The Richness of Life: Book summary and reviews of The Richness of Life by Stephen Jay Gould

The Richness of Life

by Stephen Jay Gould

The Richness of Life

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Book Summary

Upon his death in 2002, Stephen Jay Gould stood at the pinnacle among observers of the natural world, recognized by Congress as a "living legend." His prodigious legacy—sixteen best-selling and prize-winning books, dozens of scientific papers, an unbroken series of three hundred essays in Natural History—combined to make Gould the most widely read science writer of our time. This indispensable collection of forty-eight pieces from his brilliant oeuvre includes selections from classics such as Ever Since Darwin and The Mismeasure of Man, plus articles and speeches never before published in book form.

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Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Gould's many fans, as well as new readers, should find this collection intriguing as well as entertaining, an eminently suitable last hurrah for an amazing thinker." - PW.

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Author Information

Stephen Jay Gould Author Biography



Stephen Jay Gould was born in 1941 and became one of the best known and most popular writers on general science matters and his own specialist field of evolutionary biology.


He had his own column in Natural History magazine, for which he wrote 300 consecutive monthly pieces under the title 'This View of Life'. He also wrote 20 books, many of which were bestsellers, and approximately 1,000 scientific papers.


He taught at Harvard University from 1967 up until his death in 2002, at which time he was Professor of Geology and Curator of Inverterbrate Paleontology, Museum of Comparative Zoology.


He is famous for the concept of 'punctuated equilibrium' which he developed with paleontologist Niles Eldredge. They theorized that the reason that evolutionary change appears to happen...

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Name Pronunciation
Stephen Jay Gould: goold

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