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Evolution: Making Sense of Life Hardcover – August 17, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-1936221172 ISBN-10: 1936221179 Edition: First Edition, 1st Edition

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 720 pages
  • Publisher: Roberts and Company Publishers; First Edition, 1st Edition edition (August 17, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936221179
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936221172
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 8.8 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #414,766 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

The New York Times Book Review calls Carl Zimmer “as fine a science essayist as we have.” Zimmer is the author of ten books, including Parasite Rex, which the Los Angeles Times called “a book capable of changing how we see the world,” and Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea, which Scientific American described as “as fine a book as one will find on the subject.” His 2009 textbook The Tangled Bank: An Introduction to Evolution, was named by Choice as an outstanding academic title of the year. Edward O. Wilson praised the book, saying, “The Tangled Bank is the best written and best illustrated introduction to evolution of the Darwin centennial decade, and also the most conversant with ongoing research. It is excellent for students, the general public, and even other biologists.” In addition to books, Zimmer also writes articles for the New York Times and magazines such as National Geographic, Scientific American, and Discover, where he is a contributing editor. His journalism has earned him numerous awards; he has won the National Academies Science Communication Award, and he is a two-time winner of the American Association for the Advancement of Science Journalism Award. He lectures regularly at universities and museums and is a frequent guest on radio programs such as This American Life, and RadioLab.

Douglas J. Emlen is a professor at the University of Montana, where he conducts research on the evolution of animal development. After earning his Ph.D. at Princeton, he spent three years as a postdoctoral fellow at Duke University before coming to Montana. Emlen’s research has earned him the Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering from the Office of Science and Technology Policy at the White House, multiple research awards from the National Science Foundation, including their five-year CAREER award, and a Young Investigator Prize by the American Society of Naturalists. Emlen’s research has been featured in outlets including The New York Times and National Public Radio’s Fresh Air. His book, Animal Weapons: The Stories Behind Nature's Most Extravagant Structures, will be published by Henry Holt in 2013.

 


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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 18 customer reviews
That rare thing, a textbook one can read for pleasure.
P. S. Braterman
This is definitely the most interesting text book I have had to read for school.
Sara B. Basso
The book is well written and the concepts are well explained.
penguin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Thomas J. Haslam on November 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This work is intended as a college textbook, and so perhaps not the best choice for a general audience. For readers primarily looking for a highly credible, accessible, and well-written overview of evolutionary theory, I'd recommend Zimmer's earlier Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea or his The Tangled Bank: An Introduction to Evolution. Likewise, if you're not sure why evolutionary theory is established and respected science, and so you want the case against the "controversy," I would bump Jerry Coyne's Why Evolution Is True to the top of the list.

As a college textbook, however, Evolution: Making Sense of Life succeeds wonderfully in the following aspects.

The science it presents is both current and balanced. Recent work - and controversies - in the field are covered. But the text makes clear what has been widely accepted as valid science. What is new and promising, and seems well on its way to becoming valid, established science. And what is currently speculative or highly contentious. Both Douglas J. Emlen, the scientist, and Carl Zimmer, the science writer, do their best to avoid bias. And unlike too much of popular science writing, Evolution: Making Sense of Life is free of rant, polemic, and grandiose speculation.

The text is beautifully and extensively illustrated. The graphical representations of data and processes actually make sense. Colorful, accessible, coherent.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Sara B. Basso on March 27, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is definitely the most interesting text book I have had to read for school. I am a wildlife biology major and have to take a genetics course. I actually don't mind having to read in this book. Provides good conceptual examples and good pictures/diagrams. Makes learning more fun!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Phillip Dunn on November 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Good textbook that covers the basics of evolution and the processes that occur. Used for one quarter of classes and it went from macroevolution to microevolution and also stretched to cover some parts of the evolution of pathogens, which I found interesting.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By P. S. Braterman on February 23, 2013
Format: Hardcover
That rare thing, a textbook one can read for pleasure. Overall narrative as well constructed as a first-rate novel, and the whole approach based on current scientific practice (e.g. radiometric dating approached through isochrons) without sacrificing either rigor or readability.
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By Krystal Reynolds on July 14, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was in great condition. Much better than described.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This textbook reads like a novel while laying out vital concepts of the theory in a very clear and concise way. Everything one needs to know about evolution, this book is a summation of the current state of the theory of evolution by natural selection, supported by the finest scientists of their fields.
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I have bought this book last year as a requirement for a graduate level evolution class and this book has been one of the most interesting books I have read. It gives clear illustrations, and explains science at work when it comes to discoveries of evolution. Another perk to this text book were the boxes that answered questions and had advice for skeptical people and critics of evolution.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone. Even people who want to just learn a little bit more on evolution. It is an easy read, and I can enjoy reading chapter after chapter. You don't get that in most text books.
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By Christopher Clifford on January 16, 2014
Format: Paperback
Up to date, well illustrated and written. It's surprising more reviews aren't posted for a text so exceptional. Simply put, buy it!
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