Author(s): Alexander von Humboldt; Andrea Wulf (Editor)
A selection of the best writings of the visionary German naturalist whose ideas changed the way we see the natural world.
Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) was an intrepid explorer and the most famous scientist of his age. His restless life was packed with adventure and discovery, whether he was climbing the highest volcanoes in the world or racing through anthrax-infected Siberia or publishing best sellers that forever changed people's thinking about nature. This unique selection allows us to read his own accounts of his daring investigations of wild environments around the world, and to see his relationships with such icons as Sim n Bol var and Thomas Jefferson. Humboldt's writings inspired naturalists and poets including Darwin, Wordsworth, and Goethe, led John Muir to his ideas of natural preservation, and shaped Thoreau's Walden. The Selected Writings is not only a tribute to Humboldt's important role in environmental history and science, but also to his remarkable ability to fashion poetic narrative out of scientific observation.