The Gene: An Intimate History

Front Cover
Simon and Schuster, May 17, 2016 - History - 592 pages
The #1 NEW YORK TIMES Bestseller
The basis for the PBS Ken Burns Documentary The Gene: An Intimate History

From the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Emperor of All Maladies—a fascinating history of the gene and “a magisterial account of how human minds have laboriously, ingeniously picked apart what makes us tick” (Elle).

"Sid Mukherjee has the uncanny ability to bring together science, history, and the future in a way that is understandable and riveting, guiding us through both time and the mystery of life itself." –Ken Burns

“Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee dazzled readers with his Pulitzer Prize-winning The Emperor of All Maladies in 2010. That achievement was evidently just a warm-up for his virtuoso performance in The Gene: An Intimate History, in which he braids science, history, and memoir into an epic with all the range and biblical thunder of Paradise Lost” (The New York Times). In this biography Mukherjee brings to life the quest to understand human heredity and its surprising influence on our lives, personalities, identities, fates, and choices.

“Mukherjee expresses abstract intellectual ideas through emotional stories…[and] swaddles his medical rigor with rhapsodic tenderness, surprising vulnerability, and occasional flashes of pure poetry” (The Washington Post). Throughout, the story of Mukherjee’s own family—with its tragic and bewildering history of mental illness—reminds us of the questions that hang over our ability to translate the science of genetics from the laboratory to the real world. In riveting and dramatic prose, 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.

“A fascinating and often sobering history of how humans came to understand the roles of genes in making us who we are—and what our manipulation of those genes might mean for our future” (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel), The Gene is the revelatory and magisterial history of a scientific idea coming to life, the most crucial science of our time, intimately explained by a master. “The Gene is a book we all should read” (USA TODAY).
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - tjsjohanna - LibraryThing

There is lots of interesting stuff in this packed book - and that ends up being its downfall. There is just so much that I often found myself skimming. The topics are far ranging and thought provoking ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - PDCRead - LibraryThing

Genes are not only the key to life, but holds the details of our history and our future too. In this book, Mukherjee takes us on a journey to uncover the origins of this master code and the story of ... Read full review

Contents

Families
1
The Missing Science of Heredity
15
In the Sum of the Parts There Are Only the Parts
87
The Dreams of Geneticists
201
The Proper Study of Mankind Is Man
253
Through the Looking Glass
327
PostGenome
415
Bheda Abheda
485
Acknowledgments
497
Notes
505
Selected Bibliography
551
Copyright

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About the author (2016)

Siddhartha Mukherjee is the author of The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in general nonfiction, and The Laws of Medicine. He is the editor of Best Science Writing 2013. Mukherjee is an assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University and a cancer physician and researcher. A Rhodes scholar, he graduated from Stanford University, University of Oxford, and Harvard Medical School. He has published articles in Nature, The New England Journal of Medicine, The New York Times, and Cell. He lives in New York with his wife and daughters. Visit his website at: SiddharthaMukherjee.com

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