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The Selfish Gene

30th Anniversary Edition--with a new Introduction by the Author

Richard Dawkins

Publication Date - May 2006

ISBN: 9780199291151

384 pages

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $19.95

The 30th anniversary edition of an international bestseller--with a new introduction from the author--a classic account of modern evolutionary thought, widely hailed for its stylistic brilliance and deep scientific insights


Richard Dawkins' brilliant reformulation of the theory of natural selection has the rare distinction of having provoked as much excitement and interest outside the scientific community as within it. His theories have helped change the whole nature of the study of social biology, and have forced thousands of readers to rethink their beliefs about life.
In his internationally bestselling, now classic volume, The Selfish Gene, Dawkins explains how the selfish gene can also be a subtle gene. The world of the selfish gene revolves around savage competition, ruthless exploitation, and deceit, and yet, Dawkins argues, acts of apparent altruism do exist in nature. Bees, for example, will commit suicide when they sting to protect the hive, and birds will risk their lives to warn the flock of an approaching hawk.
This 30th anniversary edition of Dawkins' fascinating book retains all original material, including the two enlightening chapters added in the second edition. In a new Introduction the author presents his thoughts thirty years after the publication of his first and most famous book, while the inclusion of the two-page original Foreword by brilliant American scientist Robert Trivers shows the enthusiastic reaction of the scientific community at that time. This edition is a celebration of a remarkable exposition of evolutionary thought, a work that has been widely hailed for its stylistic brilliance and deep scientific insights, and that continues to stimulate whole new areas of research today.


  • Commemorative 30th anniversary edition - contains a new introduction by Richard Dawkins, and an enlarged review section with extracts from a range of early reviews
  • This classic book powerfully encapsulates a new way of looking at living things - a gene's eye view of life
  • The original edition of this book was published 30 years ago and this edition commemorates its establishment as a classic work in the development of evolutionary thought
  • Includes the original prefaces, and Robert Trivers' 1976 foreword, establishing the historical importance and context of the work

About the Author(s)

Richard Dawkins is the Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University, a Fellow of the Royal Society and of the Royal Society of Literature, and an international lecturer. His acclaimed books include The Extended Phenotype, a more technical sequel to The Selfish Gene, and The Blind Watchmaker, which won the Royal Society of Literature Award and the Los Angeles Times Prize, both in 1987. His other bestsellers include River out of Eden, Climbing Mount Impossible, Unweaving the Rainbow, and the A Devil's Chaplain. His most recent book is The Ancestor's Tale.

Professor Dawkins is the recipient of many prizes and honors, including the Shakespeare Prize, the Silver Medal of the Zoological Society of London, the Royal Society's Michael Faraday Award, the Nakayama Prize for Achievement in Human Science, The International Cosmos Prize, and the Kistler Prize.


"Dawkins first book, The Selfish Gene, was a smash hit...Best of all, Dawkins laid out this biology-some of it truly subtle-in stunningly lucid prose. (It is, in my view, the best work of popular science ever written.)"--New York Review of Books

"This important book could hardly be more exciting."--The Economist

"The sort of popular science writing that makes the reader feel like a genius."--New York Times

"Who should read this book? Everyone interested in the universe and their place in it."--Jeffrey R. Baylis, Animal Behaviour

"This book should be read, can be read, by almost everyone. It describes with great skill a new face of the theory of evolution."--W. D. Hamilton, Science

"The presentations are remarkable for their clarity and simplicity, intelligible to any schoolchild, yet so little condescending as to be a pleasure to the professional."--American Scientist

Table of Contents

    Introduction to 30th edn
    Preface to 1989 edn
    Foreword to 1976 edn
    Preface to 1976 edn
    1. Why are people?
    2. The replicators
    3. Immortal coils
    4. The gene machine
    5. Aggression: stability and the selfish machine
    6. Genesmanship
    7. Family planning
    8. Battle of the generations
    9. Battle of the sexes
    10. You scratch my back, I'll ride on yours
    11. Memes: the new replicators
    12. Nice guys finish first
    13. The long reach of the gene
    Reviews from earlier editions
    Updated bibliography
    Index and key to bibliography