf examines how Humboldt's writings inspired other naturalists and poets such as Darwin, Wordsworth, and Goethe, and she makes the case that it was Humboldt's influence that led John Muir to his ideas of natural preservation and that shaped Thoreau's Walden. Wulf shows how Humboldt created our understanding of the natural world, and champions a renewed interest in this vital player in environmental history and science.--Adapted from book jacket

Part I. Departure : emerging ideas. Beginnings ; Imagination and nature : Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Humboldt ; In search of a destination -- Part II. Arrival : collecting ideas. South America ; The llanos and the Orinoco ; Across the Andes ; Chimborazo ; Politics and nature : Thomas Jefferson and Humboldt -- Part III. Return : sorting Ideas. Europe ; Berlin ; Paris ; Revolutions and nature : Simón Bolívar and Humboldt ; London ; Going in circles : maladie centrifuge -- Part IV. Influence : spreading ideas. Return to Berlin ; Russia ; Evolution and nature : Charles Darwin and Humboldt ; Humboldt's Cosmos ; Poetry, science and nature : Henry David Thoreau and Humboldt -- Part V. New worlds : evolving ideas. The greatest man since the deluge ; Man and nature : George Perkins Marsh and Humboldt ; Art, ecology and nature : Ernst Haeckel and Humboldt ; Preservation and nature : John Muir and Humboldt

Related Searches:
Humboldt, Alexander von, -- 1769-1859.
Scientists -- Biography. -- Germany
Naturalists -- Biography. -- Germany
Added--201512 anf

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