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The Price of Altruism: George Price and the Search for the Origins of Kindness | [Oren Harman]

The Price of Altruism: George Price and the Search for the Origins of Kindness

Survival of the fittest or survival of the nicest? Since the dawn of time man has contemplated the mystery of altruism, but it was Darwin who posed the question most starkly. From the selfless ant to the stinging bee to the man laying down his life for a stranger, evolution has yielded a goodness that in theory should never be. Set against the sweeping tale of 150 years of scientific attempts to explain kindness, The Price of Altruism tells for the first time the moving story of the eccentric American genius George Price (1922-1975), as he strives to answer evolution's greatest riddle.
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Publisher's Summary

Survival of the fittest or survival of the nicest? Since the dawn of time man has contemplated the mystery of altruism, but it was Darwin who posed the question most starkly. From the selfless ant to the stinging bee to the man laying down his life for a stranger, evolution has yielded a goodness that in theory should never be.

Set against the sweeping tale of 150 years of scientific attempts to explain kindness, The Price of Altruism tells for the first time the moving story of the eccentric American genius George Price (1922-1975), as he strives to answer evolution's greatest riddle. An original and penetrating picture of 20th century thought, it is also a deeply personal journey. From the heights of the Manhattan Project to the inspired equation that explains altruism to the depths of homelessness and despair, Price's life embodies the paradoxes of Darwin’s enigma. His tragic suicide in a squatter’s flat, among the vagabonds to whom he gave all his possessions, provides the ultimate contemplation on the possibility of genuine benevolence.

©2010 Oren Harman (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“Enthralling.” (Frans de Waal, The New York Times Book Review)

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    Riemke 07-24-13
    Riemke 07-24-13
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    "great story but very disorganized"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    if you like wordiness and lengthy explanations and suppositions this may be for you. I found the narrator very engaging and the story about George Price hard to follow. Ultimately the explanation of the co variance equation was lacking a great deal.


    What could Oren Harman have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    stick to a time line


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    not at all. She made it bearable


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    i went to the computer and in ten minutes learned more about George Price than in the 23 hrs on the audio tape


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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