From the Greeks to Darwin: An Outline of the Development of the Evolution Idea by Henry Fairfield Osborn is a piece of work that got its final shape and form through various lectures that the author had delivered in the past. The book treads into the well-known territory of Darwinian evolution but provides some significant fillips to glaring lacuna that exists in the theory of evolution. Henry Fairfield Osborn deftly creates linkages between earlier theories on evolution and Darwin's theory to highlight the fact that the path breaking work of Darwin is neither isolated nor devoid of continuity from previous work on the subject.
Spread across six chapters, From the Greeks to Darwin: An Outline of the Development of the Evolution Idea revisits the work of evolutionists prior to Darwin and builds on theories and concepts that were hitherto ignored or not understood in their entirety. The notion that ideas are a product of nature is a compelling argument in the book. The author retains the premise of continuity right to the end. There is renewed vigour in understanding the contribution of Greek theorists on the subject of evolution.
Henry Fairfield Osborn is decidedly self-effacing as he attributes most of the insight in From the Greeks to Darwin: An Outline of the Development of the Evolution Idea to other scholars. However, with an impressive bibliography and engaging style of writing, this book is perfect for anyone who wishes to understand the history of evolution and the various facets to it.