In this hugely entertaining sequel to the New York Times bestselling memoir An Appetite for Wonder, Richard Dawkins delves deeply into his intellectual life spent kick-starting new conversations about science, culture, and religion and writing yet another of the most audacious and widely read books of the twentieth century—The God Delusion.
Called “one of the best nonfiction writers alive today” (Stephen Pinker) and a “prize-fighter” (Nature), Richard Dawkins cheerfully, mischievously, looks back on a lifetime of tireless intellectual adventure and engagement. Exploring the halls of intellectual inquiry and stardom he encountered after the publication of his seminal work, The Selfish Gene; affectionately lampooning the world of academia, publishing, and television; and studding the pages with funny stories about the great men and women he’s known, Dawkins offers a candid look at the events and ideas that encouraged him to shift his attention to the intersection of culture, religion, and science. He also invites the reader to look more closely at the brilliant succession of ten influential books that grew naturally out of his busy life, highlighting the ideas that connect them and excavating their origins.
On the publication of his tenth book, the smash hit, The God Delusion, a “resounding trumpet blast for truth” (Matt Ridley), Richard Dawkins was catapulted from mere intellectual stardom into a circle of celebrity thinkers dubbed, “The New Atheists”—including Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, and Daniel Dennett.
Throughout A Brief Candle in the Dark, Dawkins shares with us his infectious sense of wonder at the natural world, his enjoyment of the absurdities of human interaction, and his bracing awareness of life’s brevity: all of which have made a deep imprint on our culture.
Following the first volume of his memoirs, An Appetite for Wonder, Dawkins reminisces about his life from the 1976 publication of his bestselling The Selfish Gene to the present. The text is fascinating, thoroughly readable, and joyful even as it is wildly eclectic and rambling. Dawkins describes the book as "a series of flashbacks divided into themes, with digressive anecdotes." Whether he is relating his experiences popularizing science or summarizing his travels to the Gal pagos Islands, Dawkins tells a good tale as he expounds upon the value in broadly promoting science literacy. In his last full chapter, which takes up a full third of the book, he revisits the scientific ideas for which he is best known in professional, if not popular, circles. Not surprisingly, Dawkins lives up to his reputation as one who attacks his opponents mercilessly, whether the attacks are warranted or not. He once again targets the Templeton Foundation, with its mission to reconcile science and religion, and dismisses the burgeoning field of epigenetics as a "fad, enjoying its 15 minutes of pop science voguery." Despite these flaws, Dawkins offers great insight into the nature of science and introduces readers to many of the major players responsible for creating the field of evolutionary biology.
Not that interesting
I liked "The God Delusion" but I found this book boring. It's a lot about academia and having been in that world myself and left it because it was boring, I found this book boring too.