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From the Pulitzer Prize-winning, bestselling author of The Emperor of All Maladies—a magnificent history of the gene and a response to the defining question of the future: What becomes of being human when we learn to “read” and “write” our own genetic information?
Siddhartha Mukherjee has a written a biography of the gene as deft, brilliant, and illuminating as his extraordinarily successful biography of cancer. Weaving science, social history, and personal narrative to tell us the story of one of the most important conceptual breakthroughs of modern times, Mukherjee animates the quest to understand human heredity and its surprising influence on our lives, personalities, identities, fates, and choices.
Throughout the narrative, the story of Mukherjee’s own family—with its tragic and bewildering history of mental illness—cuts like a bright, red line, reminding us of the many questions that hang over our ability to translate the science of genetics from the laboratory to the real world. In superb prose and with an instinct for the dramatic scene, he describes the centuries of research and experimentation—from Aristotle and Pythagoras to Mendel and Darwin, from Boveri and Morgan to Crick, Watson and Franklin, all the way through the revolutionary twenty-first century innovators who mapped the human genome.
As The New Yorker said of The Emperor of All Maladies, “It’s hard to think of many books for a general audience that have rendered any area of modern science and technology with such intelligence, accessibility, and compassion…An extraordinary achievement.” Riveting, revelatory, and magisterial history of a scientific idea coming to life, and an essential preparation for the moral complexity introduced by our ability to create or “write” the human genome, The Gene is a must-read for everyone concerned about the definition and future of humanity. This is the most crucial science of our time, intimately explained by a master.
|Title||:||The Gene: An Intimate History|
|Number of Pages||:||608 pages|
October 13, 2016
I have this tendency, when I read a book as brilliantly informing as this one, to wipe the froth from my mouth, shuffle the pages of notes I've written contemporaneous to the reading, and plunge into the cocktail party which is this forum, grabbing each of you by the virtual lapels, and launching...
February 23, 2017
Hello bookish peeps,
Another one of my review has been posted on our country's largest daily newspaper's website, The Times of India.
"This book is the story of the birth, growth, and future of one of the most powerful and dangerous ideas in the history of science: the "gene," the fundamental unit...
February 10, 2017
I listened to the BBC abridged audio book as I often do before ordering it. I like hardbacks so I try and be sure first I want to read it. I didn't like it enough. I loved The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer but couldn't feel that deep interest with this one.
Now it could be that th...
September 28, 2016
I'm not going to lie, there were some pages of this book where all my mind saw was 'science science science science' etc etc over and over again instead of the actual words which apparently make sense to people cleverer than me.
Happily though, the vast majority of the book is written in a more e...
June 06, 2017
Not half as good a narrative as The Emperor of All Maladies, but still a good account of the Gene's journey and where it is going. It will hold your attention even if you have read multiple accounts of the progress of Genetics such as Watson's, because most histories of the Gene focus on the Geno...
February 09, 2017
Thanks goes to Netgalley and a wonderful author for a wonderfully told series of stories within the world of genetics.
I was worried, briefly, by the insistence of bringing Aristotle's take on the genome, or the recapitulation of many of the grandfathers of the science, such as Mendel and Darwin,...
January 19, 2018
This book is a skillfully crafted combination of science history, character sketches, and personal encounters by the author's extended family with a history of mental illness. The end result maintains the interest of the reader in a subject that could have been a lot less interesting in the hands...
April 14, 2016
Siddhartha Mukherjee, Pulitzer's Prize winning book, "The Emperor of All Maladies"
scared the hell out of me right from the 'get go'....when I read that "1 in 4 people will get cancer in your lifetime".
Mukherjee dives right in again, ( wasting no time), in "The Gene".
We first learn that mental i...
February 28, 2017
'The Gene: an intimate history' is a most readable story about what it means to be human. It is a book that attempts to shine a light on the complex and often fraught history of understanding heredity. The book is laid out in a relatively easy to follow format with a writing style suited to those...
January 11, 2018
"We seek constancy in heredity--and find its opposite: variation. Mutants are necessary to maintain the essence of our selves."
- Siddhartha Mukherjee, The Gene
I've owned Mukherjee's other book, The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, for years and have consistently found rational reas...