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Darwin (Norton Critical Editions) (3rd Edition) 3rd Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0393958492
ISBN-10: 0393958493
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Naturalist Charles Darwin (1809-1882) is the father of evolution. His groundbreaking The Origin of Species argued that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestors, and proposed the scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection. As much as anyone in the modern era, Darwin has changed the course of human thought.

Philip Appleman is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Indiana University, where he was a founding editor of Victorian Studies. He is the author of a book on overpopulation, The Silent Explosion and coeditor of 1859: Entering an Age of Crisis. He has also published three novels and several volumes of poetry.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 695 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 3rd edition (December 19, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393958493
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393958492
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #149,080 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Natural selection is the idea that shaped a science and altered our understanding of life. It is also, unfortunately and too often, misunderstood and/or used to justify moral beliefs. This book, edited admirably by Philip Appleman serves two purposes. First, the reader is given Darwin's idea of evolution and the context in which it developed, from the scientific environment before the publication of "The Origin of Species" to selections from Darwin's various works. Second, there are a number of excerpts that show how natural selection influenced later thought. This includes not just the fields of science and theology, but also sociology, philosophy, and literature.
It can be difficult to just sit and read Darwin if you are not a biologist because it seems a little dated and obvious (at least if you are familiar with natural selection, as you should be). Additional material provides perspective and helps to see in what ways Darwin's work was revolutionary. Such material can also show how evolutionary ideas have been modified over time by different people. Appleman has obviously read widely on Darwin and evolution, and the readings he provides represents an array of influential and important works. With this book, a person can develop a much deeper appreciation of Darwin's ideas than from simply reading Darwin alone.
I am reviewing the second edition. The third edition is 100 pages longer and includes more recent material, especially concerning the dispute between creationism and evolution. I would not hesitate to recommend even the dated second edition to anyone interested in Darwin and Darwin's influence on scientists and other thinkers; this third edition should be a must-have.
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By A Customer on July 21, 2001
Format: Paperback
I agree with Gould that this is the best Darwin anthology on the market. It contains a significant amount of new material and details the profound change in scientific and intellectual thought in the past few decades. Darwin is constantly misquoted by creationists, but this book sets the record straight. For example, the chapter on "mainstream Religious Support for Evolution" includes leading religious opinions on evolution, illustrating that many mainline Christians and Jews do NOT subscribe to the antiscientific propaganda of the fundamentalists and creationists. New threats to Darwinism and science are also covered. This is an enthralling read and I highly recommend it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I can't think of a better anthology; end of story.

Though very knowledgeable about the sciences, I knew very little or nothing about Darwin. That completely changed with the reading of this strategically compiled work. Appleman brilliantly selects apposite portions of Darwin's original texts, texts that served as influences upon Darwin, and excerpts from many of the major, relevant Darwinian authors of the twetniteth century. The flow and structure of this book is incredible, moving almost seamlessly from one authors work to the next; there really is a forged continuity, which eliminates the aspect of distraction that can be found in other anthologies.

Appleman does a particular kind of justice to Darwin, which too often gets ignored, namely, the literary contribution made by Darwin, as well as a look at Darwin's literary interests. This makes Appleman the right scholar for this compilation.

On top of this, I feel that Appleman provides the necessary philosophical excerpts, especially on ethics. Appleman is able to achieve this, without making the volume awkward by having a conceptual and historical development, as the book proceeds. I guarantee that, if you are a neophyte to Darwin's work or someone who wants to get a potent taste, without reading more than one book, Appleman's collection is the ticket.
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Format: Paperback
The Norton Critical Edition of Darwin is superb. Besides ample collections of Darwin's writings, this work also includes scientific thought before Darwin; religious arguments for and against evolution; contemporary scientific attacks and praise for Darwin and his theories; glances at the political, social and economic impact that Darwin had; and many other topics. Phillip Appleman should be commended for editing this collection. While he makes no secret of his biases in favor of Darwin, Appleman also includes a great deal of material against Darwin. Appleman also includes a number of his poems and, in the third edition of his collection, produced a masterful essay about Darwin sightings in modern literature. When you get down to it, Darwin and his discoveries impacted just about everything and the Norton Critical Edition of Darwin reflects this. This is book can be read by anyone with an interest in science, the humanities, religion, and just about anything else Darwin impacted. This is a rare text which can be enjoyed and used inside and outside of the classroom. It holds a special place of honor on my bookshelf. Highest recommendation.
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Format: Paperback
Philip Appleman's Darwin is an excellent anthology incorporating excerpts from Darwin's works and critical essays on a wide variety of topics. This book is perfect for anyone looking to understand how Darwin's work influenced the world; how religion and science have come into conflict and resolved that conflict in recent years; how paradigm shifts occur and propagate; or how changes in scientific theory can affect all aspects of society.

Darwin is best known for The Origin of Species and The Descent of Man, and this anthology focuses on these two works. The chapters given from these works are enough to give the reader a solid idea of the content and of Darwin's writing style, but they are not so lengthy as to prevent a non-biologist from digesting the material. These excerpts give the reader necessary background for discussing Darwin's theories and their impact, and this anthology provides a good framework for reading critical sections of Darwin's work.

The most valuable part of this anthology is the extensive collection of essays presenting all sides of the issues surrounding Darwin's work in domains ranging from science to religious theory and from social thought to literature. This range of topics helps to broaden the reader's horizons, as Darwin is most often associated with the controversy between evolutionism and creationism. However, the range of his work extended to feminism (e.g. Elizabeth Cady Stanton's "The Woman's Bible"), literature (e.g. Lionel Stevenson's "Darwin among the Poets"), ethics (e.g. Matt Ridley's "The Origins of Virtue"), and other fields, as well.
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