Darwin’s Sacred Cause

How a Hatred of Slavery Shaped Darwin’s Views on Human Evolution


"The real problem is that no one understands Darwin’s core project, the nucleus of his most inflammatory research. No one has appreciated the source of that moral fire that fuelled his strange, out-of-character obsession with human origins. Understand that and Darwin can be radically reassessed.

In sounding the depths of Darwin’s anti-slavery we have exploited a wealth of unpublished family letters and a massive amount of manuscript material….This, then, is the untold story of how Darwin’s abhorrence of slavery led to our modern understanding of evolution."

–Adrian Desmond and James Moore,
Darwin’s Sacred Cause 
(HMH Books, 2009)