Darwin-L Message Log 3:94 (November 1993)

Academic Discussion on the History and Theory of the Historical Sciences

This is one message from the Archives of Darwin-L (1993–1997), a professional discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences.

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<3:94>From mayerg@cs.uwp.edu  Tue Nov 23 16:03:15 1993

Date: Tue, 23 Nov 1993 16:00:10 -0600 (CST)
From: Gregory Mayer <mayerg@cs.uwp.edu>
Subject: Books about Darwin
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

What follows is by no means a bibliography; it is merely a
selection of the books readily at hand to me that might get Ricardo Nassif
started on the history of evolutionary thought.  It lacks some very
important works: the _Life and Letters_, the new edition of the
correspondence from Cambridge, de Beer's biography, etc., etc.  Others may
be stimulated to add their favorites.

Appleman, P., ed. 1970. Darwin. Norton, New York.
   A "Norton Critical Edition", containing extracts from Darwin's works plus
a collection of comtemporary and modern commentary.

Brackman, A.C. 1980. A Delicate Arrangement. Times Books, New York.
   About Darwin and Wallace's joint announcement of natural selection; the
author feels Wallace was wronged.  Wallace didn't feel that way, nor do most
historians.  I believe David Kohn wrote a pretty damning review.  Out of

Bowler, P.J. 1989. Evolution, the History of an Idea. 2nd ed. UC Press,
   A widely regarded overview beginning well before Darwin, and up to the
present day.

Barlow, N., ed. 1967. Darwin and Henslow. The Growth of an Idea. John
Murray, London.
   Letters 1831-1860.

Darwin, C. 1958. The Autobiography of Charles Darwin. Norton, New York.
   This is the unexpurgated version.

Darwin, C. 1980. Metaphysics, Materialism, and the Evolution of Mind. Univ.
of Chicago Press, Chicago.
   Notebooks, etc. transcribed and annotated by P.H. Barrett; see also
Gruber, below.

Desmond, A. and J. Moore. 1991. Darwin. Warner Books, New York.
   This much praised work has previously received criticism on our list for
being speculative and overly concerned with social and political issues.  I
have found it to be pretty standard, actually.  I was much amused by a
review (in _Isis_?) which thought the book paid insufficient attention to
sexual matters.

Eiseley, L. 1958. Darwin's Century: Evolution and the Men Who Discovered It.
Doubleday, New York.
   "popular and rather opinionated" fide Bowler (1989:14).

Farrington, B. 1966. What Darwin Really Said. Schocken Books, New York.
   A brief book by a classicist who didn't think much of Darwin. A typical
marginal annotation from my copy: "Rubbish!!"  Out of print.

Ghiselin, M. 1969. The Triumph of the Darwinian Method. UC Press, Berkeley.
   Argues for the importance of hypothetico-deductive methodology in
Darwin's work, and for the essential unity of its themes. Reissued by
University of Chicago I believe.

Gillespie, N.C. 1979. Charles Darwin and the Problem of Creation. Univ. of
Chicago Press, Chicago.
   I haven't read it.

Greene, J.C. 1959. The Death of Adam. Iowa State Univ. Press, Ames, Iowa.
   "remains one of the most scholarly interpretations of the [Darwinian]
revolution" fide Bowler (1989).  Later reissued by New American Library, New
York; may now be out of print.

Greene, J.C. 1981. Science, Ideology, and World View. UC Press, Berkeley.
   A collection of Greene's essays.  Not strictly about Darwin, but close
enough to fit in this list.  Greene seems to think Spencer was more
thoroughgoingly Darwinistic than Darwin.

Gruber, H.E. 1981. Darwin on Man. 2nd ed. Univ. of Chicago Press, Chicago.
   Subtitled "A psychological study of scientific creativity".  First
edition was published as a single volume with Darwin (1980) in 1974.

Howard, J. 1982. Darwin. Hill and Wang, New York.
   Very brief, mostly about Darwin's work, rather than life. Out of print.

Kohn, D., ed. 1985. The Darwinian Heritage. Princeton Univ. Press,
Princeton, N.J.
   A very large collection of essays at a reasonable price.

Mayr, E. 1982. The Growth of Biological Thought. Harvard Univ. Press,
Cambridge, Mass.
   A large book by one of the more important evolutionary biologists of this
century, covering much the same ground as Bowler, but including more on
systematics (to which Darwin made important contributions) and genetics (to
which he didn't).

Mayr, E. 1991. One Long Argument: Charles Darwin and the Genesis of Modern
Evolutionary Thought. Harvard Univ. Press, Cambridge, Mass.
   Reworked versions of some of Mayr's previous essays joined into a single
work, with some new chapters.

Ruse, M. 1979. The Darwinian Revolution: Science Red in Tooth and Claw.
Univ. of Chicago Press, Chicago.
   A widely regarded overview dealing with 19th century events.

Ruse, M. 1982. Darwinism Defended. Addison-Wesley, Reading, Mass.
   The first two chapters are a nice 60 page overview of Darwin's life
and work, but most of the book is about modern scientific and political

Gregory C. Mayer

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