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Darwin's Man in Brazil: The Evolving Science of Fritz Muller

David A. West

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University Press of Florida
16 October 2018
Biography: science, technology & engineering; Mathematics & Sciences; Life sciences: general issues; Evolution
Fritz Muller (1821-1897), though not as well known as his colleague Charles Darwin, belongs in the cohort of great nineteenth-century naturalists. Recovering Muller's legacy, David A. West describes the close intellectual kinship between Muller and Darwin and details a lively correspondence that spanned seventeen years. The two scientists, despite living on separate continents, often discussed new research topics and exchanged groundbreaking ideas that unequivocally moved the field of evolutionary biology forward.

Muller was unique among naturalists testing Darwin's theory of natural selection because he investigated an enormous diversity of plants and animals, corresponded with prominent scientists, and published important articles in Germany, England, the United States, and Brazil. Darwin frequently praised Muller's powers of observation and interpretation, counting him among those scientists whose opinions he valued most.

Despite the importance and scope of his work, however, Muller is known for relatively few of his discoveries. West remedies this oversight, chronicling the life and work of this remarkable and overlooked man of science.
By:   David A. West
Imprint:   University Press of Florida
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 235mm,  Width: 155mm, 
ISBN:   9780813064956
ISBN 10:   0813064953
Pages:   344
Publication Date:   16 October 2018
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  College/higher education ,  Undergraduate ,  Primary
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

David A. West (1933-2015) was associate professor emeritus of biological sciences at Virginia Tech and the author of Fritz M ller: A Naturalist in Brazil.

Reviews for Darwin's Man in Brazil: The Evolving Science of Fritz Muller

This fine biography of Fritz Muller (1821-97) explains how he helped Darwin shape his ideas on mimicry. . . . Ideal for students of natural history, historians of science, and other scholars. --Choice A treasure trove of information for anyone interested in the development of the theory of natural selection. --Isis Situates Muller's research at the cutting edge of nineteenth-century natural science. Muller emerges here . . . as an essential figure in an active and collaborative scientific network. --Quarterly Review of Biology The depth and scope of research on this singular figure is impressive. --H-Net Offers an unfiltered view into science of the mid-nineteenth century, when evolutionary theory had its origins. West makes this world tangible, with all of its pleasures and challenges. . . . This book is a wonderful addition to the library of any evolutionary biologist or natural historian and is a pleasant foray into the lives of nineteenth-century naturalists. --American Entomologist Drawing on Alfred Moeller's monumental work, Fritz Muller: Werke, Briefe und Leben, published between 1915 and 1920, West's book opens up this rich source of material for non-German speakers, but it also reveals much that is new. . . . West details all the different areas of Muller's research and important discoveries with admirable thoroughness. --Luso-Brazilian Review


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