Book Resource Lists: Peru and Bolivia

View or download a PDF here.


  • Antúnez de Mayolo, Kay K.  “Peruvian Natural Dye Plants: Economic Botany”, Economic Botany 43(2), 181-191, 1989. Online at

A literature and field survey to recover information about the traditional use of dye plants in Peru, from pre-Hispanic to recent times, accompanied by taxonomic identification of collected dye plant materials.

  • Cardon, Dominique. Natural Dyes. Archetype Publications, London, 2007.

This book sets out to record sources of colorants discovered and used on all the continents from antiquity until the present day. Some 300 plants and 30 animals (marine molluscs and scale insects) are illustrated and discussed by the author, whose passion for natural dyes, with their colors of unequalled richness and subtlety, has taken her across the globe in search of dye sources and dyers.

  • Carmella Padilla and Barbara Anderson. A Red Like No Other: How Cochineal Colored the World. Skira Rizzoli, 2015.

A Red Like No Other translates the cochineal story into three dimensions, following the precious bug juice from Mexico to Europe and beyond as it insinuated itself into all forms of art, politics, and commerce. More than 20 scholars and other experts contributed essays in art, history, economics, and conservation.

  • Gerber, Frederick. Cochineal and The Insect Dyes. Ormond Beach, FL, 1978.

This pamphlet-style book is for craft dyers interested in working with natural sources of pigment and includes a historical background, descriptions of studies, and for complete copies, an insert with samples dyed with various modifiers.

  • Greenfield, Amy Butler. A Perfect Red. Harper Perennial, New York, 2005.

This book is an engaging read through an interpreted history of cochineal including the politics and various discoveries over time, along with the beautiful textiles created by the dye. Some information is given on Pizarro’s conquest of Peru in 1533 and its contribution to the culture and art of cochineal.

  • Phipps, Elena. Cochineal Red: The Art History of a Color. Metropolitan Museum of Art, Yale University Press, 2010.

Phipps, former conservator and textile scholar at the Metropolitan Museum of New York, describes cochineal’s earliest origins in South America and Mexico and then travels in time using existing textiles present in the Met collection while tracing cochineal’s journey into western Europe and around the world into the 20th century.

  • Recker, Keith. True Colors: World Masters of Natural Dyes & Pigments. Thrums Books, 2019.

True Colors shares in depth conversations with 28 artisans from across the globe focusing on the creation of color from natural materials and the historical and environmental aspects of natural dyeing.

  • Arguedas, Jose Maria. Yawar Fiesta. Waveland Press Inc., 2002. Novel.

Yawar Fiesta is the first novel by the Peruvian author José María Arguedas, published in 1941. It is considered as part of the Latin-American indigenista movement. Set in the village of Puquio it depicts the performance of a bullfight in the Andean style as part of a celebration called ‘yawar punchay’. (Summary from Wikipedia)

  • Llosa, Mario Vargas. Death in the Andes. Picador, 2007. Novel.

Death in the Andes is an atmospheric suspense story and a political allegory, a panoramic view of contemporary Peru from one of the world’s great novelists. (Summary from Amazon)

  • Neruda, Pablo. The Heights of Macchu Picchu. Copper Canyon Press, 2014. Poetry.

The Heights of Macchu Picchu is the finest and most famous of Neruda’s longer poems and provides the key to his earlier work. Inspired by his journey to Macchu Picchu, Neruda’s journey takes on all the symbolic qualities of a personal “venture into the interior” as the poem progresses, exploring both the roots of the poet’s identity and the history of Latin America.  This translation has been rendered by the distinguished poet Nathaniel Tarn and is presented in a bilingual edition, with the Spanish and English texts on facing pages. (Summary from Google Books)

  • Vallejo, Cesar. Poemas Humanos. METAS Ediciones, S.L., 2001. Poetry.

This set of poems were written by the Peruvian poet César Vallejo between 1931 and 1937 and reflected his socialist realism stage.  They were published posthumously. (Summary from Wikipedia)

  • Bingham, Hiram. Lost City of the Incas: The Story of Machu Picchu and its Builders. Phoenix Press, 2002. 

