Sober's "The Nature Of Selection" is an intensely indepth examination of many questions raised in reviewing the findings of evolutionary biology, with especial emphasis on the "units of selection" controversy.
A consummate philosopher, Sober begins by explaining that the book is divided in two parts: the first is of more interest to philosophers without a biological background, and the second to biologists who are curious about why philosophers of science are "sticking their nose into" evolutionary theory. Given the primary thrust of the book, the second section is supposed to be of special interest to all readers, as this is where Sober shines in his attempt to clarify a few of the questions raised in the philosophy of science regarding evolution and why that is important to strict naturalists as well.
This book is so jampacked with examples and critical reviews of some of the major & minor examples of evolution in action that it is hard in a limited space review to really go into a proper critique of the text. This book is 383 pages of postgraduate-level analysis of the some of the fundamental theorems and explanations behind how we should define such terms as the "unit of selection" and "altruism". As such, this is not recommended to anyone without a formal background in biology and/or philosophy.
The merging of the two aforementioned disciplines is something that has appeared in recent years to become almost tacit in instruction. I took a Philosophy of Science course in 2000 and even though we did not deal with the specific issues in this book (with the exception of the so-called "Tautology Problem"), I notice a difference between what was taught in class and the general tone of the Introduction to this 1984 publication. Unless I read him wrong, it appears as if Sober's suggestions of the intrusiveness of philosophy into biology has been eased over time. As such, one could potentially argue that part of the value behind reading this book would be to see the underpinnings of what would later become standard questioning amongst biological theorists.
All in all, this book is for college-level graduates with a background in either biology and/or philosophy who wish to examine some of the major issues raised in the study of natural selection. 4 stars for overall content, lacking a basic glossary for ease of reference.