A central, though overlooked, dimension of George Simpson's (1944) book, Tempo and Mode in Evolution, involved its emphasis on cooperative and historical approaches to evolutionary studies. Together, these two orientations formed Simpson's program in temporal biology, and during the late 1930's and early 1940's, Simpson not only pursued this program, he loudly advocated and actively promoted it. Vertebrate paleontology had lost considerable prestige in evolutionary studies during this period (both at Simpson's home institution and within biology generally), and Simpson fought to empower and enfranchise his discipline. Tempo and Mode was part of that effort, which took place in the broader context of the evolutionary synthesis.

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