In 1911 Hiram Bingham, a pre-historian with a love of exotic destinations, set out to Peru in search of the legendary city of Vilcabamba, capital city of the last Inca ruler, Manco Inca. With a combination of doggedness and good fortune he stumbled on the perfectly preserved ruins of Machu Picchu perched on a cloud-capped ledge 2000 feet above the torrent of the Urubamba River. (Summary from Google Books)

  • Duff, Robert. Bolivar’s Inca Quero: The Ultimate Royal Prophecy, monograph. La Paz Publications. 

Explore the events in the life of South America’s Liberator, Simon Bolivar, as he celebrated the end of the American Wars for Independence as the reluctant Emperor of Peru while receiving his greatest honors from the indigenous people of the Lake Titicaca region. (Summary from publisher)

  • Elorrieta, Ferando and Edgar. The Sacred Valley of the Incas: Myths and Symbols. Aedo Publications, 2004.

Fernando and Edgar Elorrieta introduce the world to a new and profound view of Andean myths that they have been able to decode and convert into history and reality through a study of semiotics, aesthetics and archaeoastronomy. (Summary from Goodreads)

  • Healy, Kevin. Llamas, Weavings, and Organic Chocolate: Multicultural Grassroots Development in the Andes and Amazon of Bolivia. Kellogg Institute Series on Democracy and Development. University of Notre Dame Press, 2001. 

In this story of Bolivian rural development and cultural change, Part I provides an overview of the history of rural development in Bolivia–the long history of anti-indigenous discrimination, the introduction of aid programs in the Western development paradigm, the rise of grassroots movements challenging this paradigm, and the array of initiatives now contributing to the revitalization of indigenous cultural resources. Part II consists of in-depth narratives of nine projects, giving an inside view of the processes that interweave cultural recuperation and developmental strategies. (Summary from Google Books)

  • Hemming, John. The Conquest of the Incas. Pan Macmillan, 2004. 

John Hemming’s masterly and highly acclaimed account of one of the most exciting conquests known to history, the conquest of the Incas, from the first small band of Spanish adventurers to enter the mighty Inca empire to the execution of the last Inca forty years later.  It is the story of bloodshed, infamy, rebellion and extermination, told as convincingly as if it happened yesterday. (Summary from Goodreads)

  • MacQuarrie, Kim. Last Days of the Incas. Little, Brown Book Group, 2012. 

The epic story of the fall of the Inca Empire to Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro in the aftermath of a bloody civil war, and the recent discovery of the lost guerrilla capital of the Incas, Vilcabamba, by three American explorers. (Summary from Google Books)

  • Prescott, William H. History of the Conquest of Peru. Kessinger Publishing, 2004. 

In a series of episodes as fantastic as any fiction, a powerful civilization crumbled at the hands of a small band of warriors. Written by one of America’s great historians, this gripping chronicle draws upon the firsthand accounts of eminent sixteenth-century captains and statesmen to relate the overthrow of the Inca empire by the Spanish adventurers under Pizarro’s command. Prescott’s reconstructions of the attitudes and motivations behind the tumultuous events of the Spanish conquest offer memorable, insightful views of New World history. (Summary from Dover Publications)

  • Starn, Orin, Degregori, Ivan, and Kirk, Robin. The Peru Reader: History, Culture, Politics. Duke University Press, 2005. 

From Peru’s pre-Columbian civilizations to its citizens’ twenty-first-century struggles, this collection presents a vast array of essays, folklore, historical documents, poetry, songs, short stories, autobiographical accounts, and photographs. Works by contemporary Peruvian intellectuals and politicians appear alongside accounts of those whose voices are less often heard—peasants, street vendors, maids, Amazonian Indians, and African-Peruvians. (Summary from Google Books)

  • Thomson, Hugh. A Sacred Landscape: The Search for Ancient Peru. Harry N. Abrams, 2007. 

Thomson’s book is an excellent historical and archaeological perspective of ancient Peru through the rise and fall of various civilizations.

  • Thomson, Hugh. Cochineal Red: Travels Through Ancient Peru, Orion Publishing Group, 2010.

While not about the natural dye, cochineal, the book looks at civilizations through time that formed and existed in the various terrains of Peru.

  • Thomson, Sinclair, Barragan, Rosanna, et. al., eds.  The Bolivia Reader: History, Culture, Politics (The Latin America Readers). Duke University Press, 2018.  

