The Meme Machine — by Susan Blackmore

The Meme Machine by Susan Blackmore is one of the best recent books on Richard Dawkin’s famous meme theory, which describes how culture is transmitted from person to person and down through history. Memes purport to explain the development of culture through the imitation of things. Memes are like genes: they are replicators, competing for space in our minds and in our culture. This book investigates the consequences.

The famed Richard Dawkins, in his foreword to the book, writes:

“The fact that we unconsciously imitate others, especially our parents, those in quasi-parental roles, or those we admire, is familiar enough. But is it really credible that imitation could become the basis of a major theory of the evolution of the human mind and the explosive inflation of the human brain, even of what it means to be a conscious self? Could imitation have been the key to what set our ancestors apart from all other animals? I would never have thought so, but Susan Blackmore in this book makes a tantalisingly strong case.”