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Darwin's Sacred Cause: Race, Slavery and the Quest for Human Origins

by Adrian Desmond and James Moore - £14.99  Penguin Books Ltd (2010)
paperback    ISBN 13: 9780141032207 | ISBN 10: 0141032200

In this remarkable book Adrian Desmond and James Moore, world authorities on Darwin, give a completely new explanation of how Darwin came to his famous view of evolution, which traced all life to an ancient common ancestor. Darwin was committed to the abolition of slavery, in part because of his family's deeply held beliefs. It was his 'Sacred Cause' and at its core lay a belief in human racial unity. Desmond and Moore show how he extended to all life the idea of human brotherhood held by those who fought to abolish slavery, so developing our modern view of evolution.
 
Desmond and Moore argue that only by understanding Darwin's Christian abolitionist inheritance can we shed new light on the perplexing mix of personal drive, public hesitancy and scientific radicalism that led him finally in 1871 to publish The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex. The result is an epoch-making study of this eminent Victorian.

(Price & availability last checked: November 2018)

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In booklists: Science in History, Slavery & the Slave Trade,
In categories: History & Biography, Environment & Animal Rights, Anti-Racism, Black, Asian & Other Diasporas,

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