The Bolivia Reader illustrates the historical depth and contemporary challenges of Bolivia in all their complexity. Whether documenting Inka rule or Spanish conquest, three centuries at the center of Spanish empire, or the turbulent politics and cultural vibrancy of the national period, these sources—the majority of which appear in English for the first time—foreground the voices of actors from many different walks of life. (Summary from Amazon)

  • Alvarez, Nilda Callanaupa. Secrets of Spinning, Weaving, and Knitting in the Peruvian Highlands. Thrums Books, 2019.  Winner, Silver Medal in the Craft/Hobby Category, 2018 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards.

Alvarez has gathered artisans of all ages to share their knowledge, lore, and deep skills, highlighting many of the techniques used by craftspeople in the Andes. Many of the techniques are described with step-by-step for North American readers. (Summary from Amazon)

  • Alvarez, Nilda Callanaupa. Weaving in the Peruvian Highlands: Dreaming Patterns, Weaving Memories. Thrums Books, 2007. 

An exploration of the Andean weaving history and practices told through the personal stories of the Quechua people and their traditions.

  • Arnold, Denise Y., Elivira Espejo Ayka, and Elivira Espejo. The Andean Science of Weaving Structures and Techniques of Warp-faced Weaves. Thames and Hudson Incorporated, 2015.

The Andean Science of Weaving is a work of groundbreaking scholarship, technically detailed, but also a celebration of one of the most gorgeous and sophisticated weaving traditions (warp-faced weaves) in the world. It will be of great interest to practical weavers, museum curators, anthropologists, art historians, archaeologists, and anyone with a love for Latin America and its rich craft traditions. (Summary from Google Books)

  • Asher, Marcia and Asher, Robert. Code of the Quipu: A Study in Media, Mathematics, and Culture. University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, 1981. 

Exploration of the Inca use of knotted cords to transmit information and the problem of interpreting artifacts from distant cultures. (Summary from Google Books)

  • Baizerman, Suzanne and Searle, Karen. Finishes in the Ethnic Tradition. DOS Tejedoras Fiber Arts Publications, 1978. 

“We have entitled this book FINISHES IN THE ETHNIC TRADITION because we hope to establish the same kind of high standards for completing hand woven goods as those that are used in the fine ethnic textiles we have studied in museums, in our travels and in private collections”. (Summary from the introduction)

  • Baizerman, Suzanne and Searle, Karen. Latin American Brocades: Explorations in Supplementary Weft Techniques. DOS Tejedoras Fiber Arts Publications, 1976.  

The authors describe the weaves found in ancient and modern fabrics from the textile centers of Latin America.  The publication is divided into two parts; Part I is a description of supplementary weft patterns, and Part II offers instructions for executing the techniques on two-harness, rigid heddle, backstrap and multi-harness looms.

  • Cahlander, Adele. Bolivian Tubular Edging & Andean Crossed-Warp Techniques. DOS Tejedoras Fiber Arts Publications, 1994.  

Detailing the intricate decorative finishes on traditional Andean textiles, this guide reveals the finger-manipulating techniques for cross-warping edgings.

  • Cahlander, Adele. Sling Braiding of the Andes. Weaver’s Journal Monograph IV, Colorado Fiber Center, 1980.  

This book presents an analysis of the 4-sided braiding techniques used for pre-Columbian herding and ceremonial slings classification system of braiding techniques and gives the steps for making hand-held braids, with accompanying clear photos and drawings.

  • Cason, Marjorie, and Adele Cahlander. The Art of Bolivian Highland Weaving. Watson-Guptill Publications, 1976. 

This book is a full documentation of both the techniques and the rich visual history of Bolivian Highland weaving and shows an intricately structured yet easy-to-follow method of creating colorful pattern bands and cloth.

  • D’ Harcourt, Raoul. Textiles of Ancient Peru and Their Techniques. University of Washington Press, 1962.

This magnificently illustrated work offers a comprehensive view of the textiles and techniques of pre-Columbian Peru. An introduction discusses yarns, dyes, looms, and raw materials; the first of the two-part text examines weaves, and the second considers such nonwoven materials as braiding, felt, and embroidery. (Summary from Google Books)

  • Flynn, Terry Newhouse, and Rodrick Owen. Andean Sling Braids: New Designs for Textile Artists. Schiffer Publishing Ltd., 2016.

