This is a very recent book that provides a short overview of some of the major accomplishments of the mathematical modeling in biological sciences for the last thousand years. The book is short and very well illustrated, and the author gives simple calculations along with historical remarks, so I recommend this book to everybody who wants to get a glimpse of what actually was done in biology by mathematical methods, and who wants to get an idea of how mathematical equations translate into answers to biologically relevant questions. In short, this book is a simple read. However, if you’d like to get a better idea on the history of population dynamics (or evolutionary genetics, or other area of mathematical biology) I would strongly recommend to look somewhere else (and the one particular reference is definitely “Modeling Nature: Episodes in the History of Population Ecology” by Sharon E. Kingsland, especially if you want to see the human side of science). In a similar vein, if you want to learn population dynamics this book is not the right place to start, but it can be used as a source of relevant references.
In a nutshell, if someone never read about population dynamics, I would give him a link to this book; if someone is already initiated with ideas and methods of mathematical population biology, please look for more sophisticated and deeper books, most probably you won’t find a lot of new information in this book.
 A link to Amazon
 Sharon E. Kingsland, Modeling Nature: Episodes in the History of Population Ecology, Univ of Chicago Pr, 1985