The Readable Darwin: The Origin of Species Edited for Modern Readers (Hardcover)
Darwin's The Origin of Species is one of the most influential books ever written. It is essential reading for anyone interested in biology, evolution, the natural world, or the history of scientific thought. However, the book can be difficult to follow. The sentences and paragraphs are lengthy, and Darwin often references people and ideas unfamiliar to contemporary readers. The Readable Darwin translates the sixth and final edition of Darwin's The Origin of Species (1872) into clear, engaging prose. Whereas the first edition of The Readable Darwin includes the first eight chapters of Darwin's book, this new edition presents all fifteen chapters of The Origin of Species and features over 100 illustrations. The Readable Darwin begins by discussing artificial selection, demonstrating that selection for new traits can indeed be made to occur, even within our lifetimes. It then presents evidence for natural selection derived from developmental traits and the geological record. Throughout, Pechenik painstakingly revises Darwin's prose. He breaks up long paragraphs, shortens and reorganizes sentences, and replaces weak verbs with strong ones. Footnotes clarify concepts, define terms, and identify the many historical figures Darwin mentions. The Origin of Species is a foundational work of scholarship in the biological sciences. It documents the remarkable diversity of life on earth and is a wonderful example of honest and logical scientific thinking. The Readable Darwin brings this groundbreaking book to life for readers of all backgrounds while remaining true to the original text.
Jan A. Pechenik is Professor of Marine Biology and Invertebrate Development at Tufts University. He isthe author of The Readable Darwin (2014), Biology of the Invertebrates (2014), A Short Guide toWriting about Biology (2012), and more than 140 articles. From 1998 to 2001 and again from 2005 to 2008, heserved as Director of the Writing Across the Curriculum program at Tufts University.