Journal of the History of Biology (2018) 51:597–600 Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018 https://doi.org/10.1007/s10739-018-9524-0 BOOK REVIEW Evelleen Richards, Darwin and the Making of Sexual Selection (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2017), 672 pp., 48 halftones, $47.50 Cloth, ISBN 9780226436906 Darwin’s Descent of Man (1871), which lays out his controversial views on human evolution, is a puzzling work. The ﬁrst third of the book, Part I on ‘‘The Descent of Origin of Man,’’ deals with the role of natural selection in human evolution. But Parts II and III, two thirds of the entire book, both focus on the process of sexual selection. If Darwin’s theory of natural selection is his chief contribution to evolutionary biology, then why does he spend so much time in the Descent on sexual selection? Evelleen Richards’s goal in her long awaited and much anticipated Darwin and the Making of Sexual Selection is to answer this perplexing question. The short answer is that the theory of sexual selection is far more important than we have previously recognized. According to Richards, after the publication of the Origin of Species, Darwin began to retreat from the theory of natural selection, becoming more
Journal of the History of Biology – Springer Journals
Published: May 30, 2018
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