“An evolutionary event” wrote John Pfeiffer in the New York Times Book Review when Sociobiology was published in 1975, “announcing for all who can hear that we are on the verge of breakthroughs in the effort to understand our place in the scheme of things.” Praised by many and damned by some, Sociobiology provided the framework for a new science—the study of the biological basis for social behavior in every species, from the lowliest amoeba colony to modern human society.
In this abridged edition, Edward O. Wilson trims his monumental work to its essential argument and most compelling examples. He retains the full basic structure of the original book, while eliminating the technical discussions and data summaries. Because of the unusual amount of interest and commentary it has generated, the final chapter on human social behavior remains virtually intact. The book has been completely reset to accommodate a convenient 8 ½ × 11 format, and Sarah Landry’s superb drawings of animal societies still accompany the text. New students and general readers can discover for themselves what sociobiology is all about and why there is so much furor surrounding it.