Loren Eiseley challenges us to this day with his uneasy interpretation of humanity's place in the world. The haunting melancholy that pervades much of Eiseley's work grew out of a loveless childhood in which he spent much time alone in the natural world. His mother was mentally ill and his father, a singularly unsuccessful traveling salesman, spent little time at home. Perhaps in an effort to compensate, Eiseley drove himself relentlessly to succeed. Gale E. Christian-son's biography offers an unexpurgated evaluation of a man whose difficult past helped shape the brilliant essays that continue to dazzle new audiences.