An electrifying celebration of science writing
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Richard Dawkins is fine scientist, rigorous thinker and supremely gifted writer. His books are justly famous, but his shorter works are just as good. Here is a rich feast of his essays, reviews, forewords, squibs and conversations, in which talent and passion are married to deep knowledge. * Matt Ridley, author of How Innovation Works * Dawkins' books are full of passion as well as reason, human warmth as well as rational detachment, literature as well as science. Richard Dawkins is one of the finest English prose stylists of the past fifty years. Plenty of other scientists write well, but no one writes like Dawkins. This collection is mostly made up of reviews, introductions and the like-and anyone who writes at a virtuoso level for such ephemera is a wordsmith to be reckoned with. (Compare Samuel Johnson's masterpieces in similar genres.) Even the shortest pieces are not one-line, workaday reviews, but full of originality and insight... The content of the book is as excellent as its style-indeed, the two are intertwined. Some pieces are short, some long, all fascinating. The range is also astonishing: here is Dawkins the teacher, the scholar, the polemicist, the joker, the aesthete, the poet, the satirist, the man of compassion as well as indignation, the slayer of superstition and, above all, the scientist. With his treatment of everything from evolutionary psychology to the temptations of supposedly sophisticated theology, from African Eve to the beauty of the Galapagos, from the virtual reality software in our brains to postmodern baloney and the inspiration to be found in great science fiction, Dawkins excites, surprises and nourishes the mind. -- Daniel Sharp * Areo Magazine * Much more than just a collection of journalism, this has an overarching unity and presents a panoramic survey of his intellectual career. There are occasional moments of delicious savagery as Dawkins dismantles an opponent. Much more often he celebrates the work of fellow scientists and throughout the entire 460 pages, one can enjoy the unfailing clarity of his thought and prose, as well as the grandeur of his vision of life on Earth. -- Mark Cocker * Spectator *
Richard Dawkins is author of The Selfish Gene, voted The Royal Society's Most Inspiring Science Book of All Time, and also the bestsellers The Blind Watchmaker, Climbing Mount Improbable, The Ancestor's Tale, The God Delusion, and two volumes of autobiography, An Appetite for Wonder and Brief Candle in the Dark. He is a Fellow of New College, Oxford and both the Royal Society and the Royal Society of Literature. In 2013, Dawkins was voted the world's top thinker in Prospect magazine's poll of 10,000 readers from over 100 countries.