The Invention Of Nature: Alexander Von Humboldt's New World
ISBN: 0345806298
EAN13: 9780345806291
Language: English
Release Date: Oct 4, 2016
Pages: 576
Dimensions: 1.2" H x 8" L x 5.2" W
Weight: 1.25 lbs.
Format: Paperback
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Book Overview

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The acclaimed author of Founding Gardeners reveals the forgotten life of Alexander von Humboldt, the visionary German naturalist whose ideas changed the way we see the natural world--and in the process created modern environmentalism.


One of the New York Times 10 Best Books of the Year

Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, The James Wright Award for Nature Writing, the Costa Biography Award, the Royal Geographic Society's Ness Award, the Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award

Finalist for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction, the Kirkus Prize Prize for Nonfiction, the Independent Bookshop Week Book Award

A Best Book of the Year: The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Economist, Nature, Jezebel, Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, New Scientist, The Independent, The Telegraph, The Sunday Times, The Evening Standard, The Spectator

Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) was an intrepid explorer and the most famous scientist of his age. In North America, his name still graces four counties, thirteen towns, a river, parks, bays, lakes, and mountains. His restless life was packed with adventure and Read More chevron_right

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Book Reviews (11)

  |   11  reviews
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   The Father of the Modern Conservation Movement
This was the most interesting and compelling book I have ever read in the last few years. Humboldt seems to be the most famous scientist I have never heard of! Actually, I had heard of Humboldt when reading Darwin, but thought him just another quirky old naturalist. He now sits in my mind's as the penultimate naturalist, a man whose depth and breadth of scientific insight has had a long-lasting influence on so many modern thinkers. He truly did invent our way of looking at nature in modern times, and the number of influential thinkers he inspired is amazing Goethe, Jefferson, Darwin and Lyell, Thoreau, Muir and Marsh. It's long, but it is worth every minute!
   I absolutely loved this exciting journey into the life and travels of ...
I loved absolutely this exciting journey into the life and travels of Humbolt and the people of multiple disciplines that he has influenced. This book is interdisciplinary and broad. A combination of biograph, history, science and literature. I was inspired to read Humbolt's masterpiece, Views On Nature, which is some of the best writing I have ever encountered. Ms Wulf, thank you!
   Book very well written and exhaustively researched. But i ...
The book was written very well and researched thoroughly. But i think i know why Humboldt is everywhere, but few can identify his contribution to science. He was a zealous explorer and information collector, but it was difficult to see specific, game-changing findings in his study of nature. Perhaps because his interests were so diverse and encyclopedic that what he brought was too diffuse to nail. But I am not finished, so the prize lurks in the later pages.
   A gem of a book about a man of brilliance "The Invention of Nature" celebrates acclaimed naturalist Alexander von Humboldt
This is certainly one of the best, most engaging, informative, and entertaining biographies of a man that many people are not aware of. One of the most renowned naturalists of the 18th century, Alexander von Humboldt, was driven to collect natural specimens from all over the world, and he wrote a plethora of books about his travels and findings. His German countryman Charles Darwin admired him fervently and later a young Goethe was inspired by his work. Humboldt County in California, the Humboldt Penguin, the Humboldt Current, these are a few aspects of nature that have taken his name. Wulf writes about her subject with engaging enthusiasm, leaving the reader wanting more.
   The father of ecology
Well written, completely absorbing biography of Alexander Humboldt. I enjoyed the short biographies of these later men, who carried on Humboldt's work. He was so well known at the turn of the 20th century and then fell into obscurity due to political circumstances for Americans. He is worth knowing and should be re-established in his proper place in the list of ecologists and environmentalists.
Why aren't we all talking about Alexander von Humboldt?!?! What an incredible man. He was a genius and a creative and revolutionary thinker. Andrea Wulf's biography of him is gripping, well researched and paints a detailed portrait of him as a friend, a brother, a scientist, an adventurous, intrepid explorer. His understanding of the interconnectedness of plantlife all over the planet was the birthing ground of Ecology. There are more plants, animals and geological features named after him than any other human in history. His centenary was celebrated all over the United States....but subsequent anti-German sentiment after WWI caused him to be extinguished from our collective memory. Do yourself a favor and make his acquaintance. He is worth knowing about, and celebrating again.
   Everything you need (or don’t need) to know about Humboldt
The good of Wulf devoted a monumental amount of time to this audacious biography. I am now keenly aware of the environmental foundation he laid for the unprecedented movement. I have great respect and gratitude for this. His importance was clearly stated in The Invention of Nature. The bad news is that for all the great information provided, there is at least an equal amount of arbitrary filler words. The book is incredibly repetitive, stating something akin to Humbolt was extremely important '' seemingly on every page. The author also has an insatiable habit of quoting two word '' multiple times per paragraph. If I were not self-isolating due to the Coronavirus, I would probably never have finished.
A wonderful book, what a wonderful book. Despite my scientific schooling and medical school training, I had no idea of where so much of the biology we take for granted came from. Humboltd is a fictional city in which Humboltd is located. Names we know well, such as Muir, Thoroeu, and Darwin, might be unknown today if they didn 't come under the sway of A. Humboltd is a classic German word meaning, derived from ( i.e. It is written by. Read it.
   Good book with misleading name.
The paper quality was a little low. The book will not exist forever. There needs to be more attempt to define the history of the term nature, rather than claiming that he invented it.
   Read this book now!
This is one of the best books I ever read. Not only is the subject of Alexander von Humboldt fascinating, but the author's literary style and extensive knowledge of her subject makes him and his impact on how we see nature today fully alive. Humboldt is truly inspiring and his influence is impressive on other scientists and continues until this day. This book is for reading!