Five Stars for
The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World by Andrea Wulf
Alexander von Humboldt was an exceptionally brilliant, insightful man. He was painstakingly thorough in his research, and he delivered his monumental message two centuries ago. This one of a kind scientist pioneered his research with an original approach. He saw the need for an ecological balance between nature and mans ever encroaching plunder of new frontiers.
I loved the book’s aspects of discovery, enlightenment, and consciousness. Andrea Wulf delivered Humboldt’s message which the world desperately needs to heed now. This huge volume captivated my attention all the way through and I was sad to see it come to an end...it is memorable!
Author Andrea Wulf writes of Alexander Humboldt:
"During much of his long life, he was the nexus of the scientific world, writing some 50,000 letters and receiving at least double that number. Knowledge, Humboldt believed, had to be shared, exchanged, and made available to everybody. Humboldt ‘read’ plants as others did books – and to him they revealed a global force behind nature, the movements of civilizations as well as of landmass. No one had ever approached botany in this way."
"Humboldt talked of ‘mankind’s mischief … which disturbs nature’s order’. There were moments in his life when he was so pessimistic that he painted a bleak future of humankind’s eventual expansion into space, when humans would spread their lethal mix of vice, greed, violence and ignorance across other planets. The human species could turn even those distant stars ‘barren’ and leave them ‘ravaged’, Humboldt wrote as early as 1801, just as they were already doing with earth."