Mother Nature is the big new popular science book for the end of the millennium. It starts from the standpoint of Darwinist evolutionary theory, but turns it on its head. It is the first such major book by a women, qho ia professor of SocioBiology at the University of California, trained in Anthropology and an expert on Primates in particular. She's also one of the few women members fo the US Academy of Sciences. It's not for nothing that Nature is known as Mother Nature. Evolution is controlled, Hrdy demonstrates, not by the male of species, but by the female who is more diverse, deadlier and more adaptable for her own and for evolutionary purposes (which are one and the same thing) than the male. It is thus the female who ultimately controls the perpetuation and evolution of her family/tribe/race/species right through nature. The notion of 'maternal instinct', with it baggage of self-sacrifice, gentleness and devotion, is not just a myth but a misapprehension. In fact, strong, aggressive 'maternal' behaviour is the ultimate manifestation of the 'selfish' gene.