Portrait of a Genius
By Paul Johnson
Viking Books, Hardcover, 9780670025718, 164pp.
Publication Date: October 11, 2012
List Price: $25.95*
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Charles Darwin is arguably the most influential scientist of all time. His "Origin of Species" forever changed our concept of the world's creation.
Darwin's revolutionary career is the perfect vehicle for historian Paul Johnson. Marked by the insightful observation, spectacular wit, and highly readable prose for which Johnson is so well regarded, Darwin brings the gentleman-scientist and his times brilliantly into focus. From Darwin's birth into great fortune to his voyage aboard the "Beagle," to the long-delayed publication of his masterpiece, Johnson delves into what made this Victorian gentleman into a visionary scientist and into the tragic flaws that later led Darwin to support the burgeoning eugenics movement.
Johnson's many admirers as well as history and science buffs will be grateful for this superb account of Darwin and the everlasting impact of his discoveries.
“Riveting . . . The `genius’ of Paul Johnson’s biography of Charles Darwin is manifestly, impressively apparent [in his discussion of] 'On the Origin of Species.’”
—Wall Street Journal
“Excellent and courageous.”
—Michael Flannery, author of Alfred Russel Wallace
“This little sketch reminds us why Darwin’s theory of natural selection endures and continues to provoke controversy.”
“This is a first-rate biography, one that brings Darwin and his ideas into brilliant focus.”
—History Book Club