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The Invention of Nature
The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World | Andrea Wulf
The acclaimed author of Founding Gardeners reveals the forgotten life of Alexander von Humboldt, the visionary German naturalist whose ideas changed the way we see the natural worldand in the process created modern environmentalism.NATIONAL BEST SELLEROne of theNew York Times 10Best Books of the YearABest Book of the Year: The Economist, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus ReviewsShortlist -- Costa Biography AwardFinalist -- Carnegie Medal for Excellence in NonfictionFinalist -- Kirkus Reviews Prize for Nonfiction Alexander von Humboldt (17691859) was an intrepid explorer and the most famous scientist of his age. In North America, his name still graces four counties, thirteen towns, a river, parks, bays, lakes, and mountains. His restless life was packed with adventure and discovery, whether he was climbing the highest volcanoes in the world or racing through anthrax-infected Siberia or translating his research into bestselling publications that changed science and thinking. Among Humboldts most revolutionary ideas was a radical vision of nature, that it is a complex and interconnected global force that does not exist for the use of humankind alone. Now Andrea Wulf brings the man and his achievements back into focus: his daring expeditions and investigation of wild environments around the world and his discoveries of similarities between climate and vegetation zones on different continents. She also discusses his prediction of human-induced climate change, his remarkable ability to fashion poetic narrative out of scientific observation, and his relationships with iconic figures such as Simn Bolvar and Thomas Jefferson. Wulf examines how Humboldts writings inspired other naturalists and poets such as Darwin, Wordsworth, and Goethe, and she makes the compelling case that it was Humboldts influence that led John Muir to his ideas of natural preservation and that shaped Thoreaus Walden. With this brilliantly researched and compellingly written book, Andrea Wulf shows the myriad fundamental ways in which Humboldt created our understanding of the natural world, and she champions a renewed interest in this vital and lost player in environmental history and science.From the Hardcover edition.
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Schnoebs
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Pickpick

4.25⭐️

This was such a well done telling of the life and lasting impact of Alexander con Humboldt. I never knew about him before reading this book but I learned about how much he had influenced many of the people in environmental history that I greatly admire. This book starts with his early life and continues through his career and worldly travel till his death; after which it is followed by the influences he had on people in the field.

Schnoebs @Birdsong28 I was originally going to use this as the audiobook but decided to use it for the prompt of a book set in South American because his biggest travels and research on what he‘s known for is from his explorations of South American. That‘s another one for #52booksin52weeks 👍 5mo
Crazeedi Oh crap, I had this from overdrive and left it go back! I need to get it and read, I heard such good things! 5mo
Schnoebs @Crazeedi I really loved it. My favorite was probably the fact that they commented on how much on an impact he had on the entire scientific community and how you see him in the research of other great people in the field 5mo
Birdsong28 👍😘📚📖 5mo
40 likes3 stack adds5 comments
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plemmdog
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Pickpick

Darwin. Thoreau. John Muir. These were just a few of the people he inspired, yet most people have never heard of Alexander von Humboldt (myself included). This was a fascinating biography and history lesson (I was shocked to read the word "scientist" didn't even come into the language until 1834). Fans of the Romantics and nature writing will enjoy this. Wulf has an eye for detail but the narrative moves at a quick pace.

Anna40 Ah in the US people might not know Humboldt, but in Germany people know Humboldt or at least have heard the name because of the university in Berlin that is named after him. 6mo
plemmdog Thanks @Anna40 there‘s even a small town in Tennessee named after him here but I would bet 99% of its residents have no clue who he was 6mo
Anna40 Haha! Even in Germany they probably don't really know who he was but have heard the name... 6mo
6 likes3 comments
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Schnoebs
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Following along with my audiobook ☺️ Really enjoying not having to do anything today but getting together with family for our block party in a few hours.

#audiobook #relaxing #nonfiction #chicago #il

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plemmdog
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I‘ve found the perfect reading spot for the day, thanks to my cousin. She‘s done quite well for herself. Loving this book so far.

4 likes1 stack add
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Schnoebs
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Y‘all if you didn‘t know, there was an alligator set loose in Humboldt Park a little over two weeks ago. Seeing as Chicago is Chicago, they named him Chance the Snapper and gave him a bow tie. I just thought it‘s great because I‘m reading the history of the name sake of the park!

https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/chance-the-snapper-alligator-caught-humbol...

#chicago #funny #Illinois

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BookishShelly
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Pickpick

I love this book. It feeds my nerdy history and nature loving interests in a well written and readable manner.
5⭐️

35 likes1 stack add
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LitLogophile
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Pickpick

I didn‘t know much about Alexander von Humboldt prior to this read but I was awed by his understanding of the interconnectedness of living things — inspiring Darwin, Thoreau, Goethe, and the modern understanding of life. The book describes Humboldt‘s impact on science as so great that he‘s lost to general science education — he created an idea so commonplace that no one asks who thought of it. And that idea was nature. Very cool book.

