First published in 1917, On Growth and Form was at once revolutionary and conservative. Scottish embryologist D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson (1860-1948) grew up in the newly cast shadow of Darwinism, and he took issue with some of the orthodoxies of the day--not because they were necessarily wrong, he said, but because they violated the spirit of Occam's razor, in which simple explanations are preferable to complex ones. In the case of such subjects as the growth of eggs, skeletons, and crystals, Thompson cited mathematical authority: these were matters of "economy and transformation," and they could be explained by laws governing surface tension and the like. (He doubtless would have enjoyed the study of fractals, which came after his time.) In On Growth and Form, he examines such matters as the curve of frequency or bell curve (which explains variations in height among 10-year-old schoolboys, the florets of a daisy, the distribution of darts on a cork board, the thickness of stripes along a zebra's flanks, the shape of mountain ranges and sand dunes) and spirals (which turn up everywhere in nature you look: in the curve of a seashell, the swirl of water boiling in a saucepan, the sweep of faraway nebulae, the twist of a strand of DNA, the turns of the labyrinth in which the legendary Minotaur lived out its days). The result is an astonishingly varied book that repays skimming and close reading alike. English biologist Sir Peter Medawar called Thompson's tome "beyond comparison the finest work of literature in all the annals of science that have been recorded in the English tongue." --Gregory McNamee
This book is a gem. Period. My favorite Chapters are I-III, VIII, XVI, and XVII. One of those books which will stand the test of time.Published 1 month ago by V.H. Amavilah
this book do not have any publishing information on it. The price tag on the book show $2, but I buy it for $4.98.Published 3 months ago by xiang ma
This is the abridged version, which may be a better introduction than reading the 1000+ page original volume.Published 3 months ago by Sean P.
I been waiting since my 25 years old to buy this book. And my dream came true! thanks a lot to the editorial.Published 9 months ago by sablich
This is a classic. I am enjoying reading it. For fun watch the youtube video of John Milnor discussing this book.Published 15 months ago by Shayan Mukherjee
The work itself is genius. The quality of the actual printing was lousy. Sepia-toned and poor resolution. I could barely read it. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Paul Y Liu
Medium grey print on a light grey background does not offer enough contrast to the human eye for ready recognition. Read morePublished on May 20, 2013 by Dan
This is the worst product I have ever purchased online.
It is unreadable. It is a photocopy of an earlier publication. Read more