“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.
When Sociobiology was published in 1975, our reviewer, John Pfeiffer, hailed it as ‘an evolutionary event.’ Since then, it has become the framework for a controversial new science—the study of the biological basis for social behavior in every species, from the lowliest amoeba colony to modern human behavior. This shortened version, retaining all of Sarah Landry’s illuminating drawings, makes it more accessible to general readers.
It is impossible to leave Wilson’s book without having one’s sense of life permanently and dramatically widened.
Rarely has the world been provided with such a splendid stepping stone for an exciting future of a new science.
The book enthralls and enchants… If you have this book…you can begin getting your mind ready for the illuminations about human society.
Sociobiology is an excellent book, full of extraordinary insights, and replete with the beauty and poetry of the animal kingdom.
Its contents do indeed provide a new synthesis, of wide perspective and great authority… Wilson’s plain uncluttered prose is a treat to read, his logic is rigorous, his arguments are lucid.
A towering theoretical achievement of exceptional elegance… Like most great books, Sociobiology is unpedantic, lucid, and eminently accessible.
Sociobiology, a new concept, is one with extraordinary potential value for understanding and explaining human behavior.
This book will stand as a landmark in the comparative study of social behavior.
- 384 pages
- 8-1/2 x 11 inches
- Belknap Press
From this author
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