Fast-paced adventure-biography focuses on revolutionary views of 19th-century scientist who sought to save mankind from itself
Lee Alan Dugatkin highlights the incredible life and adventures of Prince Peter Kropotkin — a marvelous life that mixed science and politics — in “The Prince of Evolution: Peter Kropotkin’s Adventures in Science and Politics”
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (MMD Newswire) – – “The Prince of Evolution: Peter Kropotkin’s Adventures in Science and Politics” (ISBN 1461180171) by Lee Alan Dugatkin introduces readers to Russian prince Peter Kropotkin, who became one of the first international celebrities. Kropotkin was a scientist who was expelled from most respectable countries of the day and was chased around the globe for his research and views that seriously conflicted with late 19th and early 20th century ideas in science and politics.
“In this lavishly written book, Lee Dugatkin resurrects the story of Prince Kropotkin, whose life and studies profoundly questioned Victorian science and society. Kropotkin showed that animals and humans self-organize into cooperative structures without God or government. Almost without realizing it, Kropotkin discovered the biological foundation for human liberty.” –Paul Zak, Ph.D., Director, Center for Neuroeconomics Studies, Claremont Graduate University. Author of the forthcoming book “The Moral Molecule” (2012, Dutton Press)
Kropotkin was a well-respected scientist, but his international fame stemmed, in large part, from his role as a pivotal player in the birth of anarchism. When he took his views to the United States, thousands followed him around, eager to hear his ideas. Whether he was speaking to crowds or writing while in prison, Kropotkin covered a staggering number of topics – all woven around the common thread of his scientific law of mutual aid.
“Kropotkin’s journey to fame was complex,” Dugatkin says. “From time spent in prison to journeys through Siberia and banishment from Western countries, he saw and experienced it all. He went from being the Czar’s personal favorite to a convicted felon with the Russian secret police on his trail.”
Despite the target on his back, Kropotkin continually followed his goal of understanding cooperation in nature and, therefore, promoting it within mankind. Dugatkin claims Kropotkin was the first to argue that understanding cooperation in animals might shed light on cooperation in humans, possibly saving mankind from destroying itself.
“I am a biologist and historian of science who has been studying the evolution of cooperation for 25 years. Kropotkin’s story is one of the most amazing stories I have ever come across,” Dugatkin says. “I want others to see how science and scientists can be professional and adventurous at the same time, and perhaps most importantly, how understanding evolution can make us better people.”
“The Price of Evolution: Peter Kropotkin’s Adventures in Science and Politics” is available for sale online at Amazon.com and other channels.
About the Author
Lee Alan Dugatkin is an evolutionary biologist and a professor at the University of Louisville. His previous books include “Mr. Jefferson and the Giant Moose: Natural History in Early America,” “The Altruism Equation” and “Cheating Monkeys and Citizen Bees.” His works have been covered by dozens of newspapers and magazines around the world including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. He has spoken about his works at over 75 universities worldwide including Harvard, Princeton, Oxford University, The University of Copenhagen and