A brilliant biography of a brilliant man. A powerful page-turner that vividly renders the obsessive absorption with the poles of cooperation and competition in nature
Daniel Kevles, Stanley Woodward Professor of History at Yale University
I stayed up a good part of the night reading... fascinating! ... Harman proves that the lives of some modern scientists are as ecstatic, tormented and filled with strange visions as those of medieval saints
Sylvia Nasar, author of A Beautiful Mind
A terrific book, at once scholarly and impossible to put down
Peter Godfrey-Smith, professor of philosophy at Harvard University
Beautifully written, Harman's book does justice both to its sensitive subject matter and to the life of a very special, complex and ultimately tragic man.
Waterstone's Books Quarterly
A masterfully told story that edifies while it engages, this book is in the same class as Sylvia Nasar's A Beautiful Mind and could be as popular.
American Library Journal
Oren Harman's compelling new book explores one of the key questions of our era - what are the origins of altruism? A little known mathematician lies at the heart of the story. George Price recognised that acts of kindness and self-sacrifice stood blatantly opposed to most of the principles of modern Darwinism. Harman's wide-ranging intellectual quest brings this shy, anguished, and fascinating man alive with style and passion, and reminds us of the powerful emotions that can fuel great scientific achievement.
Janet Browne, author of Charles Darwin
One of the great mysteries of nature is how evolution, as it selects for survival of the fittest, could possibly leave any room for altruism. In this remarkable book, Oren Harman tracks George Price, an awkward, disturbed, and profoundly, almost saintly scientist as he cracked this fundamental biological problem. It is an astonishing story at every level, from the destitute wanderings and genial interventions of Price to a revealing account of how modern evolutionary biology took its contemporary form.
Professor Peter Galison
striking and original
John Carey, The Sunday Times
a challenging book...full of complex and deeply interesting ideas
Sam Leith, Spectator
A fascinating trawl through the borderland where science and society intertwine
Doug Johnstone, The Big Issue
The Price of Altruism puts Price's work into a wide scientific and social context, showing real insight into its importance and genuine sympathy for the tale of his life
Steve Jones, New Scientist
Oren Harman's outstanding new biography of the American scientist George Price makes the case that Price's theoretical contributions to biology are among the most important of the twentieth century...Price was undoubtedly an opaque figure; Harman has approached his life with sensitivity and intelligence, providing a clearer window into this troubled mind
Tom Bailey, TLS
Moving biography exploring a geneticst's understanding of human selflessness
An energetic tale that presents not only the science but the history and politics which produced it
Uncommonly brilliant and deeply stimulating... almost cinematically satisfying. Harman has a rare gift for bringing ideas and thinkers to life
Leon Wieseltier, literary editor of the New Republic
May 15, 2011
May 15, 2010
May 15, 2011