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Showing 1-10 of 14 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 23 reviews
on July 16, 2015
The perfect edition for someone who wants to read Darwins original thoughts. Great book to have and should be read by everyone . Easy to read, but you will notice many sentences going on for a paragraph or two, so re-reading is a must.
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on December 20, 2005
Many love to read science whether it is the newest technological innovations for high definition TV's or we expose to learn more about the unified field theory or String Theory. Science leaves us with alot to explore. What is the scientific equivalent of Shakespeare's Folio's? Or perhaps Cervante's-Don Quioxte's? Many scientist may say Darwin's-Origin of Species. This fascimilie of the 1st edition which is full of elegent prose and vivid descriptions and analogies while later editions are less decisive and espouse more questions than answers is the edition to read. Which is a dated romantic language. So arguably the most important text written in English is also easy to read and understand with little thought primarily to Darwin clear use of prose. It is a book that has been most heavily criticised since its inception and publication in November 29, 1859 but it is now gaining the long overdue momentum accorded the works of Copernicus and Newton. Just bring your imagination along for the splendid ride.
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on November 13, 2002
A lot of unanswered questions of Darwin's age have been answered today, but still one does not fail to see the genius behind the logical derivations and counterweighted arguments.
In this edition, Darwin expresses himself much more boldly than in the later editions, when he was countered and threatened by the dogmatic religious groups simply because it doesn't support 'their' theory.
(This is for the anti-theorists) A theory is always a theory, it can't be proven like a mathematical formula, it may have gaps in understanding, it may not be able to explain everything under the sun, but that does NOT provide a good reason to throw the whole theory out. For the ones attentive to the nuances, it is NOT a hypothesis, it's a theory, and in spite of not being provable by deductive logic, this provides a good insight on how the species might have evolved, and very interestingly, the role of mankind in it.
One of the reason behind my liking this book is that the author is aware of the weak areas and mentioned what kind of proofs (fossils and the like) would substanciate the theory, and in many cases such pieces of proof were found much afterwards. The book is really a masterpiece.
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on January 7, 2003
NOTE that this is a review of the Harvard University Press facsimile of the first edition of "On the Origin of Species" (intro by Ernst Mayr). This is NOT a commentary on Darwin's text.
I blithely bought and began reading the Modern Library's "Origin", then came across this facsimile of the first edition in the library. Hmm, I wondered. I used the quotations in the front of my copy to deduce that I was reading the sixth (and last) edition, rather than the first. While that, too, has its considerable interest in illustrating the twists and turns of Darwin's thought during those years, the evolution revolution was made by the first edition. As Ernst Mayr says in his introduction, "When we go back to the Origin, we want the version that stirred up the Western world, the first edition." Besides which, if one is going to do any historical research, one needs this edition, for contemporary references use the first edition's pagination.
But most importantly, this is the firstborn of Darwin's mind, long gestating, and contains his most confident and positive statement of his thesis. He had tried to anticipate all the major objections to his theory and answer them preemptively here. Still, at the time of this writing he had no critics, so the tone and content display none of that waffling that mar, to a certain extent, the final edition.
This volume was put together in 1964, and Ernst Mayr's introduction dates from that time. It is a good historical introduction to Darwin and his contribution, and some more specific remarks on the first edition, its general approach and some of its path-breaking arguments. Also included in the extra matter is a bibliography of Darwin's published works, plus current works on evolution, as of 1964. There is also a quite comprehensive index of the text, which should make the book considerably more usable to us than it was to Darwin's original readers.
My only gripe is that Harvard University Press only offers a paperback, although it used to have a hardcover edition. The paperback version is readable enough at 5.5 by 8.2 inches, yet it's too thick for its size, and, while definitely not of poor quality, vulnerable to the binding breakage typical of the breed, so serious scholars of the work might find themselves literally pulling it apart. For you and me, though, it should be just fine.
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on November 29, 2016
Not pristine. There were areas marked with a highlight pen. But this served just right as a replacement copy for a book of such stature with the added attraction of an Ernst Mayr intro.
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on June 6, 2017
Arrived on schedule and item was as described.
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on October 1, 2015
I purchased this book for a college course and it very good read
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on August 27, 2015
A must.
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on October 30, 2014
Good book
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on August 30, 2014
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