Libraries are open! We still offer contactless pickup with Books on the Go!

Darwin's ghosts: the secret history of evolution

Book Cover
Average Rating
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
More Details
Also in This Series
Reviews from GoodReads
Loading GoodReads Reviews.
Staff View

Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID8e45a90b-b1a3-6e20-16ee-a08fb2963e73
Grouping Titledarwins ghosts the secret history of evolution
Grouping Authorrebecca stott
Grouping Categorybook
Grouping LanguageEnglish (eng)
Last Grouping Update2021-10-25 05:22:52AM
Last Indexed2021-10-25 05:39:51AM
Novelist Primary ISBN9781400069378

Solr Details

authorRebecca Stott
author_displayStott, Rebecca
available_at_catalogEast Regional
Eva H. Perry Regional
Southeast Regional
Village Regional
West Regional
collection_catalogAdult Non-Fiction
detailed_location_catalogEast Regional - Adult Non-fiction
Eva H. Perry Regional - Adult Non-fiction
Leesville Community - Adult Non-fiction
Southeast Regional - Adult Non-fiction
Village Regional Library - Adult Non-fiction
West Regional - Adult Non-fiction
display_descriptionA NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK
“[An] extraordinarily wide-ranging and engaging book [about] the men who shaped the work of Charles Darwin . . . a book that enriches our understanding of how the struggle to think new thoughts is shared across time and space and people.”—The Sunday Telegraph (London)
Christmas, 1859. Just one month after the publication of On the Origin of Species, Charles Darwin received an unsettling letter. He had expected criticism; in fact, letters were arriving daily, most expressing outrage and accusations of heresy. But this letter was different. It accused him of failing to acknowledge his predecessors, of taking credit for a theory that had already been discovered by others. Darwin realized that he had made an error in omitting from Origin of Species any mention of his intellectual forebears. Yet when he tried to trace all of the natural philosophers who had laid the groundwork for his theory, he found that history had already forgotten many of them.
Darwin’s Ghosts tells the story of the collective discovery of evolution, from Aristotle, walking the shores of Lesbos with his pupils, to Al-Jahiz, an Arab writer in the first century, from Leonardo da Vinci, searching for fossils in the mine shafts of the Tuscan hills, to Denis Diderot in Paris, exploring the origins of species while under the surveillance of the secret police, and the brilliant naturalists of the Jardin de Plantes, finding evidence for evolutionary change in the natural history collections stolen during the Napoleonic wars. Evolution was not discovered single-handedly, Rebecca Stott argues, contrary to what has become standard lore, but is an idea that emerged over many centuries, advanced by daring individuals across the globe who had the imagination to speculate on nature’s extraordinary ways, and who had the courage to articulate such speculations at a time when to do so was often considered heresy.
With each chapter focusing on an early evolutionary thinker, Darwin’s Ghosts is a fascinating account of a diverse group of individuals who, despite the very real dangers of challenging a system in which everything was presumed to have been created perfectly by God, felt compelled to understand where we came from. Ultimately, Stott demonstrates, ideas—including evolution itself—evolve just as animals and plants do, by intermingling, toppling weaker notions, and developing over stretches of time. Darwin’s Ghosts presents a groundbreaking new theory of an idea that has changed our very understanding of who we are.
Praise for Darwin’s Ghosts
