Portrait of a Genius
Eminent historian Paul Johnson provides a rich, succinct portrait of Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin is arguably the most influential scientist of all time. His Origin of Species forever changed our concept of the world’s creation.
Darwin’s revolutionary career is the perfect vehicle for historian Paul Johnson. Marked by the insightful observation, spectacular wit, and highly readable prose for which Johnson is so well regarded, Darwin brings the gentleman-scientist and his times brilliantly into focus. From Darwin’s birth into great fortune to his voyage aboard the Beagle, to the long-delayed publication of his masterpiece, Johnson delves into what made this Victorian gentleman into a visionary scientist—and into the tragic flaws that later led Darwin to support the burgeoning eugenics movement.
Johnson’s many admirers as well as history and science buffs will be grateful for this superb account of Darwin and the everlasting impact of his discoveries.
ONE: A Heritage of Genius, and Its Shadow
TWO: Education and Self-Education of a Scientist
THREE: The Loss of God
FOUR: The Making of a Masterpiece
FIVE: Among the Apes and Angels
SIX: How the Great Botanist Missed an Opportunity
SEVEN: Evils of Social Darwinism
EIGHT: Triumph and the Reversal of Natural Selection
“Riveting . . . The `genius’ of Paul Johnson’s biography of Charles Darwin is manifestly, impressively apparent [in his discussion of] 'On the Origin of Species.’”
—Wall Street Journal
“Excellent and courageous.”
—Michael Flannery, author of Alfred Russel Wallace
“This little sketch reminds us why Darwin’s theory of natural selection endures and continues to provoke controversy.”
“This is a first-rate biography, one that brings Darwin and his ideas into brilliant focus.”
—History Book Club
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