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Darwin’s Coat-Tails

Essays on Social Darwinism

Paul Crook

Darwin’s evolutionary ideas have been of immense social and political significance, filtering into an amazing galaxy of ideologies and agendas. This book focuses upon Social Darwinism, analyzing the concept, exploring its social origins, showing how people metaphorically sat upon Darwin’s «coat-tails» to further their own campaigns, justifying everything from capitalism to socialism, war to peace, race and empire to Nazi-style eugenics. These reflective essays showcase the author’s many years of Darwinian research and cover the period from 1859 to World War II (mainly in the British arena). Darwin’s Coat-Tails also sheds light on current challenges, from «ethnic cleansing» to genetic engineering.