Naturalist (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews


Don't let the format fool you. EO Wilson is highly intellectual and wise, one of the world’s premier scientists and writers. His lifetime body of Harvard research on ants and the evolution of species as they spread across continents is as revered as the body of books he's written about life on Earth. But it’s the act of discovery that’s driven him, the “grubbing around,” finding things nobody had ever seen, learning what nobody knew. The graphic format is perfect for that man, who never grew out of his childhood “bug period.” The pictures make the physical, sensory intensity of his work jump out, and they make his intellect clearer and more personal as he takes us back to his childhood and then forward to now. I appreciate the way he gives us the lowdown about scientists and their sometimes bitter divisions over theories, and also the way he talks directly about his own white privilege when he realized that he could do things which others would be denied. He’s open to seeing his own mistakes and to learning from anyone, including adversaries. It’s a relief to feel such pure honesty and humility during this time of political manipulation. It's a beautiful book about a literally wonderful man!

— Tim McCarthy

About the Author


Edward O. Wilson is Pellegrino University Professor and curator of entomology at the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University.

Praise For…


"Naturalist reads like a classic hero's tale."

— Bloomsbury Review

"[Naturalist] is one of the finest scientific memoirs ever written, by one of the finest scientists writing today."

— Los Angeles Times

"The book to read, to get the full story on Mr. Wilson’s eventful life, is his memoir Naturalist, published in 1994."

— The New York Times

"What distinguishes Wilson's story is its handsome prose, honed by years of practice into a concise and sly discourse. Among literary scientists, no one since Rachel Carson has more effectively joined humble detail to a grand vision of life processes and structures."

— The Washington Post Book World

"A wise personal memoir…. A mixture of loneliness, amusement, curiosity and intellectual rigor makes the voice of this thoughtful man unforgettable."

— The New York Times Book Review

"Wilson is the grand master of lyrically analytic nature writing."

— Science

"This memoir, a fitting capstone to an extraordinary career, should inspire yet another generation of scientists to explore the natural world."

— Library Journal

"Vividly, often beautifully written. Wilson emerges not only as a gifted scientist, but also as a likable, passionate, eloquent person."

— Jared Diamond

"In this exquisitely written memoir, the famed Harvard scientist looks back at his childhood in the South as well as his career as a groundbreaking thinker in the field of evolutionary biology. Truly, here is the irrefutable proof that scientists have souls."

— The USA Today


Product Details
ISBN: 9781597260886
ISBN-10: 1597260886
Publisher: Island Press
Publication Date: April 24th, 2006
Pages: 416
Language: English