Terry Sullivan

Clarifying the terms of debate on sex and gender

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Mark O’Brien’s article on Freud and sexuality (“Freud, Sex and the Socialist Imagination”, December SR) is both unclear and wrong.

Consider a question he poses: "Is our mature sexual identification in some sense there at birth, awaiting its cultural triggers; or is the ‘maleness’ or ‘femaleness’ of the infant simply a matter of anatomical labelling, with no intrinsic meaning or later sexual attachment.”

Darwin's Sacred Cause

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Adrian Desmond and James Moore, Allen Lane, £25

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the publication of one of the most important scientific works of all time, Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species. This book transformed the way we see not just ourselves, but all life on earth. There are two "big ideas" in Darwin's theory of evolution. One is that there is a tree of life; according to this idea all the different forms of life on earth have a common ancestor.

Evolution and Revolution

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Review of 'The First Darwinian Left' by David Stack, New Clarion Press £12.95

Darwinism and socialism were two of the most important ideas of the 19th century. In this well written and sophisticated book David Stack argues that the importance of Darwinism to socialist thought has been underestimated. He demonstrates that after the publication of Darwin's The Origin of Species, evolution became integral to socialist theory.

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