Learn to make the decorative braids used in the sling-making traditions of Peru and Bolivia; this detailed guide, including 400+ step-by-step photos plus hundreds of diagrams, teaches the technique and over 100 designs for weavers, craftspeople, jewelry designers, basket weavers, and others interested in using braids for embellishment. (Summary from Google Books)

  • LeCount, Cynthia Gravelle. Andean Folk Knitting: Traditions and Techniques from Peru and Bolivia. DOS Tejedoras Fiber Arts Publications, 1990.

The author provides fascinating insight into the rich history and tradition of knitted clothes in Andean culture, such as the ch’ullu, the knitted cap which signifies different aspects of the wearer’s identity. The book details dozens of other traditional Andean knit clothing and describes the purpose of each piece, as well as its maker, wearer, and place of origin, whenever possible. (Summary from Smithsonian Libraries)

  • Phipps, Elena, The Peruvian Four-Selvaged Cloth: Ancient Threads / New Directions (Textile Series, No. 12). Fowler Museum of Art at University of California, Los Angeles, 2013.

In this beautifully illustrated book, textile expert Elena Phipps examines the ancient Peruvian process of weaving textiles with four finished selvages, or edges. Without cutting a thread, master Peruvian weavers wove each textile to the specifications of its intended use, whether a child’s garment, royal mantle, or ritual cloth. While exploring the origins and development of this approach to weaving, Phipps also examines its influence on three contemporary artists (Sheila Hicks, James Bassler, and John Cohen), all of whom have considered ancient Peruvian weaving processes in their own work. (Summary from Google Books)

  • Taylor, Barbara and Marilyn D. Anderson. Backstrap Weaving. Watson-Guptill Publications, 1975.

Following the discussion of the history and components of backstrap, this book offers the reader a step-by-step how to do backstrap weaving and includes projects and finishing techniques.

  • Thompson, Angela. Textiles of Central and South America. Crowood, 2006.

This fascinating book looks at both the differences and the similarities between the weaving and textile techniques and traditions of the various Latin American countries, and explores the symbolic meanings of the designs woven into or imprinted onto the cloth. (Summary from Google Books)

  • Alvarez, Nilda Callanaupa and Franquemont, Christine. Faces of Tradition: Weaving Elders of the Andes. Thrums Books, 2013. 

Through the telling of personal stories from the Cusco region of the Andes, the dozens of ancient weavers bring to life the decades of endurance, skill, fortitude, and natural pride honed from the time-honored traditions of the region and its people. Intimate photographs capture each of the elders, some of whom had never seen a picture of themselves or even looked in a mirror, revealing the life, strength, character, and experience of these men and women.

  • Alvarez, Nilda Callanaupa. Textile Traditions of Chinchero: A Living Heritage. Thrums Books, 2012.

Hundreds of vintage and fascinating full-color photos illustrate this bilingual book that explores the traditional weavers of Chinchero, Peru, at work on their traditional dress and costume. The role of special textiles in the rituals and festivals of the community is documented and the evolution of weaving over four generations is told in the voices of the elders of Chinchero. (Summary from the publisher)

  • Alvarez, Nilda Callanaupa. Weaving Lives: Traditional Textiles of Cusco.  The Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco, 2005.

This catalogue of an exhibition at the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco, Peru is illustrated with color photographs and a map. English and Spanish editions have been published back-to-back, with the front cover of one being the back cover of the other.

  • Anderson, Laurie and Arthur Tracht. AYMARA Weavings: Ceremonial Textiles of Colonial & 19th Century Bolivia. Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, 1983. 

The colonial and nineteenth century ceremonial weavings of the Aymara Indians of Bolivia are the legacy of a three-thousand-year-old textile tradition that flourished in the Lake Titicaca Basin Plateau. Using archeological and ethnohistorical information and their own ethnographic fieldwork, the authors discuss the pre-Columbian origins of the textiles and their development, continuity, and change as a consequence of Spanish colonization. This full-color publication features more than 100 color plates, two maps, and a glossary of Aymara textile terminology. (Summary from book cover)

  • Anton, Ferdinand. Ancient Peruvian Textiles (English and German Edition. Thames and Hudson, 1987. 

