Isis 107 (2):418-419 (2016)

Trevor Pearce
University of North Carolina, Charlotte
Naomi Beck’s very readable book examines the reception of Herbert Spencer’s work among Italian and French intellectuals from 1860 to 1900, focusing on the role of biology in analyses of society and politics. Although its topic is narrow, the book is relevant to historians interested in Social Darwinism, positivism, early social science, and comparative history. It also provides a case study for scholars of the reception and transformation of ideas.
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DOI 10.1086/687141
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