68 likes6 stack adds
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WanderingBookaneer
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Happy Earth Day (found at IdealBookshelf‘s Instagram)

Alexy2828 Hi 9mo
100 likes1 stack add1 comment
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lauralovesbooks1
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Pickpick

Alexander Von Humboldt's fascination with both the science and beauty of nature seems to have been well ahead of his time. His perspective of the way nature is an interconnected web is the foundation of much of our environmental science. He was also one of the first to speak out about the ecological as well as human impact of colonization. Excellent read about a naturalist who had a profound impact on both the scientific and artistic world.

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Graywacke
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Pickpick

That‘s an 1807 portrait of Alexander von Humbolt.

Wulf writes an homage to von Humbolt and his unified view of nature - everything is connected. Kind of worshipped in his era as an unprecedented poetic nature writer, he would influence Simon Bolivar, Darwin, Thoreau, Muir and others. Wulf writes with a narrow focus, zooming in for adventurous narratives, but with weak context and background. It makes an enjoyable but flawed book.

47 likes1 stack add
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Graywacke
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The next audiobook. I‘ll start this morning.

51 likes1 stack add
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UrsulaMonarch
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Pickpick

I'm glad I read this book as von Humboldt was fascinating and his name is everywhere once I started noticing it. I'd had no idea who he was before this book and the author does a good job describes the rise and fall of his fame. The book describes his work and its effects, which are important, but by the end, after he had died, I found the descriptions a bit long-winded. Overall, though, an excellent read!

38 likes1 stack add
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UrsulaMonarch
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WanderingBookaneer This was such an interesting book! 2y
UrsulaMonarch @WanderingBookaneer agreed! I love that since reading it, I have come across so many more things named after him - most recently, a squid! 😊 2y
45 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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Lizbeth
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I forgot to post my first readathon book! I tackled a nonfiction biography about the scientist Alexander Von Humbolt. His theories inspired other thinkers of his time and still found to influence environmental science today. The prose is clean and clear and very engaging of a topic. @24in48 #bookriotreadharderchallenge

2 likes1 stack add
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well.read.panda
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Humboldt, one of the founders of natural science as we know it today, looks so happy here among the biological majesty of South America. He also doesn't seem to mind that I'm winding a ball of yarn while I read about him.

3 likes1 stack add
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Anabnieto
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Starting this one. The prologue is set in Chimborazo (Ecuador) a place I always want to go back to. #alexandervonhumboldt #biography

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RealBooks4ever
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"The acclaimed author of Founding Gardeners reveals the forgotten life of Alexander von Humboldt, the visionary German naturalist whose ideas changed the way we see the natural world—and in the process created modern environmentalism." #Nature #NoteworthyNovember

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mynamerhymes
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Pickpick

⭐⭐⭐⭐A biography if Alexander Von Humboldt and a history of his influence on writers and scientists. I listened to the audio book and found this very informative and enjoyed the writing. Explores how Humboldt helped to plant the seed of the environmental movement. Fit in well with the other books I'm reading lately about science in the age of exploration and nature conservation and preservation.

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balletbookworm
Mehso-so

Much more biography than nature writing, in my opinion, and Alexander von Humboldt was a pretty interesting guy (autodidact scientist, naturalist, and adventurer) in an interesting time (that end of 18th century/beginning of 19th century period when scientific discoveries were advancing rapidly in all disciplines). A slow read and it takes a lot of meandering paths into other peoples' lives. But still an interesting book.

balletbookworm I listened to the audio so I wished that I had a few pictures or drawings to go with the text at times. 2y
Amandajoy I'm currently listening to it, but I'm having a hard time paying attention 2y
balletbookworm @Amandajoy yeah, this was a “listen an hour at a time” read 2y
Amandajoy Maybe I'll try that 2y
18 likes1 stack add4 comments
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StaceGhost
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"Nature everywhere speaks to man in a voice…familiar to his soul"

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GFB
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Library haul for today #smallstack

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WanderingBookaneer
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Current read: This biography intersperses stories Alexander von Humbolt's life and his influence on his contemporaries.

jpmcwisemorgan I've wanted to read this one since I first saw it in a bookstore. I'd like to know how it is. 3y
BookMusings I enjoyed this one. 3y
Conservio I love this book 3y
80 likes4 stack adds3 comments
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AMVP
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Mehso-so

#junetunz day 3

#aintnobody like Alexander Von Humboldt, the father of ecological science. The reach of his studies and influence made him the most famous scientist of his day, and he remains one of the most memorialized individuals in history.

