Synopses & Reviews
The Selfish Gene caused a wave of excitement among biologists and the general public when it was first published in 1976. Its vivid rendering of a gene's eye view of life, in lucid prose, gathered together the strands of thought about the nature of natural selection into a conceptual framework with far-reaching implications for our understanding of evolution. Time has confirmed its significance. Intellectually rigorous, yet written in non-technical language, The Selfish Gene is widely regarded as a masterpiece of science writing, and its insights remain as relevant today as on the day it was published. 'This book should be read, can be read, by almost everyone. It describes with great skill a new face of the theory of evolution.' W. D. Hamilton, Science 'Learned, witty, and very well written . . . exhilaratingly good.' Sir Peter Medawar, The Spectator
Richard Dawkins' brilliant reformulation of the theory of natural selection has the rare distinction of having provoked as much excitement and interest outside the scientific community as within it. His theories have helped change the whole nature of the study of social biology, and have forced thousands to rethink their beliefs about life. In his internationally best-selling, now classic, volume, The Selfish Gene, Dawkins explains how the selfish gene can also be a subtle gene. The world of the selfish gene revolves around savage competition, ruthless exploitation, and deceit, and yet, Dawkins argues, acts of apparent altruism do exist in nature. Bees, for example, will commit suicide when they sting to protect the hive, and birds will risk their lives to warn the flock of an approaching hawk.