ECU Libraries Catalog

The invention of nature : Alexander von Humboldt's new world / by Andrea Wulf.

Author/creator Wulf, Andrea
Format Book and Print
EditionFirst American edition.
Publication Info New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2015.
Descriptionxix, 473 pages : illustrations (some color), maps ; 25 cm
Contents Prologue -- 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 -- Epilogue.
Abstract 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.
Abstract 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.
General note"THIS IS A BORZOI BOOK"--Title page verso.
Bibliography noteIncludes bibliographical references and index.
LCCN 2015017505
ISBN9780385350662 (hardcover)
ISBN038535066X (hardcover)
ISBN9780345806291 (trade paperback)
ISBN0345806298 (trade paperback)
Standard identifier# 40025220956

Available Items

Library Location Call Number Status Item Actions
Joyner General Stacks Q143 .H9 W85 2015 ✔ Available Place Hold

Related Titles