An Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist Hardcover – Sep 24 2013
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“Fantastic. [Offers] a fascinating glimpse of how one of today’s most influential scientific minds blossomed into himself.” (Maria Popova, Brainpickings.org)
“Surprisingly intimate and moving. … He is here to find out what makes us tick: to cut through the nonsense to the real stuff.” (The Guardian)
“Dawkins’ style [is] clear and elegant as usual… a personal introduction to an important thinker and populariser of science. … provide[s] a superb background to the academic and social climate of postwar British research.” (Financial Times)
“The Richard Dawkins that emerges here is a far cry from the strident, abrasive caricature beloved of lazy journalists … There is no score-settling, but a generous appreciation and admiration of the qualities of others, as well as a transparent love of life, literature - and science.” (The Independent)
“[Here] we have the kindling of Mr. Dawkins’s curiosity, the basis for his unconventionality.” (A.J. Jacobs, New York Times bestselling author of The Know-It-All)
“…this isn’t Dawkins’s version of My Family and Other Animals. It’s the beauty of ideas that arouses his appetite for wonder: and, more especially, his relentless drive … towards the answer.” (The Times (UK))
“[An Appetite for Wonder is] a memoir that is funny and modest, absorbing and playful. Dawkins has written a marvelous love letter to science… and for this, the book will touch scientists and science-loving persons. … an enchanting memoir to read, one that I recommend highly.” (NPR)
“…charming, boring, brilliant, contradictory, conventional, revolutionary. We leave it perhaps not full of facts or conclusions, but with a feeling of knowing the man.” (New York Daily News)
“Richard Dawkins is a hero of mine, so being able to read about how he became the man and the thinker he is, was a particular delight for me. ... Some people get their kicks from Superman’s origin story, or Batman’s origin story ... But for me, it was Richard Dawkins.” (Bill Maher)
“In An Appetite for Wonder Dawkins turns his critical analysis inward to reveal how his mind works and what personal events and cultural forces most shaped his thinking. Destined to become a classic in the annals of science autobiography.” (Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic magazine, monthly columnist for Scientific American, and author of The Believing Brain and Why Darwin Matters)
“Skepticism and atheism do not arrive from revelation or authority. In our culture it’s a slow thoughtful process... For the modern skeptical/atheist movement, in the beginning -- there was Dawkins and he was wicked good. Appetite for Wonder shows us this beginning.” (Penn Jillette, author of God No! and Every Day is an Atheist Holiday)
“Told with frankness and eloquence, warmth and humor, this is ... a truly entertaining and enlightening read and I recommend it to anyone who wants a better understanding of Dawkins the man and the rightful place of science in our modern world.” (Lawrence Krauss, Foundation Professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration, and Director of the Origins Project at Arizona State University, author of A Universe from Nothing and Physics of Star Trek)
“Enjoyable from start to finish, this exceptionally accessible book will appeal to science lovers, lovers of autobiographies-and, of course, all of Dawkins’s fans, atheists and theists alike.” (Library Journal, starred review)
“Well-written, captivating, and filled with fascinating anecdotes.” (Publishers Weekly)
“This memoir is destined to be a historical document that will be ceaselessly quoted.” (The Daily Beast)
“This first volume of Dawkins’s autobiography … comes to life when describing the competitive collaboration and excitement among the outstanding ethologists and zoologists at Oxford in the Seventies-which stimulated his most famous book, The Selfish Gene.” (London Evening Standard)
“Dawkins proves that today he is still an extraordinary thinker, and one who has made an enormous contribution to understanding human nature. This memoir is a fascinating account of one man’s attempt to find answers to some of the most difficult questions posed to mankind.” (NPR Books)
About the Author
Richard Dawkins was first catapulted to fame with his iconic work The Selfish Gene, which he followed with a string of bestselling books. Part one of his autobiography, An Appetite for Wonder, was published in 2013.
Dawkins is a Fellow of both the Royal Society and the Royal Society of Literature. He is the recipient of numerous honours and awards, including the Royal Society of Literature Award (1987), the Michael Faraday Award of the Royal Society (1990), the International Cosmos Prize for Achievement in Human Science (1997), the Kistler Prize (2001), the Shakespeare Prize (2005), the Lewis Thomas Prize for Writing about Science (2006), the Galaxy British Book Awards Author of the Year Award (2007), the Deschner Prize (2007) and the Nierenberg Prize for Science in the Public Interest (2009). He retired from his position as Charles Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University in 2008 and remains a Fellow of New College.
In 2012, scientists studying fish in Sri Lanka created Dawkinsia as a new genus name, in recognition of his contribution to the public understanding of evolutionary science. In the same year, Richard Dawkins appeared in the BBC Four television series Beautiful Minds, revealing how he came to write The Selfish Gene and speaking about some of the events covered in this autobiography.
In 2013, Dawkins was voted the world's top thinker in Prospect magazine's poll of over 10,000 readers from over 100 countries.
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Top Customer Reviews
"I became a secret reader. In the holidays from boarding school, I would sneak up to my bedroom with a book: a guilty truant from the fresh air and the virtuous outdoors. And when I started learning biology properly at school, it was still bookish pursuits that held me. I was drawn to questions that grown-ups would have called philosophical. What is the meaning of life? Why are we here? How did it all start?"
The above comes from this tell-all memoir from the author of such best-sellers as "The Selfish Gene" (1976), "The Blind Watchmaker" (1986), "The God Delusion" (2006), and "The Magic of Reality" (2011), RICHARD DAWKINS. He is a Fellow of both the Royal Society and the Royal Society of Literature. Dawkins has received numerous honours and awards especially in science. He retired from his position as Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University in 2008.
In 2012, a new genus name called "Dawkinsia" was created in recognition of his contribution to the public understanding of evolutionary science. In 2013, Dawkins was voted the world's top thinker in "Prospect" magazine's poll (of 10,000 readers from over 100 countries).
This book is actually the first book in his two-part memoir. (The second book will be released sometime in 2015). As Dawkins tells us:
"Publication of 'The Selfish Gene' [in 1976] marks the end of the first half of my life."
In this first book, Dawkins tells us everything from his birth in Africa in 1941, his parents, and he even delves a bit into his family tree. Then he moved to England when he was eight. We learn of his early school and family experiences. After this he went to Oxford University in 1959 where many positive influences on his life occurred.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
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.Published on May 1 2014 by David Taylor
If you or someone you know loves Dawkins, you will love this book. Full sized, med-thick hardcover in great shape.Published on Dec 11 2013 by Paula
The personal backstory to Dawkins' brilliant opus. Even when writing about himself, he never fails to draw the reader in and keep the interest going. But then, I'm a Dawkins fan.Published on Nov. 24 2013 by Anita Macfarlane
loved this book. It emphasizes the genesis of "The Selfish Gene," than which no other book has had more influence on my thought.Published on Nov. 22 2013 by Leighton Steele
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