The Richness of Life: The Essential Stephen Jay Gould

by Stephen Jay Gould

Other authorsOliver Sacks (Foreword), Steven P. R. Rose (Editor)
Hardcover, 2007




New York : W.W. Norton, 2007.


Collects forty-four key segments from the late paleontologist and evolutionary biologist's books, papers, and essays, in a collection that includes an assortment of previously unpublished articles and speeches.

User reviews

LibraryThing member Meggo
Gould is a more prolific author since his death than some people are in their entire lives. This book contains a collection of various essays on natural history and evolution contained in his prior works, both academic and popular. Everything in this book has been previously published, but really,
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who among Gould fans could resist picking up this book? A very human work, accompanied by a delightful glimpse of the man through Oliver Sack's forward. Some of the academic writing was heavy sledding for me, however it made sense in the context of the book.
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LibraryThing member psiloiordinary
A varied collection. Ranging form the short and punchy columns he published in Scientific American to extracts from his highly technical works.

As I have previous remarked, I much prefer the former over the latter. For me, when Gould uses three words instead of one I wince and don't particularly
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marvel at the poetry. But others do.

His writing sometimes lacks the brevity, clarity and force of Dawkins and I can occasionally get tangled up in how he is delivering his message to the detriment of the message itself.

From now on I will indulge myself in his pithy essays.
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LibraryThing member Princesca
I probably didn't understand it, but I have not found this collection of essays illuminating as I had expected. I didn't even find them interesting. Sorry about that :(
LibraryThing member edwinbcn
«The Richness of Life» is a big book (600+) pages, and requires attentive reading. The book is a comprehensive, commemorative volume presenting a representative selection of the essays of Stephen Jay Gould. Despite the fact that his essays in the area of Natural History are very scientific Gould
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has always enjoyed a wide readership and his premature death was lamented. The main focus of nearly all essays is Darwin's theory of evolution, either through the fossil record or diversity of animal forms. A number of essays are very theoretical. I did not enjoy reading this volume as much as I had anticipated. It appears to be rather heavy-handed. The original volumes of essays published in Gould's lifetime seem to be lighter and more readable.
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