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The Works of Charles Darwin, Volume 16: The Origin of Species, 1876 [Paperback]

Charles Darwin
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (638 customer reviews)

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Book Description

February 15, 2010 0814720595 978-0814720592 0

Charles Robert Darwin (1809–1882) has been widely recognized since his own time as one of the most influential writers in the history of Western thought. His books were widely read by specialists and the general public, and his influence had been extended by almost continuous public debate over the past 150 years. New York University Press's new paperback edition makes it possible to review Darwin's public literary output as a whole, plus his scientific journal articles, his private notebooks, and his correspondence.

This is complete edition contains all of Darwin's published books, featuring definitive texts recording original pagination with Darwin's indexes retained. The set also features a general introduction and index, and introductions to each volume.


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

It's hard to talk about The Origin of Species without making statements that seem overwrought and fulsome. But it's true: this is indeed one of the most important and influential books ever written, and it is one of the very few groundbreaking works of science that is truly readable.

To a certain extent it suffers from the Hamlet problem--it's full of clichés! Or what are now clichés, but which Darwin was the first to pen. Natural selection, variation, the struggle for existence, survival of the fittest: it's all in here.

Darwin's friend and "bulldog" T.H. Huxley said upon reading the Origin, "How extremely stupid of me not to have thought of that." Alfred Russel Wallace had thought of the same theory of evolution Darwin did, but it was Darwin who gathered the mass of supporting evidence--on domestic animals and plants, on variability, on sexual selection, on dispersal--that swept most scientists before it. It's hardly necessary to mention that the book is still controversial: Darwin's remark in his conclusion that "Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history" is surely the pinnacle of British understatement. --Mary Ellen Curtin --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Costa, professor of biology at Western Carolina University, does a wonderful job of annotating Darwin's groundbreaking classic On the Origin of Species. In more than 900 notes, he explains, expands, contextualizes and updates much of what Darwin had to say about evolution and its causes. For example, throughout the Origin, Darwin briefly referenced many informants; Costa provides background information on each of those individuals. He also directs readers to places in Darwin's earlier writings that presage points made in the Origin. When discussing what Darwin terms [o]rgans of extreme perfection and complication, he focused on the evolution of the vertebrate eye. Costa explains the logic Darwin used and how modern biological studies have supported Darwin's contentions, concluding that his insight underlies modern phylogenetic reconstruction. In a brief Coda, Costa summarizes the changes Darwin made to the Origin in its six editions and the reasons for them. Costa's thoughtful and informative notes enable readers to gain a much fuller appreciation for Darwin's genius and breadth of knowledge—a fine tribute in the great scientist's bicentennial year. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

  • Series: Works of Charles Darwin (Book 16)
  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: NYU Press (February 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814720595
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814720592
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 9.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (638 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,657,543 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
171 of 179 people found the following review helpful
By JMB1014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This edition of "On the Origin of Species" is invaluable to anyone who has been suffering without Darwin's most important work, or getting by with only a stripped-down version. The text is the first edition of the six editions Darwin oversaw in his lifetime. It's the version scientists now regard as the most powerful and passionate statement of Darwin's views. But besides the full (unabridged) "Origin," this large-format book is replete with other materials. The word "sumptuous" comes to mind. There are hundreds of amazing illustrations, maps and diagrams, many in full color. Also included are scores of substantial excerpts from other works by Darwin and correspondence between him and his contemporaries. This makes the book a treasure to have, because it is so incredibly rich in contextual materials.

For instance, pictures of T.H. Huxley are included along with Huxley's letter to Darwin, where Huxley asserted his (not altogether unconditional) support for Darwin's argument and added that he was sharpening his claws and beak in readiness - that is, to help defend Darwin from his opponents. I was also delighted with the many beautiful photographs taken in the Galapagos Islands and of life forms found there, to say nothing of the pictures of Darwin, his family, colleagues and adversaries that are interspersed throughout the book, and Darwin's own drawings, the pictures of Darwin's home near Downe, his desk, models and a detailed diagram of the H.M.S. Beagle, and so on. There is also a chronology of Darwin's life to 1864.
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249 of 264 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have to admit, I'm astonished by the ease with which one can be fooled into thinking they've procured the full and legitimate content of Darwin's signature work. A couple of easy clues, though:

Darwin refers in this version to a diagram in chapter IV, to illustrate "The Probable Effects of the Process of Natural Selection Through Divergence of Character and Extinction, On the Descendants of a Common Ancestor." This diagram is absent in this version, and this absence is what started me on the road to identifying this version as a fraud. I began to search for other editions of "Origins" to see if they included the diagram. And that search found not only that most versions did contain the diagram, but that the full text of this work ran to over 550 pages - twice as many as are included in this version.

