- Paperback: 528 pages
- Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (1 Oct. 1992)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0393309304
- ISBN-13: 978-0393309300
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.8 x 22.9 cm
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,145,013 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Charles Darwin: A New Life Paperback – 1 Oct 1992
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From the Back Cover
'A vivid and engrossing account of Darwin's inner life and his search for the laws of life. We feel the durable texture of his friendships and family attachments, and we witness the slow, painful genesis of ideas that are still transforming the world.'-Geoffrey Cowley, New York Times Book Review
About the Author
John Bowlby (1907 1990) was born in London and educated at the University of Cambridge and University College Hospital in London. His research and influential publications contributed to far-reaching changes in the ways children are treated and to radically new thinking about the social emotional development of human beings.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Once one gets used to this very straightforward style this becomes a very good book. Chapter by chapter Bowlby lays out the facts of Darwin's life and then interprets them from a psychiatrist's point of view. He examines the social milieu in which Darwin was raised, the physical and emotional symptoms that he exhibited and expressed in writing and explains why Darwin was such a reclusive, sickly man. He convincingly rejects the 'tropical disease' explanation in favor of an anxiety disorder. The book is well illustrated with helpful maps that show you the geography of Darwin's childhood and of the Beagle's voyage and portraits of Darwin at various ages and of his relatives and colleagues.
This is one of those biographies during the course of which you begin to get to know and empathize with the subject. In Darwin's case this is not a difficult sell. He seems to have been a genuinely good guy in all respects. You feel gratified to know that the person who shook the foundations of Western thought was not a jerk. Rather, he felt pretty terrible about it, but all the same felt required to tell the truth as he saw it, regardless of the consequences to his state of mind, which were considerable. We see that Darwin was pretty much the opposite of emotionally prepared to deliver a scientifically sound theory of evolution to the world and yet he did. That his intellectual discipline and fervor conquered his emotional demons seems so quinessentially ... well ... human and you can't help but be proud of him.