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Darwin Loves You:
Natural Selection and the Re-enchantment of the World
George Levine

Book Description | Table of Contents
Chapter 1 [HTML] or [PDF format]

ADDITIONAL REVIEWS:

"A considered, carefully worked and sensitive argument for Charles Darwin the man."--Henry Nicholls, Times Higher Education Supplement

"Darwin Loves You combines passion, subtlety, critical scrutiny and moral purpose. . . . Levine is surely right to see hope for our own times in an avowedly Romantic Darwinism."--Marek Kohn, The Independent

"George Levine has written a fascinating book about the impact of Charles Darwin's ideas on Western culture and how they affect people's moral and spiritual values. . . . This book, which represents an admirable attempt to humanize Darwinism, is welcome in today's climate. . . . This book should appeal to the lay public concerned about the growing threat of fundamentalism."--Choice

"Levine's Darwin is a dedicated and scrupulous observer who insisted on scientific clarity and rational precision whether studying finches, barnacles, worms, or human beings. Levine is inspired by the great naturalist's awe before the ordinary, which he characterizes as a kind of inverted sublimity."--Steven G. Kellman, San Antonio Current

"Darwin Loves You is a lucid, incisive and delightful book which shows that literary criticism still has an important part to play in leading us towards a humane culture and in safeguarding and sustaining secular understanding. It is a model too for an interdisciplinary engagement between the literary critic and the world of science. . . . As the intellectual climate has again been favourable to sociobiology, so is it favourable too to this more urgent revival. We live in a more dangerously religiose environment than at any time since the nineteenth century, and the stakes are if anything higher. In times like these, we should be all the more grateful for such a subtle and profound book as Levine has given us."--John Holmes, British Society for Literature and Science

"George Levine offers a compelling view of the kind of deep attachment Darwin felt to his objects of study, broadening that view to a general account of one kind of meaning that one might find in one's own life. Levine's interpretations of both content and form of Darwin's prose are eminently convincing. Levine faces fundamental issues raised by Darwin's conception of natural selection and evolution, taking on the Socratic question, 'How should one live?' in the context of evolutionary science. I hope that others are able to respond likewise, extending and exploring the novel and exciting proposals advanced in Darwin Loves You."--Adam M. Goldstein, Evolution Education and Outreach

ENDORSEMENT:

"Darwin Loves You is the most interesting book I have read this year. It is wise, brave, and beautifully written. Levine's reflections on the important issue of Darwinism as an ideology are bound to engage readers. He shows that Darwin's science is not dehumanising or amoral and that it's possible to be a Darwinist and still believe that the world has meaning."--Janet Browne, author of Charles Darwin: The Power of Place

"George Levine has thought deeply about Darwinism, its cultural history, and its implications for moral and spiritual values. Darwin Loves You should be read by everyone who thinks that their values are threatened by evolutionary theory."--David Sloan Wilson, author of Darwin's Cathedral: Evolution, Religion, and the Nature of Society and How to be a Good Evolutionist

"Darwin Loves You is a very important work that deserves to be read by many people well outside the narrow circle of Darwin specialists. First, it is a brilliant account of how a science is taken up and used for diverse cultural ends, far beyond the intention of the author and the content of the text. Second, it is crucially relevant to the present day with the horrifying rise of fundamentalist religion in America and abroad. It shows how science gets misused and misunderstood in dangerous ways by fanatics. Third, and most important of all, it introduces us to a man who is deeply in love with his subject, wanting to engage the reader. One learns here truly why scholarship is such a joyful activity."--Michael Ruse, author of The Evolution-Creation Struggle

"This is a rich and multilayered argument for a wider appreciation of a 'kinder, gentler' Darwin. It examines many of the ways in which Darwin's writings have been appropriated by later social Darwinist and eugenicist thought. Levine makes a cogent defence of the practice of close reading both Darwin and his many commentators. The result is a subtle but powerful argument about the way in which distinctive strands of Darwin's intellectual and personal identity--as romantic materialist and emotional subject--need to be appreciated as a possible resource of re-enchantment, overturning pessimistic, rationalistic, and technological disenchantment."--David Amigoni, Keele University, coeditor of Charles Darwin's "Origin of Species": New Interdisciplinary Essays

"Passionate, erudite, and polemical, Darwin Loves You draws its arguments from a heady array of writers and philosophers. This is a book to think with."--Rebecca Stott, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, author of Darwin and the Barnacle

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File created: 4/17/2014

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