Anyone with a passing interest in Evolution, the story of Charles Darwin and his fateful voyage to the Galapagos, or the journey that Watson and Crick set out upon that led to the discovery of the Immortal Coil, will have heard of Belyaev and his foxes.
I had read about this man and his multi-decade study that has(the study is ongoing) shown the evolutionary effects that artificially selecting for “tameness” in foxes has caused. He is a hero in the arena of evolutionary biology, and less importantly, he is someone that I have looked up to as an intellectual role model since the first time I heard about his story.
Imagine my exuberance when I found that his partner, Lyudmila Trut, had collaborated with Lee Alan Dugatkin to tell the entire story of the foxes! Not second hand from Belyaev’s writings or journals, but from the “horse’s mouth” so to speak.
I knew I wanted to devour this book solely for it’s importance to my scientific understanding of evolution and the effects of artificial selection on future generations.
I didn’t expect for the emotional roller coaster ride that this story took me on. The obstacles that were overcome by this group of people in the face of such foreboding odds is nothing short of miraculous.
This story feels real. It felt like I was there, in “Pushinka’s House”, as the narrator takes us through the accomplishments of that, particularly special fox. The book is beautifully written in this regard, taking the reader on the journey as if they were there. I plan on rereading the book tonight and highly recommend that you make this your next literary choice!