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Essay on the Geography of Plants
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About the Author

Stephen T. Jackson is professor of botany and ecology at the University of Wyoming. Sylvie Romanowski is associate professor of French literature at Northwestern University.

Reviews

"Virtually a Rosetta Stone, this book provides entry to the work of the great polymath naturalist who inspired Darwin, and reveals Humboldt as the grand figure that he was. Not just a translation, but greatly enriched by essays and supporting material, this is a must read for anyone interested in natural science--and, indeed, science in general."

--Thomas E. Lovejoy, The Heinz Center for Science, Economics and the Environment

"Stephen T. Jackson provides an invaluable service to modern science--complementing Sylvie Romanowski's meticulous translation of Humboldt's essay and the careful reproductions of Humboldt's seminal illustrations of geographic variation in climate and vegetation along the slopes of Mount Chimborazo--with an eloquent account of the historical development and intellectual impact of Humboldt's masterpiece. The result is a precious opportunity to rediscover a lost classic in the history of science; one that can once again serve as an exemplary case study for advancing the frontiers of natural science through enlightened integration across diverse but interdependent disciplines."

--Mark V. Lomolino, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, New York

"In this book, our first planetary thinker, Alexander von Humboldt, announces his life's work and catalyzes not just a new way of doing science--opening the way to biogeography, evolution, ecology, environmental science, the study of climate change and a host of other disciplines--but a new way of seeing the world that includes the role of humans in changing the face of the planet and the role of nature in human thought, perception, and imagination. Thanks to this fine and scholarly translation, richly supported by introductory essays, readers of English at last have access to Humboldt's provocative questions and visionary tools. Here scientific precision and artistic beauty fuse into an argument for transdisciplinary thought in free and democratic societies. In Darwin's day, every educated person read Humboldt; today, every educated person interested in forging a path to the future should start with this book, Humboldt's manifesto for the twenty-first century."

--Laura Dassow Walls, author of Passage to Cosmos: Alexander von Humboldt and the Shaping of America

"Alexander von Humboldt was a seminal explorer and natural philosopher of the nineteenth century whose work was fundamental to the development of botany, ecology, geography, geology, meteorology, and other disciplines. . . . His groundbreaking work on plant geography is translated here for the first time in highly readable English, with a perceptive, thought-provoking introduction that lends context and added interest to the general text."

--Choice

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