The Remarkable Life of William Beebe : Explorer and Naturalist
Booklist Reviews 2004 December #1
A born naturalist with a literary bent, William Beebe (1877-1962) was also a crack shot, a strong swimmer, an expert pilot, and a good photographer. His genius and dedication secured him a curatorial position at the then-brand-new Bronx Zoo, which became a launching pad for pioneering wildlife studies in Trinidad, British Guinea, the Galapagos Islands, and Bermuda. An innovative ecological thinker and close observer of jungle life, Beebe transformed himself into a deep-sea marine biologist, traveling further into the depths via bathysphere than anyone had ever gone before. Ever curious, disciplined, and intrepid, Beebe wrote a stream of best-selling books, discovered numerous unknown species, mentored young scientists (including Rachel Carson), and was close friends with Theodore Roosevelt. Granted unprecedented access to Beebe's papers, science writer Gould tells the entire enthralling story of Beebe's extraordinary life with steadfast acumen and infectious enthusiasm. Crisply elucidating the significance of his trailblazing inquiries into natural selection and practice of studying an organism within "its whole ecosystem," she also sensitively chronicles his concern over the accelerating decimation of the wild. Gould has brought back to vibrant life an essential figure in environmental science and an utterly captivating human being. ((Reviewed December 1, 2004)) Copyright 2004 Booklist Reviews.