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The Story of Life

Douglas Palmer (Author), Peter Barrett (Illustrator), Kathy Green (Other)

Available in United States, Canada

Hardcover, 374 pages
ISBN: 9780520255111
November 2009
Evolution recreates the 3.5-billion-year story of life on Earth in stunning detail through vivid full-color illustrations and graphics, the latest scientific information, and hundreds of photographs. At the heart of the book is an astonishing, beautifully detailed panorama by renowned illustrator Peter Barrett that, in 100 double-page site reconstructions, offers a freeze-frame view of the communities—from microbes to humankind—that have lived on our planet’s continents and in its oceans. These groundbreaking artworks, based on the most recent findings at some of the most famous fossil sites around the world, are paired with an authoritative and highly informative text written for a wide audience of readers. A landmark project, published to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth and the 150th anniversary of his book On the Origin of Species, Evolution has been produced in association with the Natural History Museum in London, one of the most important centers of evolution research in the world.The volume includes an index of the hundreds of species shown in the illustrations, introductory articles on evolution, and many other features, making it a must-have reference for all homes, schools, and libraries.
Douglas Palmer teaches at Cambridge University and is the author of many books, including Earth: The Definitive Visual Guide to our Planet, The Origins of Man: An Illustrated History of Human Evolution, and The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Life. His articles appear regularly in Science, BBC Wildlife, and New Scientist. Peter Barrett is a natural history illustrator, painter, graphic designer, and children's book author.
“If time machines were real, this would be the book to carry on nature hikes into the distant past. . . . A field guide to evolution that should win the praise of scholars and armchair paleontologists alike.”—Natural History
“With an impressive density of information, this book is much more than just a checklist of facts. . . . This beautiful volume is worthy of any collector's coffee table.”—Library Journal
“What sets this book apart from other reference books on evolution is that it is not a textbook or an encyclopedia. It is rather a pictorial history of life on earth. Science writer Palmer and well-known illustrator Peter Barrett have teamed up to create an exciting record of life on earth.”—Booklist
“Stunning . . a wonderful tribute 150 years after Darwin published his seminal work.”—Wildlife Activist
“Overwhelming scope and depth. If not for yourself, and if not merely for the bizarrely reasonable price, I seriously recommend seeding the library.”—Carl Mehling American Paleontologist
“This book is up to date and includes . . . current paleontological and systematic knowledge, all of it accurate and correct.”—Michael J. Benton Bioscience
“Evolution is a good book . . . . It stands out from the multitude of other book on the subject by its treatment of the history of life using specific fossil sites to tell the story.”—Fossil News
“Useful and engaging work.”—Reference & Research Book News / Scitech Book News
“At a time when some schools are considering adding Creationism to their curricula, it may be an opportune moment to take stock of the genuine miracle of the living universe without the intrusion of either theology or ideology. Evolution . . . gives readers just such a reference.”—Bookpage
“A lot can happen in 3.5 billion years, as revealed in this five-pound antidote to Intelligent Design.”—East Bay Express
“If you want an overview of what animals (especially vertebrates) lived during different times during prehistory. . . this is a good compendium to keep handy. It provides a broad and up-to-date outline of what lived where and when, and different portions of the book can be cross-checked with each other to provide more information.”—Laelaps Blog
“Truly stunning and will give both the casual fossil enthusiast and jaded professionals new insights into each important evolutionary time slice.”—Paleoblog
"The paintings are magnificent, the text generally excellent and current."—Choice
"Palmer's scholarship is up to date and the text passages are highly appropriate. He has a sense for a good story and good science as well. This book is a prodigious effort, not least in the artwork, but also in the assembly of photos and illustrations, and of course the text."—Kevin Padian, University of California, Berkeley

Outstanding Academic Title, Choice, a publication of the American Library Association

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