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Bully for Brontosaurus: Reflections in Natural History

Bully for Brontosaurus: Reflections in Natural History By Stephen Jay Gould Bully for Brontosaurus Reflections in Natural History Provocative and delightfully discursive essays on natural history Gould is the Stan Musial of essay writing He can work himself into a corkscrew of ideas and improbable allusions paragraph after parag

  • Title: Bully for Brontosaurus: Reflections in Natural History
  • Author: Stephen Jay Gould
  • ISBN: 9780393308570
  • Page: 161
  • Format: Paperback
  • Bully for Brontosaurus: Reflections in Natural History By Stephen Jay Gould Provocative and delightfully discursive essays on natural history Gould is the Stan Musial of essay writing He can work himself into a corkscrew of ideas and improbable allusions paragraph after paragraph and then, uncoiling, hit it with such power that his fans know they are experiencing the game of essay writing at its best John Noble Wilford, New York Times Provocative and delightfully discursive essays on natural history Gould is the Stan Musial of essay writing He can work himself into a corkscrew of ideas and improbable allusions paragraph after paragraph and then, uncoiling, hit it with such power that his fans know they are experiencing the game of essay writing at its best John Noble Wilford, New York Times Book Review
    Bully for Brontosaurus: Reflections in Natural History By Stephen Jay Gould

    Bully for Brontosaurus Reflections in Natural History Bully for Brontosaurus and bully for Gould too Kirkus Reviews May be Gould s finest to date Whether his topic is typewriter design, thetechnical triumph of Voyager or Joe DiMaggio s hitting streak, Gould holds our attention His essays are illuminating, instructive, and fun to read Publishers Weekly Bully for Brontosaurus Reflections in Natural History by Bully for Brontosaurus is not a book dealing only with dinosaurs, this even if Gould was first and above all a paleontologist In fact we have here a collection of essays about ranging from paleontology and biology to astronomy and planetology he Bully for Brontosaurus Reflections in Natural History by Apr , No living scientist who writes for the public has a better claim to the mantle of Thomas Huxley in range of interests and felicity of style Bully for Brontosaurus is the fifth and finest selection David Fromkin Washington Post Book World

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    One thought on “Bully for Brontosaurus: Reflections in Natural History

    1. William1 on said:

      Stephen Jay Gould was adept at reviewing scientific missteps and errors and building telling lessons from them His essays are highly discursive, often taking twists and turns through little known bits of history and popular culture, as a means of explicating complex concepts He was a brilliant man and one of those writers like neurologist Oliver Sacks, say, or biologist E.O Wilson who could take abstruse subject matter and make it intelligible to the general reader Though, it should be noted, no [...]

    2. Caroline on said:

      I read the first half of this book about 10 years ago, and went back a few days ago to read the rest Why the break It was a good read.I have no idea why I came to a halt.Having finished the book I went back and looked at some of the earlier essays Bully For Brontosaurus.a wonderful discussion about the rules governing how zoologists name animals These rules are laid out in the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature and the 1985 edition runs to 338 pages That is a lot of regulation Gould s [...]

    3. Kevin on said:

      Gould s essays on evolution and natural history inform the reader, for sure, but as importantly, they prompt the reader to question our conventional wisdom on not only biology, but a whole host of matters He challenges the assumptions of his colleagues, he questions both the religious and the irreligious, he examines the ongoing conflicts between evolutionists and creationists all in an engaging, funny and personal manner He talks about his experience with cancer which sadly eventually got him a [...]

    4. Juan Hidalgo on said:

      Un interesante conjunto de ensayos cient ficos centrados en la comprensi n y la defensa de la teor a de la evoluci n, que nos lleva desde para qu sirven los pezones masculinos bueno, no sirven para nada, por eso la pregunta es por qu est n ah , hasta curiosidades sobre especies animales extra as o costumbres de la sociedad norteamericana.El autor suele partir de una an cdota, o de un debate cient fico del siglo pasado, para llegar a una reflexi n y explicaci n sobre el punto de que se trate Aunq [...]

    5. ferrigno on said:

      EcletticoGould sar il nome un geniale poligrafo, capace di inserire in un solo saggio appassionanti vicende personali, aneddoti riguardanti scienziati dell 800, citazioni bibliche e citazioni letterarie.Una prosa scorrevole e un modo semplice di affrontare argomenti complessi, senza banalizzarli.Ecco un brano Venni in questo universo, il perch non sapendoN il donde, com acqua che scorre volente o nolenteE da esso uscir , come vento nel desertoChe soffia volente o nolente, non so verso dove Omar [...]

