The Invention of Nature reveals the extraordinary life of the visionary German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) and how he created the way we understand nature today. Though almost forgotten today, his name lingers everywhere from the Humboldt Current to the Humboldt penguin. Humboldt was an intrepid explorer and the most famous scientist of his age. His restless life was packed with adventure and discovery, whether climbing the highest volcanoes in the world, paddling down the Orinoco or racing through anthrax–infested Siberia. Perceiving nature as an interconnected global force, Humboldt discovered similarities between climate zones across the world and predicted human-induced climate change. He turned scientific observation into poetic narrative, and his writings inspired naturalists and poets such as Darwin, Wordsworth and Goethe but also politicians such as Jefferson.
Andrea Wulf is the author of “The Brother Gardeners” and the co-author of “This Other Eden”. Her book “Founding Gardeners” was published to great acclaim in spring 2011. Her “Chasing Venus” was published in 2012 in eight countries in conjunction with the last transit of Venus in our century. And her latest book ‘The Invention of Nature” has received rave reviews and awards – and is a New York Times bestseller. She has written for New York Times, the Atlantic, the LA Times, Wall Street Journal, the Sunday Times and the Guardian and many others.