Sunday, February 8, 2009

Happy Birthday Abe and Charles!

Have you happened to notice lots of newspaper and magazine articles about Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin recently? By coincidence these two influential men share the same birthday and February 12, 2009 is the bicentennial of their birth. Check out the Darwin Day Celebration website for a countdown to February 12th and an introduction to his ideas on evolution and natural selection.

On display in the GBS Library are a selection of books on Darwin and Lincoln. Included is a new illustrated edition of The Origin of Species. This year also marks the 150 year anniversary of the publication of this important work.

One book that I just finished reading is The Reluctant Mr. Darwin by David Quammen. It is a short and very readable biography of Charles Darwin that begins with his life after Beagle voyages. In a witty and somewhat casual style, Quammen provides an understanding of Darwin as a family man and husband. He details the numerous scientific projects that Darwin worked on after he formulated his theory, but before publishing it in his land mark work, The Origin of Species. Also included is an overview of the content of The Origin of Species and the response to Darwin's ideas.

More books have been published about Lincoln than any other American. New books in the GBS Library include: Abraham Lincoln: Great American Historians on our Sixteenth President by Brian Lamb. Read a book or browse the Lincoln Bicentennial to learn more about our most famous Illinois politician.

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