Book of the Week: Brief Candle in the Dark – Richard Dawkins

This is the second in Dawkins’ recollections of his remarkable life in science. The first book was a bestseller and I expect even better sales for this volume that covers his intellectual maturity and his provocative professional career.

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 Galápagos 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….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.”
Publishers Weekly

Brief Candle in the Dark provides so many pleasures in which to revel: the searing clarity of scientific insights and explanations; the depth of wit and width of erudition; a prose which can soar to poetry while never losing its accuracy; an inspired delight in the beauty of nature’s ways and a just as inspiring delight in the gifts and talents of others. The Richard Dawkins who comes shining through these wonderful pages is as generous as he is brilliant, calling to mind Darwin’s ringing words: There is grandeur in this view of life.”
— Rebecca Goldstein, author of Plato at the Googleplex

Brief Candle in the Dark: My Life in Science (9780062288431) by Richard Dawkins. $27.99 hardcover. 9/29/15 on sale.

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