Richard Dawkins Book Cheap

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Did you ever wonder how Richard Dawkins got so smart? Or why he looks so much like Hermione Granger? Well, read this book to find out the answer to those two questions, and so very much more:

An Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist by Richard Dawkins.

In An Appetite for Wonder, Richard Dawkins shares a rare view into his early life, his intellectual awakening at Oxford, and his path to writing The Selfish Gene. He paints a vivid picture of his idyllic childhood in colonial Africa, peppered with sketches of his colorful ancestors, charming parents, and the peculiarities of colonial life right after World War II. At boarding school, despite a near-religious encounter with an Elvis record, he began his career as a skeptic by refusing to kneel for prayer in chapel. Despite some inspired teaching throughout primary and secondary school, it was only when he got to Oxford that his intellectual curiosity took full flight.

Arriving at Oxford in 1959, when undergraduates “left Elvis behind” for Bach or the Modern Jazz Quartet, Dawkins began to study zoology and was introduced to some of the university’s legendary mentors as well as its tutorial system.

It’s to this unique educational system that Dawkins credits his awakening, as it invited young people to become scholars by encouraging them to pose rigorous questions and scour the library for the latest research rather than textbook “teaching to” any kind of test. His career as a fellow and lecturer at Oxford took an unexpected turn when, in 1973, a serious strike in Britain caused prolonged electricity cuts, and he was forced to pause his computer-based research. Provoked by the then widespread misunderstanding of natural selection known as “group selection” and inspired by the work of William Hamilton, Robert Trivers, and John Maynard Smith, he began to write a book he called, jokingly, “my bestseller.” It was, of course, The Selfish Gene.

Here, for the first time, is an intimate memoir of the childhood and intellectual development of the evolutionary biologist and world-famous atheist, and the story of how he came to write what is widely held to be one of the most important books of the twentieth century.

Have you read the breakthrough novel of the year? When you are done with that, try:

In Search of Sungudogo by Greg Laden, now in Kindle or Paperback
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6 thoughts on “Richard Dawkins Book Cheap

  1. Or why he looks so much like Hermione Granger?

    He doesn’t — eyebrows quite distinct, also that picture on the cover probably dates from about 1980 something.

    This book is already in print (pb 2014) as is part two under the title (in UK this), ‘Brief Candle in the Dark’ (pb 2016) I have copies and have read both.

    Yes I have collected all of Dawkins’ published books being on my fourth copy of ‘The Selfish Gene (Millennium Edition)’ as other editions vanished with children going to university they were passed on to their friends.

    Now looking for another copy of his majestic ‘The Ancestor’s Tale’ (well worth a look) having loaned my hardback edition to a grandson studying zoology recently back from a world tour of wild places. I was volunteered to look after his collection of tarantula (30 species, some individuals rather large) whilst he was away.

    I can recommend an anthology, ‘A Devil’s Chaplain: Selected Writings’ , he created writing introductory notes for each chapter based upon the work of others in varied fields correcting misconceptions on evolution, woo medicine, post-modernism amongst other contentious topics.

    Two of my favourite books are ‘Climbing Mount Improbable’ (the chapter ‘A Garden Inclosed’ is particularly interesting — close concentration required to follow the twists and turns of goings on inside a fig) and ‘Unweaving the Rainbow’ which takes a similar tack on evolutionary explanation to Jerry Coyne’s excellent ‘Why Evolution is True’.

    1. The Granger reference was a reference to this funny photo of a while back:

      Meanwhile, this is your chance to have the KINDLE version of each of his book, which are harder to walk away, and easier to keep track of and carry!

  2. Microsoft just shuttered their e-book system (which was not good at all), and when they did people who had purchased books from them lost them (some DRM issue I believe. I will point out that Microsoft did give some amount of reimbursement for that, but the annoyance remained, I am sure.)

    Do you know (I haven’t tried to check) whether the same would happen with the kindle books purchased from Amazon? That is, if by some odd reason Amazon pulled the kindle plug, would the devices still have books stored on them?

    1. I worry about that and have the same worry about anything stored in a cloud. Fortunately, music in mp3 format can be downloaded and stored like any other file and for a while I was able to make backup copies of kindle books. Last time I tried, they seemed to be protected.

      If you download their pc app so that titles are stored on your computer, they may be safe because they can still be read even if you internet capability is turned off.

  3. Meanwhile, this is your chance to have the KINDLE version of each of his book, which are harder to walk away, and easier to keep track of and carry!

    That may be true but not everybody is comfortable trying to read such a device, more difficult in bright sunlight perhaps.

    The way in which I read, study, many books is having related titles handy for quick reference. I don’t fancy having a pile of Kindles to charge every so often. Which brings me to ask what happens when the internal battery fails to hold a charge for long enough, is it easily and cheaply replaced?

    I tend to study many larger format books (on a wide range of topics) containing plate illustrations charts tables and so on – not very comfortable on a Kindle I would think. If you sit on your book it doesn’t break.

    A printed book is stored carbon, and be around for decades or centuries a Kindle has a continuous carbon footprint, then there is the mining of the materials to make the device. I have recently returned from a productive visit to Hay-on-Wye, Herefordshire, England. Hay-on-Wye is known as the Town of Books with numerous second hand book shops some of which contain thousands of volumes, enjoyable hunting.

    1. Lionel, i still get real books for the classes I teach and for reference, but I’ve been buying Kindle books more lately as were preparing to retire and downsize. Having lots of physical books is a hindrance for that.

      Texts I use ( stat, data science) aren’t practical on the Kindle, you’re right. But I haven’t had short battery life issues or anything else, and overall I’m pleased with the ease of use and flexibility.

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