BooksMICROBIOLGY

Life from Smut

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Science  09 Feb 2001:
Vol. 291, Issue 5506, pp. 991-992
DOI: 10.1126/science.1057931

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Summary

Sparks of Life Darwinism and the Victorian Debates over Spontaneous Generation. James E. Strick. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 2000. 298 pp. $45, £30.95. ISBN 0-674-00292-X.

Centering his account on Henry Bastian (the last great supporter of the idea that organisms can suddenly arise from nonliving materials), Strick examines the disputes among early Darwinians that helped prepare the foundations of microbiology and speed the acceptance of the germ theory of disease.