The Political Gene

Dennis Sewell

Age 16 +
09 October 2014
288 pages


The Political Gene is a fascinating examination of the way that many scientists and politicians have sought to use Charles Darwin’s ideas to solve social problems, or to bolster political ideologies. Sewell’s beautifully crafted narrative shows us what drove people to put a black man on display in a zoo, forcibly sterilize a pair of innocent teenage sisters, lock up a British girl for eighteen years for a petty theft, murder disabled people in Nazi Germany, and slam shut America’s ‘Golden Door’. In a world where the gene becomes ever more central, the fresh and stimulating arguments in The Political Gene make this an explosive, essential, and utterly intriguing book.

‘An accessible, thought-provoking book that refuses to adopt pre-determined battle lines in an argument that looks set to continue raging.’ Metro, Non-Fiction of the Week

The Political Gene by Dennis Sewell is the only one of the Darwin books that actually explains what really matters – the consequences of the adoption of his theory for the conduct of human affairs’ Evening Standard, Books of the Year

‘[This] chilling study reveals how Darwinism became a justification for hateful ideologies’ Sunday Times

‘Scholarly and shocking.’ GQ

‘The best book to have come out of the Darwin centenary’ Word Magazine