The Price Of Altruism

The Price Of Altruism

George Price and the Search for the Origins of Kindness

By Oren Harman

The completely compelling biography of George Price.

Survival of the fittest or survival of the nicest? Since the dawn of time man has contemplated the mysteries of altruism, but it was Darwin who first posed the question most starkly. From the selfless ant to the stinging bee to the man laying down his life for a stranger, evolution had borne a goodness that in theory should never be. The quest to answer this riddle would travel far and wide. The Altruism Code follows the incredible story of the eccentric American genius George Price. From the heights of the Manhattan Project to the depths of homelessness and despair, his life embodies the paradoxes of Darwin’s enigma. Price’s unusual scientific journey led to an all-consuming quest to crack the secrets of altruism. What he found compelled him to give away all his belongings to help others, ultimately becoming one of the vagabonds he set out to save. His tragic suicide, in a squat, alone, far away from family, provides the ultimate contemplation on the possibility of genuine kindness. The story of Price’s life is intricately woven into the sweeping arc of modern politics and science. From the Beagle in the southern seas to the court of the Russian Czar to the chambers of London’s Royal Society; from Economics lecture halls at the University of Chicago to Senate hearing rooms on Capitol Hill; from Indiana prairies to Brazilian jungles to Jamaican mountains; World War I trenches to Vietnam demonstrations, Marxist manifestos to Anglican proclamations, Quaker pacifications to Nazi heresies. The scientific quest to fathom the mysteries of altruism invites to the stage sneaky amoebas and Russian anarchists, sentry gazelles and tyrannical despots, brain imaging, Game Theory, the Bomb and the Holy Bible. Featuring some of the most brilliant minds of the modern age, it is the continuing tale of man’s search for the origins of kindness.

Format & Editions

Paperback

9780099531661

May 15, 2011

Vintage

RRP $22.99

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Hardback

9781847920621

May 15, 2010

Bodley Head

RRP $49.99

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EBook

9781407085241

May 15, 2011

Vintage Digital

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