A Devil's Chaplain : Selected Writings, Paperback

A Devil's Chaplain : Selected Writings Paperback

3 out of 5 (2 ratings)


Richard Dawkins is one of the finest minds in science, and in this superb collection of essays and letters, he demonstrates the depth of his knowledge and the rich variety of his interests.

Whether he is examining postmodernism or the Human Genome Project, penning a letter to his daughter, or writing a moving eulogy to Douglas Adams and e-mailing Stephen Jay Gould, Dawkins writes with an intellectual vigour and grace that is second to none.

This is a very human collection that shows not only the acuity of Dawkins' scientific mind, but also his sense of humour and the warmth of his relationships with friends and family.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320 pages, facsims.
  • Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Popular science
  • ISBN: 9780753817506



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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

Compared to Dawkins' major science books (Selfish Gene, Blind Watchmaker etc), this is definitely a somewhat lightweight read. Many of the individual pieces collected here are stronger on rhetoric than they are on logic, with some great invective unleashed against the postmodernists, religious and other disciples of untruth, but this is rarely matched by depth of argument.Having said that, there are some entertaining and interesting pieces. Several articles on the writing of Stephen Jay Gould are a high point, with strong and pointed criticisms of the American author's work. A piece attacking the fundamentalist motivation of the 9/11 terrorists is also particularly striking, as are a couple of lengthier pieces which deal with memes as mind viruses, again particularly considering religion.Disappointing compared to Dawkins' major works, but a good read if taken in small doses.

Review by

Some of the essays are interesting, but much of the book is <i>about</i> other books, and I would prefer to read those books themselves. This book does give some insight into Richard Dawkins as a person, and that will probably appeal to people who enjoy reading biographies.

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