Adam Gopnik Casts His Gaze on Abe Lincoln and Charles Darwin

A New Yorker writer on the origin of modern species

Gopnik, in requisite hand-on-face thoughtful writer's pose
Brigitte Lacombe
Gopnik, in requisite hand-on-face thoughtful writer's pose

Details

Angels and Ages: A Short Book About Darwin, Lincoln, and Modern Life
By Adam Gopnik
Knopf, 224 pp., $24.95

Angels and Ages is similarly confused, though seldom as badly, in many places. But readers may not mind it much, because Gopnik's style remains lucid even when his thoughts aren't; when his struggles with his own thesis grow wearisome, he digs up one of his details and pans out some quality prose. This is pleasing even when otherwise unproductive and, for some of us, makes the book worthwhile, even if we get from it only a brilliant array of dots instead of a Seurat.

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