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An Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist Hardcover – Sep 24 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ecco Press (Sept. 24 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062225790
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062225795
  • Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 16.2 x 3.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 567 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #37,026 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A. Volk #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on Oct. 3 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was a huge fan of Richard Dawkins long before The God Delusion, which I view as an interesting book, but not one that will change the course of humanity. In contrast, his first book, The Selfish Gene, is second only to Darwin's works on evolution as the guiding light in biology. Of course, much of the work cited within the Selfish Gene's is not Dawkin's (e.g., Trivers, Hamilton, etc.), but it frames the gene-centric view of evolution (the only view with significant support) brilliantly. It's a massive achievement that has, and will continue to, influence thousands of researchers, whose research will in turn help shape the course of humanity. That's the background from which I came to this book. I am a huge fan of (early) Dawkins the scientist, a moderate fan of Dawkins the atheist. Since the title was the making of a scientist, I thought I would be in good hands.

Well, I was a bit disappointed. The book starts with almost 50 pages of his parents and ancestors. This would be interesting if it ultimately had an impact on his becoming a scientist, but it doesn't really beyond setting the standard for getting a post-secondary education. The next 100 pages are of his young childhood, the next 100 pages are of his later education, and the last 40 pages dwell on The Selfish Gene. Suffice to say, I was disappointed. His life story isn't particularly compelling or interesting. Yes, there are tidbits here and there that are unique, but for the most part you could change much of his life with one of his peers and you wouldn't lose much.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By John Kwok TOP 500 REVIEWER on Oct. 2 2013
Format: Hardcover
With "An Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist" Richard Dawkins has written one of the most engrossing, often entertaining, and insightful autobiographical memoirs of our time, and one worthy of comparison with great memoirs written by the likes of Frank McCourt ("Angela's Ashes") and Mary Karr ("The Liar's Club"). It is destined to be seen as a classic autobiography written by a scientist, and one that reaffirms Dawkins's status as one of our most important contemporary scientist writers, alongside the likes of the late Stephen Jay Gould, the late Carl Sagan, E. O. Wilson and Sean B. Carroll. Whether one agrees or disagrees with his view of militant New Atheism, (I shall note tersely, as an aside, that I often disagree) Dawkins uses the same kind of critical analysis that is so evident in prior books like "The God Delusion" in recounting his own life and career, noting the biographical events and cultural influences that have shaped him into becoming what many, including yours truly, regard as the foremost public intellectual of our time. In especially lucid prose, Dawkins explains how his family connections, and especially, his education in prep schools in East Africa and England, and, in particular, his undergraduate education at Balliol College, Oxford University, led to his career as a mathematically-inclined experimental biologist working on animal behavior and then, by accident, as a crticially acclaimed author and public intellectual. As a former evolutionary biologist, I found especially worthy of note, the research he did for his Ph. D. dissertation and as a young professor at Berkeley and Oxford universities, which led to his recognition of the gene as the fundamental unit of natural selection, as expressed in his landmark debut work, "The Selfish Gene".Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
subject was not exactly what i expected from Dawkins but a wonderful story. Sone of his child hood was great and even chidtren would enjoy those parts.
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By Paula on Dec 11 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you or someone you know loves Dawkins, you will love this book. Full sized, med-thick hardcover in great shape.
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