The Wonderful Century

The Wonderful Century : Its Successes and its Failures

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The British naturalist and explorer Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913) was one of the leading evolutionary thinkers of the nineteenth century. He is best known for working in parallel with Darwin on evolution and natural selection. A social reformer and a prolific writer, he criticised the social and economic system in nineteenth-century Britain, and raised concerns over the environmental impact of human activity. First published in 1898, this book looks back over the history of the nineteenth century, and describes its material and intellectual achievements with the aim 'to show how fundamental is the change they have effected in our life and civilization'. The book surveys technological inventions such as the railway, the telegraph and telephone, as well as photography. But it also analyses the century's 'failures', and discusses the issues of poverty, greed and more

Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1 b/w illus. 12 tables
  • 1139095013
  • 9781139095013

Table of contents

Preface; Part I. Successes: 1. Modes of travelling; 2. Labour-saving machinery; 3. The conveyance of thought; 4. Fire and light; 5. New applications of light: photography; 6. New applications of light: spectrum analysis; 7. Theoretical discoveries in physics; 8. Minor applications of physical principles; 9. The importance of dust: a source of beauty and essential to life; 10. A few of the great problems of chemistry; 11. Astronomy and cosmic theories; 12. Geology: the glacial epoch, and the antiquity of man; 13. Evolution and natural selection; 14. Popular discoveries in physiology; 15. Estimate of achievements: the nineteenth as compared with earlier centuries; Part II. Failures: 16. The neglect of phrenology; 17. The opposition to hypnotism and psychical research; 18. Vaccination a delusion - its penal enforcement a crime; 19. Militarism - the curse of civilization; 20. The demon of greed; 21. The plunder of the earth - conclusion; Appendix; more

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