The book tends to feel rather shallow for the sake of accessibility, which granted falls in line with Humboldt's legacy of bringing scientific thought to the masses. A good read, unlikely to revisit.

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AMVP
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#maybookflowers day 29 - #inmemorium

Just got to the death of Alexander Humboldt, the father of modern nature studies, and at the time of his centennial, one of the most famous men in the world (would that scientists today were so revered).

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eraderneely
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I loved the way Andrea Wulf did scientist-biography in this book. It was fantastic! I would love to meet her and see what she's working on next.
I was going to say "Mary Roach" for the #KostovaGiveaway but I already met her once and I was suuuuper awkward. No need to repeat that nonsense.

GFB Why? What happened between you and Mary Roach? 2y
eraderneely @GFB I was just an awkward fangirl weirdo who shouldn't be allowed to meet other humans 2y
3 likes2 comments
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kalinichta
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Library day. Let's see which ones I actually read this time. (I am halfway through The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society because I started it as an e-book.)

MommyWantsToReadHerBook Three words: Oryx and Crake 3y
15 likes1 comment
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AMVP
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#aprilbookshowers day 26 - #gardentitles

A little too restrictive of a theme for my taste, but I think this works, especially given the mention of Wulf's previous work.

Liking it so far, though its more readable nature makes it a bit less engaging than some of the more dense non-fiction works I've read lately.

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Alyssa
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I wanted to read this for a long time and was so excited when it was selected for my work book club (I work at a botanical research institution) 🌿 I've spent the last two days reading all that I can about Alexander von Humboldt. He was amazing! #bookclub #humboldt #naturalhistory #naturalist #science #scientist (don't mind the #corgi in the background!)

hermyknee Your Litsy game is on point. 3y
8 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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Matthew_H
Pickpick

Hung out with Goethe & Bolivar, and inspired Darwin, while traveling much of the world studying nature and climbing mountains--Alexander von Humbolt's one of my new heroes.

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Howseldomtheydo
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Many things were named after Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859), the noted geographer and explorer. #currentlyreading #audiobook

GinaAnderson We have a Humboldt Park in Chicago, too. 3y
Abby-J I just listened to a podcast about Olmsted and Vaux earlier this week. 3y
Howseldomtheydo @Abby-J Sounds interesting. What was the name of the podcast #trypod 3y
88 likes1 stack add3 comments
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Howseldomtheydo
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“The effects of the human species‘ intervention were already ‘incalculable‘, Humboldt insisted, and could become catastrophic if they continued to disturb the world so ‘brutally‘. Humboldt would see again and again how humankind unsettled the balance of nature.” #litsyreadingchallenge2017 #takesplaceover150yearsago

Lindy This is such a good book. ❤️ 3y
Howseldomtheydo @Lindy Just started it but already enjoying. 3y
Nat_Reads I LOVED THIS BOOK 📚 3y
Conservio An amazing book 3y
107 likes11 stack adds4 comments
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RealBooks4ever
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A little stop-off at Powell's resulted in a little purchase. Tee-hee! 😎

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MeaMck
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Pickpick

"As he lay there on his back and looked up at the sky, so far from home and the European instrument makers, he had declared: “Lucky are those who travel without instruments that break.“"

I didn't know nearly enough about Alexander Von Humboldt before reading this; explorer, scientist, abolitionist, unwitting grandfather of the environmental movement, love of my life.

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Shaaaannnn
Pickpick

I never knew of Alexander Von Humboldt yet have planned to live in Humboldt county and attend Humboldt state! This book really sucked me in as it involves everything that interests me: Science, philosophy, art, nature, exploring, learning! History (but not a big fan of history hehe.) A fantastic, and even important read. Amazing what a single person can do for the World. Read it!

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Shaaaannnn

"A fading flower was no reason to mourn, he told Emerson, nor were thick layers of mouldering autumn leaves on the forest floor because in the following year all would spring back into life." --Henry David Thoreau

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BookishMarginalia
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Current #audiobook -- not quite halfway through. Great so far, but dense. The current chapter is about #SimonBolivar and how Humbolt influenced the Liberator. New info for me!

Conservio I read this book last year and absolutely loved it! 3y
114 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Polo
Pickpick

Wulf convincingly argues how Humboldt's conception of nature has permeated to today--all while telling an intriguing story!

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Shaaaannnn
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New read!

BookBabe 😻 3y
5 likes1 comment
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[DELETED] 2437761296
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I got up for five minutes to make some tea, and he stole my spot to watch the birds out in the snow. #catsoflitsy

CherylDeFranceschi ❤️😻 3y
7 likes1 stack add1 comment