|Full title||The Selfish Gene [permalink]|
|Author||Richard Dawkins (author)|
|Publisher||Oxford University Press|
|Categories||Biology and science|
|Original publication year||1976|
|ISBN||978-0-19-929115-1 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]|
A pretty comprehensive guide to evolution, and the second book that introduced the gene-centric view of evolution (namely, that genes use bodies — survival machines — to pass themselves on, rather than organisms using genes to pass their traits on). The main goal of the book is to explain altruistic behavior and to dispel the myth that just because genes are selfish, we must (or should) be selfish, and I think it succeeds. The book also introduced the concept of memes (supposed to rhyme with genes), which are units of culture (like a catchy tune or a piece of trivia or a certain way of walking) that are capable of being copied from mind to mind.