Catalogue


Trees of life : a visual history of evolution /
Theodore W. Pietsch.
imprint
Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012.
description
xi, 358 p. : ill. ; 26 cm.
ISBN
1421404796 (hardcover : acid-free paper), 9781421404790 (hardcover : acid-free paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012.
isbn
1421404796 (hardcover : acid-free paper)
9781421404790 (hardcover : acid-free paper)
contents note
Brackets and tables, circles and maps, 1554-1872 -- Early botanical networks and trees, 1766-1815 -- The first evolutionary tree, 1786-1820 -- Diverse and unusual trees of the early nineteenth century, 1817-1834 -- The rule of five, 1819-1854 -- Pre-Darwinian branching diagrams, 1828-1858 -- Evolution and the trees of Charles Darwin, 1837-1868 -- The trees of Ernst Haeckel, 1866-1905 -- Post-Darwinian nonconformists, 1868-1896 -- More late-nineteenth-century trees, 1874-1897 -- Trees of the early twentieth century, 1901-1930 -- The trees of Alfred Sherwood Romer, 1933-1966 -- Additional trees of the mid-twentieth century, 1931-1943 -- The trees of William King Gregory, 1938-1951 -- Hints of new approaches, 1954-1969 -- Phenograms and cladograms, 1958-1966 -- Early molecular trees, 1962-1987 -- Notable trees of the past four decades, 1970-2010 -- Primeval branches and universal trees of life, 1997-2010.
general note
"Published with the assistance of the University of Washington"--T.p. verso.
catalogue key
8405931
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 335-354) and index.
A Look Inside
Awards
This item was nominated for the following awards:
PSP Prose Awards, USA, 2012 : Nominated
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2012-09-01:
Evolution is often visualized as a branching tree, with the format depending on what the author desires to show. Evolutionary biologist Pietsch (Univ. of Washington, Seattle) is more interested in the history of such trees as art, with only the slightest discussion of the scientific rationale behind the changing style of tree forms. He renders 230 trees dating from 1512 to 2010, arranged in 19 "chapters," following a broadly chronological sequence, with some conceptual or author focus. Early styles include ladders, bracketed diagrams, connected circles, and reticulated networks, but the earliest truly tree-shaped forms appeared around 1800. It was Charles Darwin who converted the tree into an evolutionary image, beginning with his 1837 notebook sketch and expanding to neatly drafted versions in his 1859 Origin of Species and later works. Many complex styles characterized the next 150 years of research, and examples of most forms are presented here, culminating in a rooted spiral image of life's diversity based on DNA similarities. The limited figure captions could have done a better job mentioning the method and goal of the author, even at the risk of duplicating the far-too-short text preceding each chapter's images. Endnotes; short glossary. Summing Up: Recommended. Academic and general readers, all levels. E. Delson CUNY Herbert H. Lehman College
Reviews
Review Quotes
Better than any work before it... Anyone interested in the history of phylogenetics and the study of evolutionary relationships should certainly pick up this wonderful book. In a field advancing as quickly as systematic biology, it is nice to look back at the past once in a while.
Evolution is often visualized as a branching tree, with the format depending on what the author desires to show. Evolutionary biologist Pietsch is more interested in the history of such trees as art.
For those with an interest in the history of evolution.
Looking at the ways images of trees have been used to depict the relationships between organisms over the past five centuries, Pietsch explores how the visual history of these 'trees of life' reveals changing human understandings of evolution.
Of interest primarily to naturalists and historians, the collection of symbolic relationships presents a unique evolutionary transition through time.
Pietsch, an evolutionary biologist, gathers together and explains more than 200 "tree of life" diagrams going back 450 years. These branch-like drawings-some simple, some incredibly elaborate-were made to illustrate interconnectedness between organisms and the process of evolution. They can be seen as scientific documents, artistic renderings, or both.
Recommended.
The book testifies to Pietsch's encyclopaedic ambition and his unmistakable passion for the subject. His collection is rich and wide in scope... Because of this diversity, the book provides a very stimulating overview of (Western) attempts to make graphic sense of life and its history on this planet. It has no rival as an introduction to the subject.
Trees of Life commemorates the tree as a visual representation of life; science buffs will revel in this dazzling forest of transformation.
Trees of Life is a beautiful book, and the diversity of beautiful images within its pages should be of interest to historians of science, biologists, folks working at the intersection of science and art, and, honestly, anyone with a genuine interest in science and the study of the natural world. This is a taxonomy of trees of life, if you will.
Trees of Life is the sort of book that instantly fascinates... this exemplary work is an important contribution to the history of evolution.
With the concept of evolution now often iconified to the point of misrepresentation, Trees of Life reminds us that both the idea and its representation were-and are-fluid, debated, and reconstructed.
Systematics and the exact tracing of evolutionary pathways increasingly continue their renaissance as a major enterprise of biology. Theodore W. Pietsch's Trees of Life: A Visual History of Evolution is an excellent way to study and think about the historical process that is underway.
Anyone interested in the history of phylogenetics and the study of evolutionary relationships should certainly pick up this wonderful book.
