This narrative is a fascinating examination of the way that many scientists and politicians have sought to use Charles Darwin’s ideas to solve social problems or to bolster political ideologies. Darwin not only sparked a revolution in science, but also radically changed the way millions of people thought about themselves, their societies, and their values. The evolutionary science he gave birth to acquired a political dimension from the outset, one with a deeply troubling and ongoing impact on the world in which we live. Social Darwinism, eugenics, and scientific racialismwhose adherents have all claimed Charles Darwin as their inspirationare associated with some of the darkest episodes in our recent past. Sewell’s beautifully crafted narrative shows us what drove people to put a black man on display in a zoo, forcibly sterilize a pair of innocent teenage sisters, lock up a British girl for 18 years for a petty theft, murder disabled people in Nazi Germany, and slam shut America’s "Golden Door." In a world where the gene becomes ever more central, the fresh and stimulating arguments presented here make this an explosive, essential, and utterly intriguing book.