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The Invention of Nature: The Adventures of Alexander von Humboldt, the Lost Hero of Science - Andrea Wulf
The Invention of Nature: The Adventures of Alexander von Humboldt, the Lost Hero of Science
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Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) is the great lost scientist - more things are named after him than anyone else. There are towns, rivers, mountain ranges, the ocean current that runs along the South American coast, there's a penguin, a giant squid - even the Mare Humboldtianum on the moon. His... show more
Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) is the great lost scientist - more things are named after him than anyone else. There are towns, rivers, mountain ranges, the ocean current that runs along the South American coast, there's a penguin, a giant squid - even the Mare Humboldtianum on the moon.

His colourful adventures read like something out of a Boy's Own story: Humboldt explored deep into the rainforest, climbed the world's highest volcanoes and inspired princes and presidents, scientists and poets alike. Napoleon was jealous of him; Simon Bolívar's revolution was fuelled by his ideas; Darwin set sail on the Beagle because of Humboldt; and Jules Verne's Captain Nemo owned all his many books. He simply was, as one contemporary put it, 'the greatest man since the Deluge'.

Taking us on a fantastic voyage in his footsteps - racing across anthrax-infected Russia or mapping tropical rivers alive with crocodiles - Andrea Wulf shows why his life and ideas remain so important today. Humboldt predicted human-induced climate change as early as 1800, and The Invention of Nature traces his ideas as they go on to revolutionize and shape science, conservation, nature writing, politics, art and the theory of evolution. He wanted to know and understand everything and his way of thinking was so far ahead of his time that it's only coming into its own now. Alexander von Humboldt really did invent the way we see nature.
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Format: paperback
ISBN: 9781848549005 (1848549008)
Publisher: John Murray
Pages no: 496
Edition language: English
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Community Reviews
SusannaG - Confessions of a Crazy Cat Lady
SusannaG - Confessions of a Crazy Cat Lady rated it
5.0 The Invention of Nature
The Invention of Nature is not flawless (for me the weakest chapter was on Humboldt and Thoreau - but I've always thought Thoreau was over-rated), but it is a fascinating read. Because before Carl Sagan's Cosmos, there was Alexander von Humboldt's Kosmos. (I don't think this is accidental, someho...
Murder by Death
Murder by Death rated it
4.5 The Invention of Nature: The Adventures of Alexander Von Humboldt
The Lost Hero of Science is not hyperbole. It's one of the great tragedies of history that this man's name is no longer on the tip of every man, woman and child's tongue (at least in the English speaking world). I don't know where to begin, but to put it as concisely as possible, read any headlin...
Elentarri's Book Blog
Elentarri's Book Blog rated it
3.5 THE INVENTION of NATURE BY ANDREA WULF
TITLE: The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World AUTHOR: Andrea Wulf Publisher: Knopf Format: e-book ISBN-13: 978-0-385-35067-9 BOOK REVIEW The Invention of Nature by Andrea Wulf is not a complete or in-depth biography, but rather a journey to discover the for...
Reader! Reader!
Reader! Reader! rated it
5.0 The Invention of Nature
The Humboldt Current. Humboldt County (CA and NV). Humboldt State University (CA) and Universidad Humboldt (Venezuela). These and the many other "Humboldt" place names aren't honoring different Humboldts. They are all honoring one--Prussian naturalist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt.And while Am...
Reflections
Reflections rated it
5.0 Widely loved, then largely forgotten
A scientific expedition had long been Alexander von Humboldt’s dream, so when he stepped onto the shores of Latin America in 1799 he was beyond excited, and soon began exploring, measuring, comparing, questioning, and chronicling everything: the distribution of indigenous plants, barometric pressure...
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