Go Green Reads discusses "The Invention of Nature"

The Go Green Reads discussion group meets to discuss The Invention of Nature: Alexander Von Humboldt's New World.

One of the New York Times 10 Best Books of the Year. Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, The James Wright Award for Nature Writing, the Costa Biography Award, the Royal Geographic Society's Ness Award, the Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award. Finalist for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction, the Royal Society Science Book Prize, the Kirkus Prize Prize for Nonfiction, the Independent Bookshop Week Book Award, A Best Book of the Year: The New York Times, The Atlantic, The EconomistNatureJezebelKirkus ReviewsPublishers WeeklyNew ScientistThe IndependentThe TelegraphThe Sunday Times, The Evening Standard, The Spectator.

Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) was the most famous scientist of his age, a visionary German naturalist and polymath whose discoveries forever changed the way we understand the natural world. Among his most revolutionary ideas was a radical conception of nature as a complex and interconnected global force that does not exist for the use of humankind alone. In North America, Humboldt's name still graces towns, counties, parks, bays, lakes, mountains, and a river. And yet the man has been all but forgotten.

In this illuminating biography, Andrea Wulf brings Humboldt's extraordinary life back into focus: his prediction of human-induced climate change; his daring expeditions to the highest peaks of South America and to the anthrax-infected steppes of Siberia; his relationships with iconic figures, including Simón Bolívar and Thomas Jefferson; and the lasting influence of his writings on Darwin, Wordsworth, Goethe, Muir, Thoreau, and many others. Brilliantly researched and stunningly written, The Invention of Nature reveals the myriad ways in which Humboldt's ideas form the foundation of modern environmentalism--and reminds us why they are as prescient and vital as ever.

"[Makes an] urgent argument for Humboldt's relevance. The Humboldt in these pages is bracingly contemporary; he acts and speaks in the way that a polyglot intellectual from the year 2015 might, were he transported two centuries into the past and set out to enlighten the world's benighted scientists and political rulers. . . . At times The Invention of Nature reads like pulp explorer fiction, a genre at least partially inspired by Humboldt's own travelogues. . . . It is impossible to read The Invention of Naturewithout contracting Humboldt fever. Wulf makes Humboldtians of us all."  --Nathaniel Rich, New York Review of Books

The Go Green Reads discussions are free and open to the public. This discussion group started in the spring of 2017. They focus on environmental and sustainable topics such as consumption, waste management, farming/gardening, native plants, water, capitalism, and climate change, just to name a few. The goal of Go Green Reads is to spread awareness and inspire collective and individual action. In addtion to discussing books, the group screens movies, engages speakers, and organizes local field trips. 

Event date: 

Monday, May 20, 2019 - 6:30pm to 7:30pm

Event address: 

The Book Stall
811 Elm Street
Winnetka, IL 60093
The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9780345806291
Availability: On Our Shelves Now....best to call before coming in to pick up.
Published: Vintage - October 4th, 2016

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.

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One of the New York Times 10 Best Books of the Year