The Invention of Nature, by Andrea Wulf is easily my favorite book I’ve read all year! Since I moved to Humboldt I figured I should learn about the scientist who the county is named for. I remember briefly learning about him in my biogeography course as an undergrad, but I would say most people have no idea who is his. I am now borderline obsessed with him, and while I was reading this, most of my conversations would being with, “Did you know that Humboldt…”. I learned a lot and found it to be very inspiring.
Here is the description from Amazon:
Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) was the most famous scientist of his age, a visionary German naturalist and polymath whose discoveries forever changed the way we understand the natural world. Among his most revolutionary ideas was a radical conception of nature as a complex and interconnected global force that does not exist for the use of humankind alone. In North America,
Humboldt’s name still graces towns, counties, parks, bays, lakes, mountains, and a river. And yet the man has been all but forgotten. In this illuminating biography, Andrea Wulf brings Humboldt’s extraordinary life back into focus: his prediction of human-induced climate change; his daring expeditions to the highest peaks of South
America and to the anthrax-infected steppes of Siberia; his relationships with iconic figures, including Simón Bolívar and Thomas Jefferson; and the lasting influence of his writings on Darwin, Wordsworth, Goethe, Muir, Thoreau, and many others. Brilliantly researched and stunningly written, The Invention of Nature reveals the myriad ways in which Humboldt’s ideas form the foundation of modern environmentalism—and reminds us why they are as prescient and vital as ever. . . . .
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