Val Gendron has undertaken the gigantic task of presenting the incredible life and work, the staggering accomplishments, of Alexander von Humboldt, scientist, explorer, statesman. Penetrating research is reflected in the delineation of facts and details, but more significantly in the objective overall view of the man. The strange dragon tree ironically nurtured in the Botanical Gardens of Berlin symbolized for Alexander the unknown mysteries of the world, mysteries which he vowed one day to solve. Unable to bind an amazing intellect to one subject of specialization, von Humboldt made original contributions in such areas as zoology, physiology, botany, astronomy, geology and oceanography. His travels to Mexico, the tropics and South America led to many anthropological discoveries as well. The author outlines von Humboldt's last unfinished literary work Cosmos and includes 8 additional plates from his works as illustrations. A biography for the more mature student.