I should also have known better than to have procured a free version. You truly do get what you pay for.

Be aware, as you look for a reliable version of the work, that there are many fraudulent versions out there. I won't go into detail on this, as this review concerns this specific version. But I can say that I've purchased a version that I am satisfied is a faithful rendering of the complete content. The ISBN number is 978-0-451-52906-0. It's the 150th anniversary edition, with an introduction by Julian Huxley. Still, don't take my word for it, and do your own due diligence. There is another "150th anniversary" version with an introduction by Ray Comfort, who is a Christian prothselitizer. So be careful.

Hopefully this will prevent you from having to start reading the work again from the beginning, as I've had to do. But I'm glad to have figured it out and separated fact from fiction.
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122 of 132 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazingly accessible read... June 24, 2009
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Almost everyone has heard of this book. But, how many people have actually read it? If you haven't yet, it is well-worth reading.

Darwin spent over 20 years researching his ideas, preparing his arguments, and writing this book. He did a great job! "On the Origin" is surprisingly easy to understand. Just look at the beginning. Instead of trying to leap directly into his basic idea and premise, Darwin chooses to gradually lead the reader up to the basic idea of evolution by first point out how humans have caused evolution to occur in our domesticated animals (something very easy for all humans to see even in the 1850s). Darwin then goes on to point out some of the evidence that he and others had seen at that time that indicated that evolution had occurred. His leap in understanding the basic premise of evolution is amazing especially when you consider that he did not understand or have access to information about the basics of genetic passing of traits within species.
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152 of 169 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy THIS "Origin"! June 3, 2000
Format:Paperback
There is only one reason to read "On the Origin of Species" -- to discover how Darwin himself first articulated the most revolutionary scientific theory of all time. And to achieve this purpose there is only one means -- to read his original argument, set forth with the greatest force, clarity, and brevity in that very first edition published in 1859. So, unless you happen to have the $$$ to buy an actual first edition, this facsimile of the first edition is the *only* way to read Darwin: all other paperback "Origins" publish Darwin's latest edition.
But even if you are not interested in the history of biology (scoundrel!), and you think you'll learn complete evolutionary theory from the "Origin" (fool!), you should get this edition -- and *not* later ones. Darwin's later editions of the "Origin" contain many errors that are not found in the original edition, including especially a progressive weakening of his original argument (evolution by natural selection) by the importation of Lamarckism (evolution by the inheritance of acquired characters). In these later editions, Darwin had been convinced by blockhead, mystical *physicists* that his *geology* was wrong (as if!), so he had to speed up the timing of everything, which meant smuggling in Lamarckism.
Last, this volume contains an introduction from one of the most charming biologists and philosophers of all time -- Ernst Mayr. This intro alone is worth the price of the book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
liked it
Published 2 hours ago by Chris
4.0 out of 5 stars Make sure you know what you're talking about when you're talking about...
Not an easy read, but I found it valuable and interesting. I felt like I had a much better grasp of natural selection and dispelled some misconceptions I had.
Published 17 hours ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars This is a fantastic book very well penned
This is a fantastic book very well penned. However, there are lots of blanks in this theory that according to the writer suppose do be filled year by year, which is not happening... Read more
Published 21 hours ago by Luis A. R. Branco
5.0 out of 5 stars The Heart of Science
What can I say? This book revolutionized science. And for all those conspiracy theorists who think the 99% of scientists who accept evolutionary theory as a fact, that these... Read more
Published 4 days ago by Kayla J. Turzak
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Quality of the ebook format falls far short of a regular book.
Published 6 days ago by rjon
4.0 out of 5 stars Esential reading
Not a easy reading but a classic which show how well thought out Darwin's theory was from the start.
Published 10 days ago by Sleeper
1.0 out of 5 stars RIDDLED with fallacies.
This book is ridiculous! NO science whatsoever. It is solely based on faith with no facts. I can see how evolutionists would accept this book as their bible... Read more
Published 15 days ago by It's ME
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive primer on evolution
The definitive primer on evolution. Start here and Move on to Richard Dawkins.
Dawkins takes the next step in teaching to the masses.
Published 16 days ago by Tanstaafl
5.0 out of 5 stars One for the Keeper
Extremely controversial, The in depth of Darwin's theory of evolution. It was well worth the pick for reading on a boring day.
Published 20 days ago by KSun
2.0 out of 5 stars PERNICIOUS LIE
I still remember the day I totally rejected evolution. I read a book on the cell and its formation and complexities and thinking, only God could put it all together. Read more
Published 28 days ago by Ludwig von Mises, Jr.
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