The Diversity of Life

The Diversity of Life

Book - 1992
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Traces the processes that produce new species, explains the importance of biodiversity, and recommends steps to help preserve diversity and improve the general quality of life.
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1992
ISBN: 9780674212985
Branch Call Number: 333.95 Wi
Description: 424 pages, 18 unnumbered pages of color plates : illustrations (some color), maps ; 25 cm


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A thought-provoking explanation of a basic biological principle--diverse ecosystems are healthy ecosystems.

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Mar 06, 2018

A beautifully written and endlessly fascinating introduction to biodiversity. Wilson is a great writer and a brilliant scientist. One of the best books I have ever read on biodiversity.

Dec 19, 2012

I heard about this book and this author/scientist at roughly the same time (probably scientist first, then book, then author), but it was not my first E. O. Wilson book to read. Sometimes, when I hear too much about a book, it makes me want to read it less.

So, when I found myself amongst the impossibly tall stacks in the evolutionary biology section of Powells Books for the first time, E. O. Wilson's name immediately jumped out at me as familiar, as did the title The Diversity of Life, but I was not yet ready to read it. I chose instead Consilience, and found myself immediately enamored with Wilson's eloquence, and his ability to make science accessible without for a moment dumbing it down.

The Diversity of Life follows this pattern of eloquence, and I steamrolled my way through it far faster than I had expected. Toward the end, I felt a little as I did about Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, in the sense that Wilson wasn't telling me anything he hadn't already beaten to death over the first three quarters of the book. Despite the repetitive subject matter, Wilson's writing is still fascinating to read, and I look forward to my next Wilson book.


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