Referring to Lewis Carroll's Red Queen from Through the Looking-Glass, a character who has to keep running to stay in the same place, Matt Ridley demonstrates why sex is humanity's best strategy for outwitting its constantly mutating internal predators. The Red Queen answers dozens of other riddles of human nature and culture - including why men propose marriage, the method behind our maddening notions of beauty, and the disquieting fact that a woman is more likely to conceive a child by an adulterous lover than by her husband.
Brilliantly written, The Red Queen offers an extraordinary new way of interpreting the human condition and how it has evolved.
©1993 Matt Ridley (P)2011 HarperCollins Publishers
Say something about yourself!
Detailed explanation of the underlying drivers behind the evolutionary basis for sex and gender.
I am very interested in evolutionary theory and for me this book really hit the spot. Very detailed and interesting background on the basis for sex and gender in people and animals. Some might find this book somewhat offensive as it assumes both physical and mental differences between the sexes which goes against PC thinking but it is well justified and clearly explained.
If you ever wondered why men and women act the way we do this book will reveal the answers. From why men are aggresive by nature to why mothers and family always comment on why a baby looks like dad. This book is filled with facinating insights into human nature. Read by Simon Prebble who is my favorite narrator only adds to the book! yes its a science book so if your not into science you may not enjoy it. But if your a nerd you will love it!
I learned quite a bit of information from the Red Queen but some of the baseline assumptions are quite stereotypical of a western view point and lacks any discussion of the various types of relationships beyond traditional pair bonding (marriage) and polygamy (as defined by one man and several women).
One of the few books in my Audible history that I haven't finished. Got it because of the title....very catchy. Unfortunately, it's just a pschological treatise on a narrow subject that every once in a while throws in a reference (sometimes abstract) to Alice's Red Queen. Probably would have been better to buy it based on its merits (as to which I have no opinion) but it was a disappointment based on expectations the title produced. Essentially a one trick pony.
At the risk of geeking out, I absolutely love this book. The comfort and ease with which the author discusses sex and evolution is fantastic on its own, but that he easily makes the subject interesting is comparable only to Dr. Alfred Kinsey, minus the sensationalism. Admittedly, Ridley is preaching to the choir with me, but I was still able to learn and enjoy the information conveyed.
Simon Prebble did very well, narrating such a touchy subject. I never got bored.
I would (and have) highly recommend this book in any medium to: geeks, biology students and evolution-deniers.
First half is interested but too slow. I had Problems following but the second half which is more human oriented was very interesting
The book is well written, and has answered questions about male and female roles in society. The incite why women and men mate. Why men have developed the standard female acquisition techniques.
Whoever chose the title for this book was a genius! "Red Queen" and "Sex" hint at something a bit humorous and titillating. It ends up being a rather boring discussion about human reproduction being sexual rather than asexual and conjecture as to why. It harkens back to 10th grade biology and the study of Gregor Mendel and his genes. I zoned out on this stuff in the 10th grade and again in the middle of this book. If you're biologically inclined, you might find it interesting. The narrator is good and injects humorous tidbits here and there, but not enough to hold my attention.
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