Weaving together stories of science and sociology, The Selfish Ape offers a refreshing response to common fantasies about the ascent of humanity. Rather than imagining modern humans as a species with godlike powers, or Homo deus, Nicholas P. Money recasts us as Homo narcissus—paragons of self-absorption. This exhilarating story offers an immense sweep of modern biology, leading readers from earth’s unexceptional location in the cosmos to the story of our microbial origins and the innerworkings of the human body. It explores human genetics, reproduction, brain function, and aging, creating an enlightened view of man as a brilliantly inventive, yet self-destructive animal.
The Selfish Ape is a book about human biology, the intertwined characteristics of our greatness and failure, and the way that we have plundered the biosphere. Written in a highly accessible style, it is a perfect read for those interested in science, human history, sociology, and the environment.
Reaktion Books; August 2019
- ISBN: 9781789141832
- Read online, or download in secure PDF format
- Title: The Selfish Ape
- Author: Nicholas P. Money
Imprint: Reaktion Books
In The Press
“This entrancing and sobering collection of thoughts is a worthy successor to The Amoeba in the Room, which opened our eyes to so much.”
— Robin Hanbury-Tenison, explorer
"I learned much from Money’s book. I love his vivid, prose-poetic imagery. Reading him is pure literary pleasure. He knows what to say and, more importantly, he knows how to say it."
— Richard Dawkins FRS, author of "The Selfish Gene" and "Outgrowing God"
About The Author
Nicholas P. Money is professor of biology and the Western Program Director at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He is the author of many books on science including Mushrooms: A Natural and Cultural History, also published by Reaktion Books, The Amoeba in the Room, and The Rise of Yeast: How the Sugar Fungus Shaped Civilization.