Title: ANGELS AND AGES: A SHORT BOOK ABOUT DARWIN, ...
Publisher: New York City, NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2009
Book Condition: Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: Fine
Signed: Signed by Author
Edition: 1st Edition.
1st Printing. Signed. 211 pages. Published in 2009. The author's book-length account on subjects. One of the finest literary and intellectual achievements of our time. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now scarce. Presents Adam Gopnik's "Angels And Ages". The single best book published to celebrate the Bi-Centennial of both Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln. His single most brilliant, riveting, and insightful collection of linked essays, on two great, still-controversial, and still-relevant figures, who were born on the same day, February 12, 1809. "In the year of Darwin's and Lincoln's Bi-Centennial, Gopnik finds parallels of cultural impact between the men, born on the same day in 1809, seeing them as twin exemplars of modernity. Gopnik notes that it is not what they have in common with each other that matters. It is what they have in common with us. And that commonality lies in the modern way of speaking (plain English) and thinking (scientific and liberal). Gopnik underscores the importance of eloquence in spreading new ideas, and his notion that Lincoln and Darwin exemplify the modern predicament, that human beings must live in the space between what we know and what we feel, is resonant" (Publishers Weekly). The criticism leveled against Gopnik's account is that the connection between Lincoln and Darwin is tenuous at best, and that his effort to make one is a stretch. We need to respond to the stupidity of such criticism as plainly as possible: There is no obvious connection whatsoever between Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln. Gopnik's achievement is precisely to find and make the connection where none previously existed, enabling us to see two men who never met in a whole new light, and making it impossible to dismiss their connection from hereon. Forget the solemn and adoring 500-page books on Darwin and Lincoln that have been published in 2009, tedious "scholarship" that goes over the same ground previous books have already trod. Adam Gopnik's book is all you need to see these two towering modern figures again, with fresh eyes, with intelligence, and with insight, that rare ability to make connections where none appear to exist. An absolute "must-have" title for Adam Gopnik, Charles Darwin, and Abraham Lincoln collectors. This copy is very prominently and beautifully signed and dated (in the year of publication) in black pen on the title page by Adam Gopnik. It is signed directly on the page itself, not on a tipped-in page. This title is a contemporary classic. This is one of very few such signed and dated copies of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. A rare signed copy thus. One of the most brilliant American writers of our time. A fine copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER ADAM GOPNIK TITLES IN OUR CATALOG) ISBN 0307270785. Bookseller Inventory # 14899
Synopsis: On a memorable day in human history, February 12, 1809, two babies were born an ocean apart: Abraham Lincoln in a one-room Kentucky log cabin; Charles Darwin on an English country estate. It was a time of backward-seeming notions, when almost everyone still accepted the biblical account of creation as the literal truth and authoritarianism as the most natural and viable social order. But by the time both men died, the world had changed: ordinary people understood that life on earth was a story of continuous evolution, and the Civil War had proved that a democracy could fight for principles and endure. And with these signal insights much else had changed besides. Together, Darwin and Lincoln had become midwives to the spirit of a new world, a new kind of hope and faith.
Searching for the men behind the icons of emancipation and evolution, Adam Gopnik shows us, in this captivating double life, Lincoln and Darwin as they really were: family men and social climbers; ambitious manipulators and courageous adventurers; the living husband, father, son, and student behind each myth. How do we reconcile Lincoln, the supremely good man we know, with the hardened commander who wittingly sent tens of thousands of young soldiers to certain death? Why did the relentlessly rational Darwin delay publishing his ?Great Idea? for almost twenty years? How did inconsolable grief at the loss of a beloved child change each man? And what comfort could either find?for himself or for a society now possessed of a sadder, if wiser, understanding of our existence? Such human questions and their answers are the stuff of this book.
Above all, we see Lincoln and Darwin as thinkers and writers?as makers and witnesses of the great change in thought that marks truly modern times: a hundred years after the Enlightenment, the old rule of faith and fear finally yielding to one of reason, argument, and observation not merely as intellectual ideals but as a way of life; the judgment of divinity at last submitting to the verdicts of history and time. Lincoln considering human history, Darwin reflecting on deep time?both reshaped our understanding of what life is and how it attains meaning. And they invented a new language to express that understanding. Angels and Ages is an original and personal account of the creation of the liberal voice?of the way we live now and the way we talk at home and in public. Showing that literary eloquence is essential to liberal civilization, Adam Gopnik reveals why our heroes should be possessed by the urgency of utterance, obsessed by the need to see for themselves, and endowed with the gift to speak for us all.
About the Author: Adam Gopnik has been writing for The New Yorker since 1986. He is a three-time winner of the National Magazine Award for Essays and for Criticism and the George Polk Award for Magazine Reporting. From 1995 to 2000, he lived in Paris; he now lives in New York City with his wife and their two children.
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