Defenders of the Truth: The Sociobiology Debate

by Ullica Segerstråle
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. 504 pages.

Twenty-five years in the making, Defenders of the Truth offers a lively and comprehensive history-cum-analysis of the debate over sociobiology by a sociologist who followed it closely as it developed, interviewing such luminaries as Stephen Jay Gould, E. O . Wilson, Richard Lewontin, Richard Dawkins, and John Maynard Smith — who, Segerstråle writes, "are all defenders of the truth — it is just that they have different conceptions of where the truth lies." The reviewer for Science commented, "she provides details with an apposite quote each time one hero's cutting review strikes another's bloody helm, and the details accumulate into an epic whole." Segerstråle is Professor of Sociology at Illinois Institute of Technology.