Customer Review

84 of 95 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you're deciding whether to buy this book..., November 21, 2003
This review is from: The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature (Paperback)
To summarize anything I might say below - this is an incredible book. Mind-blowing. If you're reading reviews (as I do) trying to find the few people who didn't love the book so you can have an "unbiased" view, very good for you. (that's how I choose books, usually) My unbiased view is this - I *very rarely* give out fives. This is one of the few books that deserves it.
Matt Ridley explains in the epilogue of The Red Queen that half of his ideas are probably wrong, just like those of Freud, Jung, and many others. But this common-sense attitude, projected onto the evolution of reproduction, is EXACTLY what about this book makes it so incredible.
Ridley is grounded in a reality unfettered by religion, social science, social mores, or really any sort of external "moral" influence. (Not that he's the antichrist or anything - he's just not letting standard social concepts influence his ideas.) A few people who don't usually want to accept reality (ultra-conservatives) will hate this book. Fine. If you believe in creationism, go elsewhere. Otherwise, read this book! This is not a political or an ideological work - this is a scientific text on human evolution, and how it has been influenced by sex.
I have been able to RIVET people with discussions of facts and theories from this book. It's the best money I've spent on a single book in quite a long while. And in case I sound like way too much of a suck-up - I haven't read any of Ridley's other works, not because I haven't bought them, but because I looked through them in bookstores, and every one I looked at seems either uninteresting, wrong, or awful. But this one is GREAT!
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 19, 2010 6:16:15 AM PST
JLMA says:
I read The Red Queen and I agree w/ you. It is a great book!
I never read any of Ridleys other books. Did you read any of his other books since you wrote your review? Or did your opinion about his other books change?
Like you, the 1st thing I do when I research a book is read the 1-star reviews first!
JLMA

Posted on Nov 8, 2011 5:44:27 PM PST
You just convinced me to not buy this book. Thank you for the honesty.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2011 5:48:27 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 8, 2011 5:49:11 PM PST
JLMA says:
JLMA impersonating DeNiro: "David Evanger, you talking to me?"
And, if so, why did you say what you said (if I may ask)?

In reply to an earlier post on May 20, 2013 8:24:37 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 20, 2013 8:43:32 PM PDT
Don't bother about that other guy--you would have convinced me to buy this book, except I already have a copy!
I consider myself socially conservative; one can hold to old fashioned values without needing religion to justify holding them--in fact, the different behavior of men and women as described in this book is reason enough to support traditional values: social mores evolve too, and those societies that live by traditonal values have plenty of children, whereas those socially "enlightened" societies--like the modern day USA--have birthrates below that needed to sustain the current population absent population growth from immigrants and the first-generation children of those immigrants.
Any society that has a decreasing number of children and a drastically shrinking population thereby, is heading for self-extinction. No way a society like that can be regarded as having healthy values when those values destroy it.
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