“Absorbing . . . Stott captures the breathless excitement of an investigation on the cusp of the unknown. . . . A lively, original book.”The New York Times Book Review
“Stott’s research is broad and unerring; her book is wonderful. . . . An exhilarating romp through 2,000 years of fascinating scientific history.”Nature
“Stott brings Darwin himself to life. . . . [She] writes with a novelist’s flair. . . . Darwin and the ‘ghosts’ so richly described in Ms. Stott’s enjoyable book are the descendants of Aristotle and Bacon and the ancestors of today’s scientists.”The Wall Street Journal
“Riveting . . . Stott has done a wonderful job in showing just how many extraordinary people had speculated on where we came from before the great theorist dispelled all doubts.”The Guardian (U.K.)
Bib IdItem IdShelf LocCall NumFormatFormat CategoryNum CopiesIs Order ItemIs eContenteContent SourceeContent FileeContent URLsubformatDetailed StatusLast CheckinLocationSub-location
overdrive:0d5893ba-1c08-49e0-8855-cc483d7e61d5-1Online OverDrive CollectionOnline OverDriveeBookeBook2falsetrueOverDriveAdobe EPUB eBook, OverDrive ReadAvailable Online
ils:6676254974481Leesville Community - Adult Non-fiction576.82 STOTT1falsefalseRemote StorageLEE
ils:6676254974477Eva H. Perry Regional - Adult Non-fiction576.82 STOTT1falsefalseChecked outEVA
ils:6676254974478Southeast Regional - Adult Non-fiction576.82 STOTT1falsefalseOn ShelfSER
ils:6676254974470West Regional - Adult Non-fiction576.82 STOTT1falsefalseOn ShelfWRL
ils:6676254974471West Regional - Adult Non-fiction576.82 STOTT1falsefalseOn ShelfWRL
ils:6676254974482East Regional - Adult Non-fiction576.82 STOTT1falsefalseOn ShelfERL
ils:6676254974480Eva H. Perry Regional - Adult Non-fiction576.82 STOTT1falsefalseOn ShelfEVA
ils:6676254974476Village Regional Library - Adult Non-fiction576.82 STOTT1falsefalseOn ShelfVIL
literary_formNon Fiction
literary_form_fullNon Fiction
local_callnumber_catalog576.82 STOTT
owning_library_catalogWake County Public Libraries
owning_location_catalogEast Regional
Eva H. Perry Regional
Leesville Community
Southeast Regional
Village Regional
West Regional
publisherRandom House Publishing Group
Spiegel & Grau,
Bib IdFormatFormat CategoryEditionLanguagePublisherPublication DatePhysical DescriptionAbridged
overdrive:0d5893ba-1c08-49e0-8855-cc483d7e61d5eBookeBookEnglishRandom House Publishing Group2012
ils:667625BookBooksFirst U.S. edition.EnglishSpiegel & Grau, 2012.xviii, 396 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Bib IdItem IdGrouped StatusStatusLocally OwnedAvailableHoldableBookableIn Library Use OnlyLibrary OwnedHoldable PTypesBookable PTypesLocal Url
overdrive:0d5893ba-1c08-49e0-8855-cc483d7e61d5-1Available OnlineAvailable Onlinefalsetruetruefalsefalsefalse
ils:6676254974481Currently UnavailableRemote Storagefalsefalsetruefalsefalsetrue
ils:6676254974477Checked outChecked outfalsefalsetruefalsefalsetrue
ils:6676254974478On ShelfOn Shelffalsetruetruefalsefalsetrue
ils:6676254974470On ShelfOn Shelffalsetruetruefalsefalsetrue
ils:6676254974471On ShelfOn Shelffalsetruetruefalsefalsetrue
ils:6676254974482On ShelfOn Shelffalsetruetruefalsefalsetrue
ils:6676254974480On ShelfOn Shelffalsetruetruefalsefalsetrue
ils:6676254974476On ShelfOn Shelffalsetruetruefalsefalsetrue
subject_facetDarwin, Charles, -- 1809-1882 -- Sources
Darwin, Charles, -- 1809-1882. -- On the origin of species
Evolution (Biology) -- History
Naturalists -- Biography
Scientists -- Biography
title_displayDarwin's ghosts : the secret history of evolution
title_fullDarwin's Ghosts The Secret History of Evolution
Darwin's ghosts : the secret history of evolution / Rebecca Stott
title_shortDarwin's ghosts
title_subthe secret history of evolution
topic_facetDarwin, Charles
Evolution (Biology)