Hermans gives us an elaborate and very thorough overview of the ideas of these ‘social Darwinists’, who succeeded in misapproprating the theory of evolution for their personal political interests…. [His] most readable study offers a fascinating sampling of these thinkers and men of action from the late nineteenth century, all under the spell of expected downfall.

Marcel Hulspas, Folia, 24 October, 2003

Mr Hermans sets out … to discover the essence of social Darwinism. This results in an a-historic approach …. [Still] the investigation of Mr Hermans certainly is worth reading. For those who will not worry too much about the formulation of the historical problem to solve, this book offers a fine survey, nicely written, of the many variants of social Darwinism. It’s a valiant undertaking to add a fresh contribution to the so-called ‘Darwin industry’, even venturing to come up with something novel to it.

Barbara Allart, Tijdschrift voor geschiedenis, December 2004