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

Front Cover
Bodley Head, 2010 - Altruism - 451 pages
1 Review
Survival of the fittest or survival of the nicest? Since the dawn of time, man has contemplated the mysteries of altruism - but it was Darwin who first posed the question most starkly. From the selfless ant to the stinging bee to the man laying down his life for a stranger - evolution had borne a goodness that in theory should never exist. The quest to answer this riddle would plague scientists for decades to come. The Price of Altruism follows the incredible story of the eccentric American genius, George Price. From the heights of the Manhattan Project to the depths of homelessness and despair in London, his life embodies the paradoxes of Darwin's enigma. Price's unusual scientific journey led to an all-consuming quest to crack the secrets of altruism. What he found compelled him to give away all his belongings to help others, ultimately becoming one of the vagabonds he set out to save. His tragic suicide, in a squat, alone, far away from his family, provides the ultimate contemplation on the possibility of genuine kindness.

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Narboink - LibraryThing

This is an intriguing biography of George Price, a little-known population geneticist, interwoven with an intellectual history of Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection. While the story of ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (2010)

Oren Solomon Harman is Lady Davis Fellow at Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Lecturer at Bar-Ilan University.

Bibliographic information