The Red Queen

The Red Queen

Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature



Referring to Lewis Carroll's Red Queen from Through the Looking-Glass, a character who has to keep running to stay in the same place, Matt Ridley demonstrates why sex is humanity's best strategy for outwitting its constantly mutating internal predators. The Red Queen answers dozens of other riddles of human nature and culture -- including why men propose marriage, the method behind our maddening notions of beauty, and the disquieting fact that a woman is more likely to conceive a child by an adulterous lover than by her husband. Brilliantly written, The Red Queen offers an extraordinary new way of interpreting the human condition and how it has evolved.

MATT RIDLEY is the author of Nature Via Nurture: Genes, Experience, and What Makes Us Human; the critically acclaimed national bestseller Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters; The Origins of Virtue: Human Instincts and the Evolution of Cooperation; and the New York Times Notable Book The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature. His books have been short-listed for six literary awards, including the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Formerly a scientist, journalist, and a national newspaper columnist, he is a visiting professor at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York and the chairman of the International Centre for Life in Newcastle, England.