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Symbiogenesis, a term first coined by the Russian botanist K. S. Merezhkovsky in the late nineteenth century, is the evolution of new life forms from the physical union of different, once-independent partners. In this book Khakhina traces the development of the concept in Russian and Soviet scientific literature, reviewing the contributions of Merezhkovsky, A. S. Famintsyn, B. M. Kozo-Polyansky, and other prominent Russian scientists to theories of the role of symbiosis as a source of evolutionary information. This book provides new information for English-speaking scientists. The evolutionary implications of symbiosis have only recently been acknowledged by western scientists, and the sophisticated analysis by Russian biologists described by Khakhina is largely unknown. Lynn Margulis and Mark McMenamin have written an introduction to Khakhina's book (Published in the Soviet Union in 1979). The appendix by Donna C. Mehos describes the American anatomist Ivan E. Wallin, whose theory of symbionticism - species origin by the acquisition of microbial symbionts - was definitively rejected by his peers. The book is essential for anyone wishing to understand a topic of overwhelming importance for evolutionary biology and the history of science.