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Matt Ridley received his BA and D. Phil at Oxford researching the evolution of behaviour. He has been science editor, Washington correspondent and American editor of The Economist. He is the author of bestselling titles The Red Queen (1993), The Origins of Virtue (1996), Genome (1999) and Nature via Nurture (2003). His books have sold over half a million copies, been translated into 25 languages and been shortlisted for six literary prizes. In 2004 he won the National Academies Book Award from the US National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine for Nature via Nurture. In 2007 Matt won the Davis Prize from the US History of Science Society for Francis Crick: Discoverer of the Genetic Code. He is married to the neuroscientist Professor Anya Hurlbert.
`He argues we live in a bottom-up world...a compelling argument and in this fascinating work, an evolution from Ridley's other books, such as The Rational Optimist of The Origins of Virtue, he takes it to all realms of knowledge and how new ideas emerge... Ridley has amassed such a weight of fascinating evidence and anecdote that the pages fly by' Ed Conway, The Times `Intriguing and artfully argued' Ian Critchly, The Sunday Times `This is a book of remarkable scope (when Ridley says everything, he isn't exaggerating), clearly written by a polymath who reads whatever is interesting, old and new. What's more, it does not have the feel of a book written on commission so much as one that has been slowly assembling its own emergent thesis over time, tentatively testing and sometimes rejecting ideas along the way. As so often in nature, something wonderful has thereby come about' Literary Review `The book displays his wide and deep knowledge of many different fields. It is fast paced and elegantly written. Few readers will come away without fresh information and a challenge to their preconceptions' Prospect `Readable, provocative and infuriating' New Statesman Praise for Matt Ridley: `What a superb writer he is, and he seems to get better and better.' Richard Dawkins, author of `The Selfish Gene' Praise for `The Rational Optimist': `A triumphant blast on the vuvuzela of common sense' Boris Johnson `A glorious defence of our species... a devastating rebuke to humanity's self-haters' Sunday Times `No other book has argued with such brilliance against the automatic pessimism that prevails' Ian McEwan `His theory is, in a way, the glorious offspring that would result if Charles Darwin's ideas were mated with those of Adam Smith' The Economist `As a work of bold historical positivity it is to be welcomed. At every point cheerfulness keeps breaking through' The Times