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, September 2012
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
For the past 450 years, tree-like branching diagrams have been created to show the complex and surprising interrelationships of organisms, both living and fossil, from viruses and bacteria to birds and mammals. This stunning book celebrates the manifest beauty, intrinsic interest, and human ingenuity of these exquisite trees of life. Theodore W. Pietsch has chosen 230 trees of lifefrom among thousands of possible contendersdating from the sixteenth century to the present day. His arrangement gives readers a visual sense of the historical development of these diagrams and shows how, in Darwin's words, "from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved." Pietsch's brief, accessible prose accompanies the diverse trees to fully reveal the engrossing history of evolution. Over the centuries, trees of life appeared in a wide variety of forms; some were revered as iconic while others incited intense controversy. The earliest examples were meant to portray the imagined temporal order in which God created life on Earth. More recent scientific trees represent hypothetical histories of life. Never before has the full spectrum of trees of life been brought together in a single volume. Pietsch has spent decades collecting and researching the origin and meaning of these evolutionary trees and presents a visually breathtaking and intellectually brilliant history of the form.
Main Description
For the past 450 years, tree-like branching diagrams have attempted to show the complex and surprising interrelationships of organisms, both living and fossil, from viruses and bacteria to birds and mammals. This stunning book celebrates the manifest beauty, intrinsic interest, and human ingenuity revealed in these exquisite trees of life. Theodore W. Pietsch has chosen 230 trees of life-from among thousands of possible contenders-dating from the sixteenth century to the present day. His arrangement gives readers a visual sense of the historical development of these diagrams and shows how, in Darwin's words, "from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved." Pietsch's brief, accessible prose accompanies stunning reproductions to tell the engrossing history of evolutionary trees. Over the centuries, trees of life appeared in a wide variety of forms, some revered as iconic while others incited intense controversy. The earliest examples were meant to reveal the imagined temporal order in which God created life on Earth. More recent scientific trees try to represent hypothetical histories of life. Never before has the full spectrum of trees of life been brought together in a single volume. Pietsch has spent decades collecting and researching the origin and meaning of these evolutionary trees and presents a visually breathtaking and intellectually brilliant history of the form.
Bowker Data Service Summary
Pietsch has chosen 230 trees of life - from among thousands of possible contenders - dating from the 16th century to the present day. His arrangement gives readers a visual sense of the historical development of these diagrams.
Back Cover Copy
For the past 450 years, tree-like branching diagrams have been created to show the complex and surprising interrelationships among organisms, both living and fossil, from viruses and bacteria to birds and mammals. This stunning book celebrates the manifest beauty, intrinsic interest, and human ingenuity of these exquisite trees of life. Theodore W. Pietsch has chosen 230 trees of life dating from the sixteenth century to the present day. His arrangement gives readers a visual sense of the historical development of these diagrams and shows how, in Darwin's words, "from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved." "With the concept of evolution now often iconified to the point of misrepresentation, Trees of Life reminds us that both the idea and its representation wereand arefluid, debated, and reconstructed." Science " Trees of Life is a beautiful book, and the diversity of beautiful images within its pages should be of interest to historians of science, biologists, folks working at the intersection of science and art, and, honestly, anyone with a genuine interest in science and the study of the natural world. This is a taxonomy of trees of life, if you will." The Dispersal of Darwin "Better than any work before it... Anyone interested in the history of phylogenetics and the study of evolutionary relationships should certainly pick up this wonderful book. In a field advancing as quickly as systematic biology, it is nice to look back at the past once in a while."Systematic Biology " Trees of Life is the sort of book that instantly fascinates... This exemplary work is an important contribution to the history of evolution." Taxon "Looking at the ways images of trees have been used to depict the relationships between organisms over the past five centuries, Pietsch explores how the visual history of these 'trees of life' reveals changing human understandings of evolution." ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment
Table of Contents
Prefacep. ix
Introductionp. 1
Brackets and Tables, Circles and Maps, 1554-1872p. 7
Early Botanical Networks and Trees, 1766-1815p. 26
The First Evolutionary Tree, 1786-1820p. 34
Diverse and Unusual Trees of the Early Nineteenth Century, 1817-1834p. 39
The Rule of Five, 1819-1854p. 52
Pre-Darwinian Branching Diagrams, 1828-1858p. 66
Evolution and the Trees of Charles Darwin, 1837-1868p. 85
The Trees of Ernst Haeckel, 1866-1905p. 98
Post-Darwinian Nonconformists, 1868-1896p. 123
More Late Nineteenth-Century Trees, 1874-1897p. 131
Trees of the Early Twentieth Century, 1901-1930p. 149
The Trees of Alfred Sherwood Romer, 1933-1966p. 181
Additional Trees of the Mid-Twentieth Century, 1931-1943p. 196
The Trees of William King Gregory, 1938-1951p. 216
Hints of New Approaches, 1954-1969p. 242
Phenograms and Cladograms, 1958-1966p. 255
Early Molecular Trees, 1962-1987p. 274
Notable Trees of the Past Four Decades, 1970-2010p. 286
Primeval Branches and Universal Trees of Life, 1997รน2010p. 311
Glossaryp. 319
Notesp. 325
Referencesp. 335
Indexp. 355
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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