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Creatures of Cain - Princeton Scholarship Online
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Creatures of Cain

Erika Lorraine Milam


After World War II, the question of how to define a universal human nature took on new urgency. This book charts the rise and precipitous fall in Cold War America of a theory that attributed man's evolutionary success to his unique capacity for murder. The book reveals how the scientists who advanced this “killer ape” theory capitalized on an expanding postwar market in intellectual paperbacks and widespread faith in the power of science to solve humanity's problems, even to answer the most fundamental questions of human identity. The killer ape theory spread quickly from colloquial science pu ... More

Keywords: human nature, evolutionary success, murder, human identity, killer ape theory, human exceptionalism, violence, aggression

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780691181882
Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2019 DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691181882.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Erika Lorraine Milam, author
Princeton University