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Mary Warnock, 1 September 1983

Cohabitation without Marriage 
by Michael Freeman and Christina Lyon.
Gower, 228 pp., £15, April 1983, 0 566 00455 0
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A Prison of Expectations: The Family in Victorian Culture 
by Steven Mintz.
New York, 234 pp., $32.50, May 1983, 0 8147 5388 4
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What is to be done about the family? 
edited by Lynne Segal.
Penguin, 237 pp., £2.50, April 1983, 0 14 006596 2
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‘Autistic’ Children: New Hope for a Cure 
by N. Tinbergen and E.A. Tinbergen.
Allen and Unwin, 362 pp., £19.50, April 1983, 0 04 157010 3
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Thicker than water? Adoption: Its Loyalties, Pitfalls and Joys 
by Alice Heim.
Secker, 211 pp., £8.95, May 1983, 0 436 19155 5
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The Artificial Family: A Consideration of Artificial Insemination by Donor 
by R. Snowden and G.D. Mitchell.
Counterpoint, 138 pp., £2.95, April 1983, 0 04 176002 6
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... Lynne Segal, who opens and closes the collection by confronting Thatcherism head-on. ‘No amount of pressure to strengthen traditional ideas on women’s place in the family,’ she argues, ‘can really succeed today. Women will not retire from waged work.’ Perhaps more important even than work is the general climate within which women now ...

Hawks and Doves

Mark Ridley, 21 July 1983

Evolution and Theory of Games 
by John Maynard Smith.
Cambridge, 224 pp., £18, October 1982, 0 521 24673 3
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... many curious discoveries made, earlier this century, by ethologists such as Konrad Lorenz and Niko Tinbergen was that fighting in animals is restrained and, as they called it, ‘ritualised’. Animal contests, over such valuable resources as food, territory or mates, almost resemble tournaments, which pass through a regular series of harmless stages, before ...

Signs of Affection

J.Z. Young, 1 October 1981

The Oxford Companion to Animal Behaviour 
edited by David McFarland.
Oxford, 657 pp., £17.50, July 1981, 0 19 866120 7
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... the book will not be so much use to anyone who wants details about particular species. There is no section that deals with the whole life of each type of bird or other animal. But one can learn about the idiosyncrasies, say, of cuckoos, homing pigeons, owls or bower-birds. Of course, the book is not all about birds. The ethologists who have written it ...

Author’s Editor

A. Alvarez, 24 January 1980

... to a letter to the Guardian from Godwin’s disenchanted but uniquely well-informed exwife, no such conspiracy ever existed. But then, neither did the Tony Godwin Morpurgo portrays. ‘Whenever there was friction at Harmondsworth (and there was much more friction [after his arrival] than ever there had been in the past) there was Godwin as catalyst or ...

Descending Sloth

John Maynard Smith, 1 April 1982

The Mammalian Radiations: An Analysis of Trends in Evolution, Adaptation and Behaviour 
by John Eisenberg.
Athlone, 610 pp., £32, December 1981, 0 485 30008 7
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... of molecular biology, and the apparent generality of its conclusions, natural history is no more than a collection of particular facts of little theoretical or practical import. There are two reasons why one should dissent from this judgment. The first is that the task of biology is to explain the living world, and that world is irreduciby ...

Keep me

Alison Jolly: Natural selection and females, 10 August 2000

Mother Nature: Natural Selection and the Female of the Species 
by Sarah Blaffer Hrdy.
Chatto, 697 pp., £20, November 1999, 0 7011 6625 8
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... Desert, and the inhabitants of California’s Sacramento Valley, around 40 per cent of women leave no surviving descendants at their death. Our pre-human foremothers probably had an even lower rate of reproductive success. Perhaps only half the females, in an average generation, left grandchildren. Those who became our ancestresses in each generation were ...

Thinking about how they think

Francis Gooding: Is nature intelligent?, 16 February 2017

Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? 
by Frans de Waal.
Granta, 340 pp., £14.99, September 2016, 978 1 78378 304 5
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The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate 
by Peter Wohlleben, translated by Jane Billinghurst.
Greystone, 272 pp., £16.99, September 2016, 978 1 77164 248 4
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... ended with a succinct answer: humankind ‘can neither be understood nor saved alone’. No philosophy can hope to understand ‘human nature’, Midgley argued, without acknowledging our integration into incomparably larger and older natural systems. Unfortunately, the philosophy and science of animal behaviour, as she found it, was not up to the ...

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