• The Selfish Gene

The Selfish Gene.

Item Number: 1753

Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 1976.

First British edition. Octavo, black cloth. Signed by Richard Dawkins on the title page. Additionally signed by Desmond Morris, the illustrator of the dust jacket and also author of the classic work “The Naked Ape”. Unmarked bookplate to the inside gutter partially covered by the jacket flap, else fine in a near fine dust jacket that shows just a touch of wear to the spine crown.

The Selfish Gene was extremely popular when first published by Oxford University Press in 1976. It created "a silent and almost immediate revolution in biology" (Grafen and Ridley, 2009), and it has sold over a million copies and has been translated into more than 25 languages. " Best said by the New York Review of Books, it "was a smash hit...Best of all, Dawkins laid out this biology-some of it truly subtle-in stunningly lucid prose." In 1976, Arthur Cain, one of Dawkins's tutors at Oxford in the 1960s, called it a "young man's book." Dawkins received the compliment well and explained that it was allusion to A.J. Ayer's Language, Truth, and Logic (Dawkins, 2006). "This important book could hardly be more exciting," said The Economist, and "[t]he 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).