The story of life's splendid drama has captivated generations of the general public, just as it has intrigued biologists, especially those who began to try to solve evolutionary puzzles in the years immediately after the publication of Darwin's Origin of Species in 1859. Yet histories of the Darwinian revolution have paid far more attention to theoretical debates and have largely ignored the researchers who struggled to comprehend the deeper evolutionary significance of fossil bones and the structures of living animals. Peter J. Bowler recovers some of this lost history in Life's Splendid Drama, the definitive account of evolutionary morphology and its relationships with paleontology and bio-geography.
"Intriguing and insightful."—William Kimler, American Scientist
"[A] volume of impressive scholarship and extensive references."—Library Journal
"One of Bowler's best."—Kevin Padian, Nature
"[Bowler's] comprehensive review of the various debates and ideas in taxonomy, morphology, and vertebrate evolution . . . deserves the attention of biologists and other scholars interested in the history of ideas."—Choice
"The persistence of pre-Darwinian modes of thought in contemporary biology underlines the importance of Bowler's book. Its value is not only in the history it provides, but also in the way it illumines the present."—Peter J. Causton, Boston Book Review