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The Social Conquest of Earth Paperback – April 15, 2013

4.6 out of 5 stars 520 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Wilson has done an impressive job of pulling all this evidence together and analyzing it. His interdisciplinary approach, his established scholarship, and his willingness to engage hot-button issues are all much in evidence in The Social Conquest of Earth…. His reflections on this subject are varied, original, and thought provoking―as is the rest of his book."
Carl Coon, The Humanist

"I just finished
The Social Conquest of Earth, a fabulous book."
President Bill Clinton, New York Times

"Wilson offers a full explanation of his latest thinking on evolution. . . . The book is bound to stir controversy on these and other subjects for years to come."
Sandra Upson and Anna Kuchment, Scientific American

"Once again, Ed Wilson has written a book combining the qualities that have brought his previous books Pulitzer Prizes and millions of readers: a big but simple question, powerful explanations, magisterial knowledge of the sciences and humanities, and beautiful writing understandable to a wide public."
Jared Diamond, Pulitzer-Prize-winning author of Guns, Germs and Steel

"With his probing curiosity, his dazzling research, his elegant prose and his deep commitment to bio-diversity, Pulitzer Prize-winning biologist (
The Ants) and novelist (The Anthill) Edward O. Wilson has spent his life searching for the evolutionary paths by which humans developed and passed along the social behaviors that best promote the survival of our species. His eloquent, magisterial and compelling new book offers a kind of summing-up of his magnificent career.... While not everyone will agree with Wilson’s provocative and challenging conclusions, everyone who engages with his ideas will discover sparkling gems of wisdom uncovered by the man who is our Darwin and our Thoreau."
Henry L. Carrigan, Jr., BookPage.com

"A monumental exploration of the biological origins of the Human Condition!"
James D. Watson

"A huge, deep, thrilling work, presenting a radically new but cautiously hopeful view of human evolution, human nature, and human society. No one but E. O. Wilson could bring together such a brilliant synthesis of biology and the humanities, to shed light on the origins of language, religion, art, and all of human culture."
Oliver Sacks

"E. O. Wilson’s passionate curiosity―the hallmark of his remarkable career―has led him to these urgent reflections on the human condition. At the core of
The Social Conquest of Earth is the unresolved, unresolvable tension in our species between selfishness and altruism. Wilson brilliantly analyzes the force, at once creative and destructive, of our biological inheritance and daringly advances a grand theory of the origins of human culture. This is a wonderful book for anyone interested in the intersection of science and the humanities."
Stephen Greenblatt, author of The Swerve: How the World Became Modern

"Wilson is a brilliant stylist, and his account of the rise of Homo sapiens and our species’ conquest of Earth is informative, thrilling, and utterly captivating."
Rudy M. Baum, Chemical & Engineering News

About the Author

Edward O. Wilson (1929-2021) was the author of more than thirty books, including AnthillLetters to a Young Scientist, and The Conquest of Nature. The winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, Wilson was a professor emeritus at Harvard University and lived with his wife in Lexington, Massachusetts.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Liveright; Reprint edition (April 15, 2013)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 352 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0871403633
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0871403636
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 9.9 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.3 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 520 ratings

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Regarded as one of the world’s preeminent biologists and naturalists, Edward O. Wilson grew up in south Alabama and the Florida Panhandle, where he spent his boyhood exploring the region’s forests and swamps, collecting snakes, butterflies, and ants—the latter to become his lifelong specialty. The author of more than twenty books, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning "The Ants" and "The Naturalist" as well as his first novel "Anthill," Wilson, a professor at Harvard, makes his home in Lexington, Massachusetts.

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
520 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on November 1, 2020
13 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on February 11, 2016
7 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on August 2, 2013
10 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on September 6, 2017
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Top reviews from other countries

Lindosland
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but Wilson has stolen the major ideas - from Keith (1948)
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 11, 2015
34 people found this helpful
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Mark Hayward
5.0 out of 5 stars Intellectual charm
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 4, 2016
3 people found this helpful
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Dr. G. Kennedy
5.0 out of 5 stars Edward O. Wilson: from controversial scientist to sensible mainstream
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 4, 2014
6 people found this helpful
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fred
5.0 out of 5 stars Science to the uninitiated. Why man and not the Ant?
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 5, 2015
One person found this helpful
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MR MICHAEL G EVERETT
5.0 out of 5 stars A concise and thorough explanation
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 19, 2014
3 people found this helpful
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