Gould's writing remains the modern standard by which popular science writing is judged. Ever since the late 1970s, his monthly essay in NATURAL HISTORY and his full-length books ahve bridged the yawning gap between science and the wider culture. He has a gift for colloquial and vivid explanation, an unquenchable passion for Darwinian science, and a deep democratic commitment which resists any reduction to biological urges. The characteristic themes of Gould's essays are brilliantly displayed in this, his seventh generous collection of essays. They range from his beloved New York City to the wider realms of discredited scientific theory, in which Gould always manages to find a nugget of insight which we ignore at our peril. He discusses Jurassic Park, the reconstruction of dinosaurs and the tragic myth of Frankenstein. He is as fascinated by tongue-worms and water beans as he is by dinosaurs and giant fungi. His literary references extend from the Old Testament through Edgar Allan Poe to Stephen King. He writes about the glory of museums, the older the better. And as always, there are more strictly scientific essays that discuss problems of evolutionary theory.