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

Front Cover
Random House, 2011 - Altruism - 451 pages
1 Review

When George Price died in January 1975, his funeral in London was attended by five homeless men. Alongside them were Bill Hamilton and John Maynard Smith, two distinguished British evolutionary biologists. All seven men had come to mourn an eccentric American genius who helped to unpick the riddle of how altruism, or unselfish concern for the welfare of others, could exist in a world driven by survival of the fittest and who committed suicide aged just 52.

In The Price of Altruism Price's personal and professional journey is intricately woven into a sweeping arc of modern politics and science that takes us from Darwin's Beagle to the court of the Russian Tsar, from Marxist manifestos to Nazi heresies, and from First World War trenches to Vietnam demonstrations. Featuring some of the most brilliant minds of the modern age, it is the riveting tale of mankind's search for the origins of 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 (2011)

Oren Harman obtained a D.Phil in the History of Science from Oxford University in 2001. He is the Chair of the Graduate Program in Science, Technology and Society at Bar Ilan University, the author of The Man Who Invented the Chromosome, a documentary film maker, and a frequent contributor to The New Republic. He lives in Tel Aviv.

Bibliographic information