"The fascination of the subject and the felicity of the writing make this an irresistible book. Without sacrificing scholarship, Daly and Wilson maintain an outspoken, at times quietly humorous, often suspenseful, always lucid prose. Their book is a model of absorbing analysis for the educated layman. . . . many anthropologists might also find it a vehicle by which to explore the Darwinian approach to human behavior."
—American Journal of Physical Anthropology
“The authors bring order and clarity to the welter of information about homicide by means of a bold and imaginative application of “selection thinking,” an approach they characterize as “evolutionary psychology” . . . . A brief review cannot do justice to the range and depth of Daly and Wilson’s accomplishment. This meticulously researched and elegantly written book is a stunning example of the unique power of selection thinking to illuminate human affairs.”
—Donald Symons, The Quarterly Review of Biology
“Daly and Wilson’s latest book is an attempt to understand the many aspects and varieties of homicide in terms of an “evolutionary psychological” approach founded on Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection. . . . Daly and Wilson’s attempt to explain homicide in these terms has led them to undertake a wide-ranging and original review of the literature, combined with many statistical tests of various hypotheses along the way. Their study is a valuable contribution to the literature, providing many insights on homicide as well as interesting asides on sociobiology, sexual jealousy, the Oedipus complex, criminal responsibility, Geronimo and revenge murders, the decline of kin right in English law, Middle Easter harems, “May-December” relationships, “biophobia,” and many other topics.”
—Anthony R. Mawson, Contemporary Sociology
“Homicide is must reading for any anthropologist interested in conflict. . . . Homicide has convinced me that from a fitness perspective killing is rational, from infanticide to capital punishment.”
—Keith F. Otterbein, American Anthropologist
About the Author
Margo Wilson (1942-2009) was professor of psychology at McMaster University. She was former editor-in-chief of Evolution and Human Behavior and former president of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society.
Martin Daly is professor of psychology at McMaster University. His other writings (which he co-authored with Margo Wilson) include Sex, Evolution, and Behaviour, and The Truth About Cinderella: A Darwinian View of Parental Love.