    6. Andy on said:

      Definitely a favorite author Great historical perspective on a wide variety of topics ranging from history of science including current ish science education to topical stories and ties them together seemlessly The essays are good for people who have curious minds, not just of interest to scientists And of course probably left over since childhood, topics dealing with dinosaurs that give information always entertain me.

    7. Mike on said:

      With essays like Male Nipples and Clitoral Ripples, you can enjoy science while also being amused by his sense of humor Great writing makes the natural world come alive What fun.

    8. jjonas on said:

      I ve read two other essay collections by Gould before this one, and this is or less the same as those quite good.However I m not sure if it s Gould or whether it s the essay format, but I m really tired of the frequent reference and name dropping that seems to serve few other purposes but the author s vanity look what I ve read, look what I know, look what I can do Why not just stick to the subject matter, let your light shine that way, and leave out all the fancy but unnecessary references The [...]

    9. Alexander Miles on said:

      I hadn t read such a large 511 pages large collection of essays by a single author before it proved to be a unique experience Being a collection of 35 mostly independent essays makes it particularly good for brief reading sessions, where you get a complete fully formed message in just 10 20 pages Gould covers a surprisingly large gamut of topics, some familiar to me, others totally alien, but all with a consistent approach Gould starts with some narrative, seemingly unrelated to the topic of the [...]

    10. John Nelson on said:

      One of the pleasures of reading Natural History Magazine back in the day say the 1970s through the 1990s was perusing the wonderfully discursive essays written by Harvard paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould Although the essays focused on natural history and evolution, they touched on literature, baseball, and a host of other topics This volume collects the best of Gould s essays as selected by the author himself from the late 1980s through early 1990s time period The essays seem somewhat diminished [...]

    11. Kest Schwartzman on said:

      I loved these essays Some of them are dated, but in a poignant oh, he thought he was witnessing the end of this debate and I sure wish he d been right way than a this is no longer applicable way I learned stuff I was fascinated I m sad it s over I ll be looking up of his essay collections.

    12. Jason Adams on said:

      I am a big fan of Gould s garrulous mind and his ability to relate even the most esoteric piece of biological science to the wider world of history, art, or literature I am told by many of my scientific friends that the biology of the eighties and nineties has been radically transformed by computers and the human genome, but these little slices of a bygone era warm my heat Four stars.

    13. Carol Cotter on said:

      I registered a book at BookCrossing BookCrossing journal 14416601

    14. Karen on said:

      This review was written in September 1991, not long after the book s publication Stephen Jay Gould has been writing monthly essays for Natural History magazine for over eighteen years, and he has gotten pretty good at it by now His newest collection is the best one so far While Gould has always been able to impress with the depth and breadth of his scientific knowledge, this collection contains personal insight, humor, and humility than some of his previous work.Gould makes no secret of his int [...]

    15. Anthony Peter on said:

      I ve got a lot of Stephen Jay Gould s collections of essays, and read through them slowly It s taken me three or four years to plug away at this collection, and I ve enjoyed the experience, even if I can t remember much of them and have not understood a lot of what they have to say.So why do I bother I enjoy science, am interested in evolution, and feel it s useful to try to keep up with some aspect of science since our world is so dependent on our scientific understanding of it and the technolo [...]

    16. Aurélien Thomas on said:

      First of all I think the title is quite misleading Bully for Brontosaurus is not a book dealing only with dinosaurs, this even if Gould was first and above all a paleontologist In fact we have here a collection of essays about 40 ranging from paleontology and biology to astronomy and planetology he is for instance reacting to the discoveries of Voyager.Rich, instructive, entertaining, Stephen Jay Gould remains true to himself he starts by discussing topics as insignificant as the birth of baseba [...]

    17. Dan on said:

      This book was a joy to read Stephen Jay Gould combines interesting scientific anecdotes with strong doses of philosophy and perspective The book collects 35 of Gould s monthly essays from Natural History magazine, and there aren t than a few duds among them Most of the essays are engaging, entertaining and thoughtful The point of most of the essays is not to impart facts though there are plenty of those , but to inform our ways of thinking about science He addresses many of the biases and error [...]

    18. J. Dolan on said:

      One has to applaud a book that ranges from the mathematical improbability of Joe Dimaggio s famous 56 game hitting streak in baseball to that of intelligent life springing up on this or any planet As diverse an assortment of historical figures as you ll find anywhere appears in these essays, everyone from Omar Khayyam to William Jennings Bryan to Joltin Joe himself One of the joys of this collection as well as many of the prolific Mr Gould s others is having no clue what delights the next chapte [...]

