The Gene: An Intimate History

The Gene: An Intimate History

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
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9781476733500
Format Type:

    The Gene: An Intimate History Reviews

  • Tony

    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 ...

  • Aditi

    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 ...

  • P-eggy

    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:...

  • Ashlie

    In this beautifully written, vivid history of genetics; Mukherjee takes us by the hand and walks us through the hall of fame of all the people who are the reason for modern biology as we study it toda...

  • Carol

    Cannot begin to tell you what I learned from this fascinating study of The Gene but I gained great insight from the thorough research of Siddhartha Mukherjee. I am destined for a second read/listen. T...

  • Riku Sayuj

    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 o...

  • Bradley

    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 geno...

  • Emma

    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...

  • Clif Hostetler

    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...

  • Elyse (retired from reviewing/semi hiatus) Walters

    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"...