302 illustrations, 112 in color. More ancient textiles have been found in Peru than anywhere else in the world. The fabrics survived because of their lavish use in Indian burial: as much yarn was used for the wrappings of a single mummy as for the clothing of several hundred living people. (Summary from Abe Books)

  • Barth, Katy and Oroza, Teresa. Traveling Bolivia through the Wonders of Weaving. Jackson International, 2001.  

This bilingual book on weaving in Bolivia discusses fibers, spinning, dyeing, looms, preparing the loom, and step by step techniques along with designs and colors unique to various regions.

  • Cahlander, Adele and Suzanne Baizerman. Double-Woven Treasures from Old Peru. Dos Tejedoras Fiber Arts Publications, 1985.

Pre-Columbian double cloth is one of the world’s great textile traditions. This book takes a comprehensive look at the varieties of double cloth preserved in museums and private collections including fabric analysis, and provides detailed weaving instructions. A must for collectors and weavers alike. (Summary from Google Books)

  • Duff, Robert. Master Weavers of the Altiplano. La Paz Publications, 2015. 

200 images of antique tribal weavings with mid 1970’s period photos and explanatory text. (Summary from Google Books)

  • Femenias, Blenda, Medlin, Maryann, Meisch, Lynn,  and Zorn, Elayne. Andean Aesthetics: Textiles of Peru and Bolivia. University of Wisconsin, 1987. 
  • Heckman, Andrea M.  Woven Stories: Andean Textiles and Rituals.  University of New Mexico, 2003. 

The core of this book is an ethnographic account of the textiles and their place in daily life that considers how the form and content of Quechua patterns and designs pass stories down and preserve traditions as well as how the ritual use of textiles sustain a sense of community and a connection to the past.  (Summary from Google Books)

  • Meisch, Lynn A.  Traditional Textiles of the Andes: Life and Cloth in the Highlands. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, M. H. De Young Memorial Museum, 1997. 

Published in association with the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, this book features eighteenth-, nineteenth-, and twentieth-century indigenous textiles woven by the Aymara and Quechua. The elaborately patterned pieces are all drawn from the previously unpublished Jeffrey Appleby Collection and include everyday and ceremonial textiles of all types: ponchos, skirts, belts, hats, and slings. The accompanying essays by Lynn Ann Meisch, Amy Oakland Rodman, Ed Franquemont, and Margot Blum Schevill address such topics as the long history of fibers, dyes, imagery, and textile use in the region; and the effects of urbanization and westernization on traditional Andean weaving. (Summary from Google Books)

  • Nass, Ulla. Weaves of the Incas. Sylan and Ulla Nass, 1980. 

This book offers a close look at the ancient Andean culture through their indigenous weaving techniques as they are practiced today.  It is both informative and instructive, touching upon weaving preparation and pattern formation including pebble weave and derivatives of Inca times.

  • Rowe, Ann Pollard and John Cohen. Hidden Threads of Peru, Q’ero Textiles, Merrell Publishers in association with The Textile Museum, 2002.  

Hidden Threads of Peru combines ethnography, anecdote, and textile art to offer fascinating new insights into a culture that can trace its traditions back to the Inca empire. The Q’ero people themselves discuss the significance of the fabrics they make and the nature of their Andean life, while photographs taken from the early twentieth century to the present day illustrate their daily life and rituals, as well as — in sumptuous full color — the textiles themselves, revealing the evolution and range of patterns over a one-hundred-year period. (Summary from Google Books)

  • Rowe, Ann Pollard. Warp-Patterned Weaves of the Andes. The Textile Museum, 1977. 
  • Schevill, Margot Blum, Berlo,Janet Catherine, and Dwyer, Edward (Eds.). Textile Traditions of Mesoamerica and the Andes: An Anthology. University of Texas Press, 1996/2010.

In this volume, anthropologists, art historians, fiber artists, and technologists come together to explore the meanings, uses, and fabrication of textiles in Mexico, Guatemala, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia from Precolumbian times to the present. Originally published in 1991 by Garland Publishing, the book grew out of a 1987 symposium held in conjunction with the exhibit “Costume as Communication: Ethnographic Costumes and Textiles from Middle America and the Central Andes of South America” at the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology, Brown University. (Summary from Google Books)

  • Stone-Miller, Rebecca. To Weave for the Sun. Thames and Hudson, 1992.

