The emphasis throughout on how analogies can influence belief is important and persuasive. All told, Alter has provided a rich and rewarding account of the often subtle connections that bound the nineteenth-century sciences of language and life.
By far the most comprehensive discussion of the contributions made by linguists for and against Darwin's theory. There are lessons here for the contemporary understanding of human evolution.
Alter's analysis is a real intellectual treat. Anyone interested in Darwin, linguistics, or the role of analogies and metaphors in science should find this to be a fascinating study.
Anyone who enjoys noting instances of convergence between the sciences and the humanities, will like this short, elegantly written book. It draws expertly both on Charles Darwin's theoretical notebooks and on recent scholarship in the history of linguistics.