The Social Conquest Of Earth by Edward O. Wilson

58%

8 Critic Reviews

But sadly, his writing is dry, complicated and nearly sleep-inducing. If you are not heavily into deep science, this is not a book for you.
-LA Times

Synopsis

New York Times Bestseller



From the most celebrated heir to Darwin comes a groundbreaking book on evolution, the summa work of Edward O. Wilson's legendary career.


Sparking vigorous debate in the sciences, The Social Conquest of Earth upends “the famous theory that evolution naturally encourages creatures to put family first” (Discover). Refashioning the story of human evolution, Wilson draws on his remarkable knowledge of biology and social behavior to demonstrate that group selection, not kin selection, is the premier driving force of human evolution. In a work that James D. Watson calls “a monumental exploration of the biological origins of the human condition,” Wilson explains how our innate drive to belong to a group is both a “great blessing and a terrible curse” (Smithsonian). Demonstrating that the sources of morality, religion, and the creative arts are fundamentally biological in nature, the renowned Harvard University biologist presents us with the clearest explanation ever produced as to the origin of the human condition and why it resulted in our domination of the Earth’s biosphere.
 

About Edward O. Wilson

See more books from this Author
Edward O. Wilson is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Social Conquest of Earth and Anthill: A Novel, as well as the Pulitzer Prize–winning On Human Nature and (with Bert Hölldobler) The Ants. For his contributions in science and conservation, he has received more than one hundred awards from around the world. A professor emeritus at Harvard University, he lives in Lexington, Massachusetts.
 
Published April 9, 2012 by Liveright. 352 pages
Genres: Law & Philosophy, Science & Math, Political & Social Sciences, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
icon26
Peak Rank on Apr 22 2012
icon2
Weeks as Bestseller
Bookmark Counts:
2
Want to Read
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for The Social Conquest Of Earth
All: 8 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 4

Publishers Weekly

Below average
Feb 06 2012

Wilson believes that complex patterns of social behavior are the result of selection at both group and individual levels, but he doesn’t go into enough depth (which would include mathematical analysis) to be completely persuasive.

Read Full Review of The Social Conquest Of Earth | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Paul Bloom on May 11 2012

This book offers a detailed reconstruction of what we know about the evolutionary histories of these two very different conquerors.

Read Full Review of The Social Conquest Of Earth | See more reviews from NY Times

Wall Street Journal

Excellent
Reviewed by Michael Gazzaniga on Apr 06 2012

a sweeping argument about the biological origins of complex human culture. It is full of both virtuosity and raw, abrupt assertions that are nonetheless well-crafted and captivating, presented with equanimity and serenity even though a firestorm of disagreement surrounds them.

Read Full Review of The Social Conquest Of Earth | See more reviews from Wall Street Journal

The Washington Post

Excellent
Reviewed by Colin Woodard on Apr 13 2012

Provocative, eloquent and unflinchingly forthright, Wilson remains true to form, producing a book that’s anything but dull and bound to receive plenty of attention from supporters and critics alike.

Read Full Review of The Social Conquest Of Earth

LA Times

Below average
Reviewed by Thomas Maugh II on May 27 2012

But sadly, his writing is dry, complicated and nearly sleep-inducing. If you are not heavily into deep science, this is not a book for you.

Read Full Review of The Social Conquest Of Earth | See more reviews from LA Times

Washington Independent Review of Books

Excellent
Reviewed by Robert Knight

What Wilson ends up doing is so profound that the last eight chapters (included in Part V, “What Are We?” and Part VI, “Where Are We Going?”) could stand alone as a separate book, because what he ends up doing is no less than defining human nature itself.

Read Full Review of The Social Conquest Of Earth

Boston.com

Below average
Reviewed by Seth Mnookin on Apr 29 2012

That makes it particularly unfortunate that Wilson appears to be capping his career with “The Social Conquest of Earth,” a sorry jumble of a book that is sloppy, self-indulgent, and scientifically unsophisticated.

Read Full Review of The Social Conquest Of Earth

Prospect

Below average
Reviewed by Richard Dawkins on May 24 2012

To borrow from Dorothy Parker, this is not a book to be tossed lightly aside. It should be thrown with great force. And sincere regret.

Read Full Review of The Social Conquest Of Earth

Reader Rating for The Social Conquest Of Earth
74%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 189 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review

Reader reviews & activity

User Review

admin 15 Feb 2013

Rated the book as 3 out of 5

Christopher Plambeck

Christopher Plambeck 5 Sep 2013

Added the book to want to read list

admin

admin 5 Sep 2013

Added the book to want to read list

×