From Library Journal
This is Gould's fourth volume of essays reprinted, with postscripts, from Natural History. Gould's monthly columns seem to take on new meaning in these collectionseach becomes a piece in a mosaic pattern of thought. Thus, The Flamingo's Smile gives a glimpse at the big picture. The essay on the extinction of dinosaurs is placed effectively next to a consideration of humanity's possible extinction through nuclear war. The discussions of evolutionary biology include new pieces from recent research and revisions in previously held beliefs, as well as a surprisingly relevant essay on the decline in batting averages in major league baseball. And, for the first time, Gould writes for the general reader on his own research on Bahamian land snails. This book requires undivided attention, but the reward is special insight into the complexities of evolutionary biology. Susan Klimley, Columbia Univ. Libs., N.Y.
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gould himself is a rare and wonderful animal-a member of the endangered species known as the ruby-throated polymath. . . . [He] is a leading theorist on large-scale patterns in evolution . . . [and] one of the sharpest and most humane thinkers in the sciences. -- David Quammen