Textiles were the Incas’ most prized possessions. Their first gifts to European strangers were made not of gold and silver, but of camelid fibre and cotton. They believed that the highest form of weaving was created expressly for the sun, which they considered the greatest of the celestial powers. (Summary from Google Books)

  • Wasserman,Tamara E. and Hill, Jonathan S. Bolivian Indian Textiles: Traditional Designs and Costumes. Dover Pictorial Archive Series, 1981.
  • Adams, Mark. Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time. Dutton, 2011. 

What happens when an unadventurous adventure writer tries to re-create the original expedition to Machu Picchu? Turn Right at Machu Picchu is Adams’ fascinating and funny account of his journey through some of the world’s most majestic, historic, and remote landscapes guided only by a hard-as-nails Australian survivalist and one nagging question: Just what was Machu Picchu? (Summary from Google Books)

  • Gott, Richard. Land Without Evil: Utopian Journeys Across the South American Watershed. Verso, 1993. Harrison, John. Cloud Road, Journey Through the Inca Heartland. Parthian Books, 2010. 

Intermingling accounts of his own travels over many years with those Jesuit priests, Spanish conquistadors and Portuguese Mamelukes, together with those of other visitors such as Alcides D’Orbigny, Theodore Roosevelt, and Claude Levi-Strauss, Richard Gott weaves a complex web of narrative that brings to life the almost unknown frontier land of Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay. (Summary from Google Books)

  • Harrison, John. Cloud Road, Journey Through the Inca Heartland. Parthian Books, 2010.

For five months John Harrison journeys through this secret country, walking alone into remote villages where he is the first gringo the inhabitants have ever seen, and where life continues as if Columbus had never sailed. He lives at over 10,000 feet for most of the trip, following the great road of the Incas: the Camino Real, or Royal Road. (Summary from Google Books)

  • Meyerson, Julia. ‘Tambo: Life in an Andean Village. University of Texas Press, 2010. Exploration of cultural lifestyle. 

Perhaps the best way to sharpen one’s powers of observation is to be a stranger in a strange land. Julia Meyerson was one such stranger during a year in the village of ‘Tambo, Peru, where her husband was conducting anthropological fieldwork. Though sometimes overwhelmed by the differences between Quechua and North American culture, she still sought eagerly to understand the lifeways of ‘Tambo and to find her place in the village. Her vivid observations, recorded in this field journal, admirably follow Henry James’s advice: “Try to be one of the people upon whom nothing is lost.” (Summary from Google Books)

  • Samake, Cynthia Lecount. A Textile Traveler’s Guide To Peru & Bolivia. Thrums Books, 2019.  

From the marketplace of famed Machu Picchu to the outrageous costumes of Bolivia’s Carnival, travel along and discover some of the finest indigenous textiles in South America. A Textile Traveler’s Guide to Peru and Bolivia is an excellent resource for markets, festivals, museums, and shops. (Summary from Google Books)

  • Van Buskirk, Elizabeth Conrad. Beyond the Stones of Machu Picchu: Folk Tales and Stories of Inca Life, paintings by Angel Callanaupa Alvarez. Thrums Books, 2013. 

Andean village life is vibrantly depicted through folk tales, stories, and art in this compendium of South American culture with a special focus on the famous Andean practice of weaving and other textile arts. (Summary from Goodreads)

  • Wright, Ronald. Cut Stones and Crossroads: A Journey in the Two Worlds of Peru. Viking Adult, 1984. 

Traveling through Peru, tracing the history of the Incas from their royal cities of Cusco and Machu Picchu to their mythic origin in Lake Titicaca, Ronald Wright explores a country of contrasts–between Spanish and Indian, past and present, coastal desert and mountainous interior. In his highly entertaining and perceptive account, Wright brings to life a complex culture, a land of ancient traditions seeking its place in the modern world. (Summary from Google Books)

  • Wulf, Andrea. The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt’s New World. Vintage, 2016.

This nonfiction book is about the Prussian naturalist, explorer and geographer Alexander von Humboldt. The book follows Humboldt from his early childhood and travels through Europe as a young man to his journey through Latin America and his return to Europe. Wulf makes the case that Humboldt synthesized knowledge from many different fields to form a vision of nature as one interconnected system, that would go on to influence scientists, activists and the public. (Summary form Wikipedia)