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Thomas Huxley: Making the 'Man of Science' (Cambridge Science Biographies) Hardcover – Bargain Price, December 9, 2002


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Editorial Reviews

Review

'... cogently argued account ... Paul White has created a sensitive and multifaceted portrait of Huxley ... A particular strength ... is the treatment of Huxley's relationships with Owen and Charles Darwin. ... One of the most consistently developed aspects of White's portrait is the depiction of Huxley as a defender of high culture ... beautifully written and persuasive account ...' British Journal of the History of Science

Book Description

This book examines the identity of the "man of science" in the Victorian period as it was shaped by Thomas Huxley, a leading naturalist and notorious popularizer of Darwinian theory. It shows that the scientific practitioner continued to be regarded as a moral and religious figure during the period, even by someone long taken to be the epitome of the secular, professional scientist. Breaking with traditional biographies, this book treats Huxley as exemplary of the British "man of science" and reflects on the historical significance of scientific authority.
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Product Details

  • Series: Cambridge Science Biographies
  • Hardcover: 222 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (December 9, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521640199
  • ASIN: B005ZOLKIM
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,099,864 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Fibonacci on December 19, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is an academically fashionable discussion of the notion of "man of science" (a self-identification chronologically intermediate between "natural philosopher" and "scientist"). Its title should have been: "Making the 'Man of Science': the case of Thomas Huxley". White is much more interested in the notions of "making" and "man" than in "science". He hopes to show how that occupation was "constructed" -- consciously, in his view -- by its practitioners. For example, he argues that the practitioners of science modeled their research practice on the solitary domestic sphere, thus raising questions about the "gendering" of "man". The author has done a prodigious amount of research. He covers a lot of territory and his bibliography is very valuable. But we learn more about academic fashion -- and jargon -- than about Huxley.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful By UW ILS student on March 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
I will come back and give a more thorough review the next time I visit the site, but in the absence of any other commments I will quickly throw down some of my observations.

First: This book is less of a pleasure read as it is an academic History of Science read. It feels as though this is White's dissertation papers (or perhaps his dissertation). To that extent, while it is a very thoughtful piece, it feels as though White is trying to bend history so as to create a problem that academic scrutiny can solve.

Second: There is invaluable interpretation of Thomas Huxley as an idea (if not an ideologue) and as a visionary who intended to

Third: This may sound like a repetition of the first point, but passages of this book feel forced. Believe me, I read this as part of honors coursework and even incorporated it into my final paper and I felt as though I was forcing things when I was referencing it (although the professor apparently did not think that my interpretation was forced and gave me an 'A' on that paper).

That said, I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in turning points in the History of Science.
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Thomas Huxley: Making the 'Man of Science' (Cambridge Science Biographies)
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