    19. Luc Hawthorne on said:

      This book, along with many of his others, was a collection of his his students favorite lectures on natural history Seriously brilliant material from a brilliant mind and gifted storyteller I wish only that he was alive to see that his work in evolutionary biology has advanced so much with the completion of various genome projects How fun would it be for him to see that falcons are now classified with parrots, or that elephants and East Indian matinees descend from a common ancestor This leads m [...]

    20. Richp on said:

      I enjoy Gould s essays in this series, and read one of the earlier books containing them Some were very good, but some were same old, same old for a reader familiar with his work, and some were much ado about not very much for those outside the small scientific community in that field at that time I think by this time he had used up most of his original ideas and was recycling much of the time.I really welcomed the explanation of how William Jennings Bryan, a hero to the progressive movement an [...]

    21. Kate on said:

      From his best selling Wonderful Life to his splendid essays on the endlessly interesting variations of evolution Stephen Jay Gould has raised the art of scientific writing to new heights back coverI adore good scientific writing, and Stephen Jay Gould certainly ranks up there amongst the masters of the genre, in my opinion It s hard to choose my favorite from this palette of essays spoiled for choice seems to cover it I enjoyed the historic sections a bit than I did the parsing of greats and no [...]

    22. Chris Laskey on said:

      Always a delight to read in this case re read So what if some of the material is slightly dated after all the essays appeared back in the 1980 s a lot has changed what hasn t changed is Gould s writing his knack for bending and twisting what would seem unlikely pairings or concepts into intriguing realizations His manner with mindful humor and references puts me in awe of his knowledge and his researching capabilities especially when one remembers that access to such info required real research [...]

    23. Pete D'angelo on said:

      enjoyable collection of essays from the late harvard evolutionary biologist, stephen jay gould i approached this book with slight apprehension, having read collection of essay books before that i found dry and monotonous gould s essays, however, are for the most part clever, insightful and interesting ranging from quirky historical tales from the history of science, to the origin of baseball my personal favorite the common thread throughout most of the essays is darwinian evolution, and the auth [...]

    24. Lynda on said:

      I was pleased to read, on , that Gould did not die of the peritoneal mesothelioma that prompted his famous essay The Median isn t the Message in 1982 And sorry to learn he died of another form of cancer 20 years later while only in in 60s Reading Bully for Brontosaurus made me realize Gould had influenced me in my youth His optimistic and narrative approach to being pro science is nicely summed up in his final essay of this collection, The Horns of Titan where he points out how individuality wei [...]

    25. Brad on said:

      This book is a collection of essays by Gould which are written in an attempt to make his area of scientific study approachable by the general public I have a strong background in biology and evolution, so I enjoyed many of his essays on those topics, but I would think that some would be challenging to grasp without a good foundation in the sciences Because the book is a collection, some of the works are interesting than others, and I found myself thrilled with most pieces but trudging through o [...]

    26. Tom on said:

      Essays on Evolution, the history of the study of Evolution, on humans flawed methods of reasoning about the world and some baseballG was an excellent writer these essays were mostly newspaper columns explaining various scientific topics in an clear and accessible manner There is some pretty interesting information in here overall the collection is good, with plenty of small insights I think I had started reading it expecting some major new viewpoints on Evolution his speciality and related field [...]

    27. Leah on said:

      Full of nerdy tidbits of trivia, and also pretty funny It s a collection of essays about little stuff that most people contemplate for a few minutes, but he s actually taken the time to look it up Like why kiwis lay such giant eggs, or the battle over whether brontosaurus name should be changed to appatosaurus it s original name, and the topic of the essay for which the book is named Even if you re not a science nerd, like me, I still recommend it as a fun read The essays are short enough that y [...]

    28. Mark on said:

      Readability 6 Rating 4 Date estimated Pages estimated Gould is a defensive adolescent cut from the Bill Gates mode who uses his intellect to convince himself that he s not really a nerd and a social misfit, and everyone will pay for the way they treated him as a child The book is a big soap box for Gould, from which he smiles as he dazzles us intellectual peasants Or at least I m sure that s how he sees it But, with a few exceptions, the essays on natural history and his other interests keep in [...]

    29. Marc on said:

      Stephen Gould stories from his columns Baseball didn t originate in America but I ll overlook that historical gaff He doesn t generally get these things wrong I don t think the sport is as profound as Gould either, but contrary is in my DNA just like Gould I loved his thesis about QWERTY As always, he takes a slightly off beat slant on something we would take for granted at least those of us who even know what it is Great works.

    30. Eric on said:

      Gould has always been a favorite for those of us who enjoy popular science writing mostly because the real deal is too jargon laden and dense for non experts to understand and this collection of essays is a gem Gould s dismisal of evolutionary psych has always been a bone of contention, and his sometimes limp liberalism can be annoying, but his essays are always interesting, most often thought provoking, and thoroughly readable.

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