The Gene: An Intimate History
- Binding: Hardcover
- Author: Siddhartha Mukherjee
- Publish Date: 2016-05-17
THE #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
A New York Times Notable Book
A Washington Post and Seattle Times Best Book of the Year
From the Pulitzer Prize-winning, bestselling author of The Emperor of All Maladiesâa magnificent history of the gene and a response to the defining question of the future: What becomes of being human when we learn to âreadâ and âwriteâ 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 Mukherjeeâs own familyâwith its tragic and bewildering history of mental illnessâcuts 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 experimentationâfrom 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, âItâs 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 compassionâ¦An extraordinary achievement.â 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 âwriteâ 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.