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Life: The Science of Biology Sixth Edition Edition

113 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0716738732
ISBN-10: 0716738732
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Life: The Science of Biology + A People and a Nation: A History of the United States, Brief Edition + A Raisin in the Sun
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

DAVID SADAVA, Claremont Colleges, USA H. CRAIG HELLER, Stanford University, USA GORDAN H. ORIANS, University of Washington, USA WILLIAM K. PURVES, Harvey Mudd College, USA DAVID HILLIS, University of Texas, USA --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1100 pages
  • Publisher: W. H. Freeman; Sixth Edition edition (December 15, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0716738732
  • ISBN-13: 978-0716738732
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 1.7 x 11.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,473,964 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

74 of 75 people found the following review helpful By Monika on December 18, 2004
Format: Hardcover
First, just to let you know what perspective I am reviewing this from, I am a college student, and this text was used in my 200-level introductory biology course. Since I am a student, and not a professor or expert of any sort, I am evaluating the book based on how helpful it was to me in learning the material. For input from biology professors, you'll have to take a look at some of the other reviews here.

"Life: The Science of Biology" has definitely been one of the better biology textbooks I've used. The text is well written, with clear explanations and plenty of real-life examples to help you tie small details into the bigger picture. But beware: The information here is incredibly in-depth, so if you're only looking for a basic overview of biology, you may actually want a slightly simpler book, otherwise you may get lost in all the details. It was perfect for my 200-level class, and gave me all the information I needed, but I don't think it would be the ideal text for an introductory biology course. One other reviewer here mentioned that she used this text to teach her AP biology students. I took AP biology in high school (and got a 5 on the exam) and can guarantee you that this text contains far, far more than you would ever need to know to get a perfect score. It's definitely a college level text.

The book has numerous detailed, well-labeled diagrams that are helpful in understanding different processes. In fact, being a rather visual, hands-on learner, I sometimes found the step-by-step diagrams easier to follow than the text itself. There are also plenty of great photographs and other helpful images. At the end of each chapter there is a bare-bones overview of key points you should know, and a self-quiz to help you evaluate your grasp of the material.
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57 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Mary J. Berger on June 20, 1999
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have reviewed Campbell, Curtis& Barnes, and other fine textbooks in biology, as a teacher and a scientist, I find Purves, etal; Life , A Science of Biology as the best textbook on the market. His clear explanation of the concepts with bright, colorful pictures have helped my students to understand biological concepts for the AP Bio exam as well as preparing them for college. The questions after each and every chapter plainly incorporate the chapter's lessons as well as inclusion of the continuity of life that is important in all biology teaching. His book had already included the new domain designations and included the reasons as why they were being changed. ( As this was the infamous #3 question on the AP Bio exam.) As a trained molecular biologist, I am finally satisfied in the explanation of the molecular process of life. Again his use of good solid pictures help to re-enforce a difficult concept. I also know that MIT uses this book as well as Harvard, I urge every biology teacher professor to at least have this in their personal library.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By layla on September 2, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Ah, the holy grail of textbooks: To find a textbook that is completely clear, explains all aspects of the subject, lets you understand rather than just memorize so you can think independently on the subject and actually enjoyable to read. Textbooks like those are incredibly rare and they are worth their weight in gold once you find them. Looks like we found one for biology.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Midlife Teacher-in-Training on December 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Sadava and its competitors have all significantly changed since 1999. I think that reviews of earlier editions should be removed, because this and the other books have changed a lot over the years.

This 9th edition was the required book for the two-semester bio sequence at the east campus Valencia Community College. The other campuses use Campbell, and to compare the two books side by side for any topic is enough to make you cry at spending so much for this one.

I bought a used copy of Campbell (one edition prior to current) because I looked at a copy and it was SO much easier to understand. It's better organized, more clearly written, uses helpful transitions to tie topics together and to review earlier topics before going on, and the pictures are SO much clearer in Campbell!

Every time I read the Sadava material, I felt confused. Then I'd read the same section in Campbell and would totally understand! I feel that using Campbell is the single reason that I have scored far above anyone else in my class on every assignment and test the entire semester.

If I were selecting a biology book to be used in a class I was teaching, I literally cannot imagine looking at both Campbell and Sadava and choosing Sadava.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By g on May 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent biology textbook. The writing is clear, well-organized, and not overly difficult to follow. The use of diagrams and images is very helpful. In particular, references to previous definitions of ideas and terms throughout the book help you make connections as you read, in case you forget what something means or how it works. BioPortal is also very good. Two things about BioPortal stand out. In the book, the text often references diagrams or figures on a different page, and it is harder to make the connections when you keep flipping back and forth through the book. With BioPortal (which has the full text in electronic form), you can open figures in new windows and quickly refer to them as you read. I found this helpful. 2nd, most terms can be clicked on for a quick definition which is even more helpful in making sure you understand some of the very complex processes detailed than the descriptions given just in the text. The Prep-U quizzing activity is also helpful, though the Self-Test's are fairly vague and not too helpful. I haven't used much of the resources outside these quizzes, the e-book, and flashcards (also helpful) so can't comment too much on that. But as a textbook, this is excellent. It is very well designed for use in an introductory biology course. I imagine if you are a student you would only buy this if it is required for your class, so this may not make any difference for you anyway. Hopefully it is required though.

NOW, in regards to buying the book. This is a rare occasion in which the Amazon price is much higher than what you can find in a campus bookstore. I bought the textbook and BioPortal for $110 from my university, which usually gouges you as much as they can. Not sure why it's almost $200 here.
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