In his first memoir, Richard Dawkins shares a rare view into his early life, his intellectual awakening at Oxford, and his path to writing The Selfish Gene. He paints a vivid picture of his idyllic childhood in colonial Africa, and later at boarding school, where he began his career as a skeptic.
Arriving at Oxford in 1959, Dawkins began to study zoology and was introduced to some of the university's legendary mentors as well as its tutorial system. It's to this unique educational system that Dawkins credits his awakening. In 1973, provoked by the dominance of group selection theory and inspired by the work of William Hamilton, Robert Trivers, and John Maynard Smith, he began to write a book he called, jokingly, "my best seller". It was, of course, The Selfish Gene.
This is an intimate memoir of the childhood and intellectual development of the evolutionary biologist and world-famous atheist and how he came to write what is widely held to be one of the most important books of the 20th century.
©2013 Richard Dawkins (P)2013 HarperCollinsPublishers
Dawkins from boy to young man, grad student to professor, science author to prolific and ardent spokesperson of disbelief. This book is the memoir of one of the greatest evolutionary biologists and an interesting character indeed. Very little science can be found inside, but you will get the full story of how Richard Dawkins came to be who he is today.
This is not exactly fascinating stuff unless you're a Dawkins fan, so I'd advise you to keep that in mind. If you are a Dawkins fan, it's a worthwhile read.
There is nothing wrong with this book. I would be quite interesting to someone new to Dawkins. If you have read many of his books and watched the BBC specials, then you are already familiar with a good portion of the story.
I would have said his performance was excellent except that I went to an appearance where he read from the book. His performance in person was quite funny, lively and emotional. The Audible read was more reserved.
I found the book didn't grab my attention until he wrote about his graduate work and beyond. It seemed to end abruptly as well. I have a feeling an authorized 3rd person biography would be much more interesting.
You know you're going to read it anyway. Why bother reading these reviews? It's good, it's just not his best
I have been a great fan a Dawkins since I read The God Delusion - then I read all his other books, which was a treat as I am a science nut. I have also watched every video he has ever made that was available in the US. I was so excited to read his autobiography that I pre-ordered the physical book, plus the audible version. He and his wife do a masterful job of reading his work.
I hate to say, but I found this book a disappointment. It was rather boring - filled with the names of all his friends, mentors, teachers, etc. He mentions his first wife, Marion Stamp, only as a scientific collaborator, without a word about her personality or their relationship. It really was about the making of a scientist. Period.
I certainly didn't expect a class act like Dawkins to write a tell-all autobiography, but this was way too dry. Very few tidbits about about his personal life, pets, or other interests would have been a treat.
This book is for die hard Dawkins' fans only.
It is a true pleasure to hear Dawkin's story in his own voice.
This is not their first co-narration, and I hope it won't be their last. Their performance is on top of the line.
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