The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World
- Publish Date: 2016-10-04
- Binding: Paperback
- Author: Andrea Wulf
The acclaimed author of Founding Gardeners reveals the forgotten life of Alexander von Humboldt, the visionary German naturalist whose ideas changed the way we see the natural worldâand in the process created modern environmentalism.
NATIONAL BEST SELLER
One of theÂ New York Times 10Â Best Books of the Year
Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, TheÂ James Wright Award for Nature Writing, theÂ Costa Biography Award, the Royal Geographic Society's Ness Award, the Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award
Finalist for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction, the Royal Society Science Book Prize, theÂ KirkusÂ Prize Prize for Nonfiction, theÂ Independent Bookshop Week Book Award
AÂ Best Book of the Year: The New York Times,Â The Atlantic,Â The Economist,Â Nature,Â Jezebel,Â Kirkus Reviews,Â Publishers Weekly,Â New Scientist,Â The Independent,Â The Telegraph,Â The Sunday Times,Â The Evening Standard, The Spectator
Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) was the most famous scientist of his age, a visionary German naturalist and polymath whose discoveries forever changed the way we understand the natural world. Among his most revolutionary ideas was a radical conception of nature as a complex and interconnected global force that does not exist for the use of humankind alone. In North America, Humboldtâs name still graces towns, counties, parks, bays, lakes, mountains, and a river. And yet the man has been all but forgotten.Â
In this illuminating biography, Andrea Wulf brings Humboldtâs extraordinary life back into focus: his prediction of human-induced climate change; his daring expeditions to the highest peaks of South America and to the anthrax-infected steppes of Siberia; his relationships with iconic figures, including SimÃ³n BolÃvar and Thomas Jefferson; and the lasting influence of his writings on Darwin, Wordsworth, Goethe, Muir, Thoreau, and many others. Brilliantly researched and stunningly written, The Invention of Nature reveals the myriad ways in which Humboldtâs ideas form the foundation of modern environmentalismâand reminds us why they are as prescient and vital as ever.