Continuing and completing the spree of science books lately was E.O. Wilson's The Social Conquest of Earth. The book examines 'eusociality' as practiced by both humans and insects. Eusociality involves a trascendent social order that is sustained by passing generations, with a high degree of specialization. Wilson is one of the grand old men of biology, the effective founder of the sociobiological discipline. After dealing with the whole of natural human history in chapter one, Wilson uses his extensive insect experience to explain what eusociality is and how it might have evolved. He then speculates on what biological basis culture, art, etc. might be derived from. I found parts of the book, like the extended debate between inclusive fitness and kin selection as evolutionary drivers, a touch esoteric, and probably would have enjoyed the book more if I'd hadn't gone into it expecting to read more than about humans and termites.
Shortly before that, I read Unnatural Selection, comments for which are forthcoming. This week I'm finishing up a social history of the Scotch-Irish, called....The Scotch-Irish: A Social History. It was part of an intended nod toward St. Patrick's day, though there's no way in blazes I'm finishing The Year of the French in time for tomorrow.