In his first memoir, 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, and later at boarding
school, where he began his career as a skeptic.
Arriving at Oxford in 1959, 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. In 1973, provoked
by the dominance of group selection theory 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.
This is an intimate memoir of the childhood and intellectual
development of the evolutionary biologist and world-famous atheist
and how he came to write what is widely held to be one of the most
important books of the twentieth century.