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In The Origin of Species, Charles Darwin refused to discuss human evolution, believing the subject too surrounded with prejudices. He had been reworking his notes since the 1830s, but only with trepidation did he finally publish The Descent of Man in 1871. The book notoriously put apes in our family tree and made the races one family, diversified by sexual selection Darwins provocative theory that female choice among competing males leads to diverging racial characteristics. Though less well known than The Origin of Species, The Descent of Man continues to shape the way we think about what it is that makes us uniquely human.
Charles Darwin (18091882) was an evolutionary biologist, best known for his controversial and ground-breaking The Origin of Species (1859).
James Moore is a reader in history of science and technology at the Open University.
Adrian Desmond is an honorary research fellow in the Biology Department at University College London.
One of the ten most significant books. (Sigmund Freud)