His main source of inspiration Mill found with Coleridge and Carlyle, Saint-Simon, Tocqueville and Comte. In his book Cor Hermans presents us with a detailed study of all these different spheres of influence. He succeeds in unearthing their connections, while writing expressively and well documented, and in showing how they were brought together in Mill’s writings in a harmonious way to form a masterly whole. Also very interesting is how Mr Hermans places these philosophical and sociological views in their historical context… Mr Hermans brings to life a Mill who radically engaged in the improvement of the fortune of both individual and society …

Willy Deckers, De Leeswolf, nr. 8, 2008

Analysing the works of social theorists such as Herbert Spencer, Alfred Russell Wallace, Ernst Haeckel, and Alfred Schäffle, as well as Darwin’s own work, Dr Hermans concludes that, although not a homogeneous ideology, different versions of social Darwinism all centred around the general notion that modern society could not, in the long run, disrupt natural selection without grave consequences.

International Review of Social History, vol. 51, 2006