Have you ever done something stupid, dangerous or self-sabotaging just to get one over someone else? Most of us have. Simon McCarthy-Jones draws on psychology, current affairs, literature and genetics to illuminate - whether we admit it or not - our spiteful side. What is that part of us that secretly wants our friends to fail? Did Americans put Trump in the White House just to stick it to Hillary Clinton? And then there are the legion of stories about toxic behaviour in supermarkets and over the privet hedge, ramping up to incendiary divorces, vicious business practices, backbiting politics and scorched-earth terrorism.
There's a hopeful message too - the upside of our dark side. Spite can drive us forward, and Simon provides a fresh perspective on the concept by showing the evolutionary benefits of spite as a social leveller, an enabler of defiance, a wellspring of freedom and a vital weapon in our everyday armoury.