In Darwin's Shadow: The Life and Science of Alfred Russel Wallace - A Biographical Study on the Psychology of History

In Darwin's Shadow: The Life and Science of Alfred Russel Wallace - A Biographical Study on the Psychology of History


By (author) Michael Shermer


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Paperback $36.79
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
  • Format: Hardback | 448 pages
  • Dimensions: 160mm x 242mm x 34mm | 800g
  • Publication date: 1 September 2002
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0195148304
  • ISBN 13: 9780195148305
  • Illustrations note: numerous halftones and line drawings
  • Sales rank: 1,048,772

Product description

In Darwin's Shadow is the gripping story of the heretical British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace who co-discovered natural selection independently of his more well-known contemporary Charles Darwin. Utilizing a number of never-before-used archival sources that bring to bear new interpretations of this most fascinating scientists, best-selling author Michael Shermer applies his training in both the history of science and psychology to reveal the life, science, and personality of Wallace to unravel the mystery of his scientific, quasi-scientific, and non-scientific ideas. Shermer's unique approach goes beyond narrative story-telling to analyse the science, culture, and ideas that lie beneath the life story, in a path-breaking approach to biography. Shermer presents the two major points of intersection and conflict between Wallace and Darwin, one so radical that Darwin accused his younger colleague of intellectual murder! Wallace has always appealed to lovers of travel and adventure stories, because that is the life he led: In Darwin's Shadow will also appeal to historians of science, readers of popular science, and fans of Shermer's previous books.

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Author information

Dr Michael Shermer is the Founding Publisher of Skeptic magazine, the Director of the Skeptics Society, and a monthly columnist for Scientific American. His latest book is The Borderlands of Science (OUP, 2001), about the fuzzy land between science and pseudoscience. He wrote Denying History, on Holocaust denial and other forms of historical distortion, How We Believe: The Search for God in an Age of Science, which presents his theory on the origins of religion and why people believe in God, and Why People Believe Weird Things.

Review quote

a triply fascinating book that contains original research and interpretations full of insight Adrian Barnett, New Scientist

Table of contents

Introduction: Genesis and Revelation ; Prologue: The Psychology of Biography ; 1. Uncertain Beginnings ; 2. The Evolution of a Naturalist ; 3. Breaching the Walls of the Species Citadel ; 4. The Mystery of Mysteries Solved ; 5. A Gentlemanly Arrangement ; 6. Scientific Heresy and Ideological Murder ; 7. A Scientist Among the Spiritualists ; 8. Heretical Thoughts ; 9. Heretical Culture ; 10. Heretic Personality ; 11. The Last Great Victorian ; 12. The Life of Wallace and the Nature of History ; Epilogue: Psychobiography and the Science of History ; Appendix I: Endnotes ; Appendix II: Biography of Wallace's Archival Sources ; Appendix III: Biography of Wallace's Published Works ; Appendix IV: General Biography ; Index