The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $16.00
  • Save: $2.12 (13%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
Want it tomorrow, April 25? Order within and choose One-Day Shipping at checkout. Details
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Item in GOOD, clean condition. May have moderate shelf wear, bumped corners, and/or creased cover. Ships from Amazon same day as cleared payment! Amazon customer service and money back guarantee!
Add to Cart
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more

The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time Paperback


See all 16 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from Collectible from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$13.88
$7.90 $0.01 $8.95
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"

Frequently Bought Together

The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time + Wildlife of the Galápagos (Princeton Pocket Guides) + Galapagos: A Natural History, Revised and Expanded
Price for all three: $47.30

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Award-Winning Books
See winners of the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Awards, Edgar Awards, James Beard Foundation Awards and more in our Book Awards store.

Product Details

  • Series: Vintage
  • Paperback: 332 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (May 30, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 067973337X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679733379
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (115 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,006 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Rosemary and Peter Grant and those assisting them have spend twenty years on Daphne Major, an island in the Galapagos studying natural selection. They recognize each individual bird on the island, when there are four hundred at the time of the author's visit, or when there are over a thousand. They have observed about twenty generations of finches -- continuously.
Jonathan Weiner follows these scientists as they watch Darwin's finches and come up with a new understanding of life itself.

From Publishers Weekly

Weiner follows scientists Peter and Rosemary Grant who, for the past 20 years, have studied the continuing evolution of the beaks of finches in the Galapagos Islands.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Jonathan Weiner is one of the most distinguished popular-science writers in the country: his books have won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, Slate, Time, The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, The New Republic, Scientific American, Smithsonian, and many other newspapers and magazines, and he is a former editor at The Sciences. His books include The Beak of the Finch; Time, Love, Memory; and His Brother's Keeper. He lives in New York, where he teaches science writing at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.

Customer Reviews

This book is also a Pulitzer Prize winner.
Lyndsay Hess
This is an extraordinarily well written book about evolution and specifically about the finches of the Galapagos.
F. W. Baker
This is a very entertaining and well written book.
Paul

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

124 of 130 people found the following review helpful By A music fan on June 2, 2000
Format: Paperback
Weiner's The Beak of the Finch is a positively brilliant work on the topic of evolution. A great introduction for the student of evolutionary biology, or the layman. Weiner's book destroys two of the greatest myths about evolution. 1. It's slow. 2. It can't be observed. The study of the Galapagos Finches not only proves the importance of evolution as a contemporary subject but as one that can be observed RIGHT NOW in the world around us. It's almost astonishing to see how simple evolution truly is, how it occurs in quantifiable baby steps that we can see, if we only take the time to carefully observe. Weiner not only demystifies evolution, but makes it as a topic, thoroughly accessible to the interested layman. His prose is neither dry nor technical and in fact, makes for quite an enjoyable read. I wholeheartedly recommend this book.
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By M. Nichols-Haining on October 3, 2001
Format: Paperback
Weiner sets the reader down with the ghost of Darwin, on the Galapagos Islands where the Grants have been studying since 1973. He introduces us to 'Darwin's finches,' the same birds Darwin observed and wrote about in "Origin of the Species".
We're introduced to a populationg that is perfect for evolutionary studies--a limited number of species in a closed ecosystem on an isolated island. Darwin couldn't have known what his observations would lead to so many years later, but Weiner shares with us the Grants meticulous study of over 20 generations of finches. Thousands of individual birds were measured, and their progeny tracked. Through this book, we see what they saw--evolution in action.
Weiner weaves facts into a nice story. The book is engaging and reads like a novel, so much so that my 13 year-old daughter is now reading it.
The conclusions (and no, this isn't a spoiler) are that evolution by natural selection occurs and that selection can occur quickly (it's not always a slow process). Weiner (and the Grants) also touches on speciation in fish populations, and bacterial and viral evolution.
This was required reading in an introductory evolution class in college. I hope, someday, students in high school will be assigned this book. It was excellent, and will probably be wrapped up as Christmas gifts for a few of my friends and family.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Robert J. Crawford on May 29, 2001
Format: Paperback
Weiner has written a great book on evolutionary science. Instead of a frozen doctrine whose outlines are generally agreed upon as a quasi-religion, Weiner demonstrates how the modalities of evolution - how it actually occurs in nature - are still under investigation. It is a snapshot of an evolving science, carried out over a lifetime of research by two distinguished scientists.
One of the particular things they are attempting to observe directly is a speciation event - the creation of a new species of finch - which we long assumed must take place over geologic time and hence is unobservable. But in the process, Weiner reviews the notion of evolution, with fascinating tidbits from Darwin's original research and thoughts on these same finches of the Galopagos. It is a brilliant portrait of the cutting edge in science as well as a detailed review of many basic notions of evolution.
It is also a beautifully written book, indeed a masterpiece of elucidation. And it is all hard science, rather than the pseudo-scientific pap that passes for it in so many popular magazines today. While its rigor makes the book a challenge to read, it is well worth the effort.
Recommended, one of the best pieces of scientific journalism I ever read.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Jon Richfield(jonr@iafrica.com) on July 23, 1999
Format: Paperback
The main complaint I have about the book is a matter of individual taste: the efforts to lend personal colour to the characters are ham-fisted, Reader's Digesty, and generally out of line with the rest of the book's quality. I have no objection to the personal touch in dealing with the work of researchers, in fact I actively enjoy it, but it requires a delicate touch and in this book it does not get it. For instance, I hardly could care less what brand of Mac adorns whose desk, whether edible or computational, and don't like having to wade through that sort of detail to get at the beef.
In every other respect the book is a fine piece of work, valuable and entertaining. The treatment of the themes, the subjects and the material is well balanced. Weiner structures the subject and the contexts competently and coherently. The book obviously took a large helping of hard work to write and to research. In spite of the title, the Finches, though they are the main protagonists and endearing to boot, do not obscure the main theme, which is at all times the effect and mechanism of natural selection in evolution.
Apart from the grounds for my one opening complaint, the book is well, clearly and pleasantly written. I strongly recommend it to anyone with an interest in biology, professional or not. I suspect that many readers will wonder what I was grousing about. And in case anyone with an even greater distaste for those passages feels tempted to drop the book in irritation, I urge them to grit their teeth, skim the offending bits and bear it. There is plenty of Good Stuff to compensate for the annoyance, and I cannot think of any other book which so accessibly, lucidly and persuasively covers the same material.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Product Images from Customers

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search
ARRAY(0xa63794e0)