THE NEW YORK TIMES NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER
Spanning the globe and several centuries, this is the remarkable story of the gene and an intimate history of the author’s own family, from award-winning author Siddhartha Mukherjee
The story begins in an Augustinian abbey in 1856, and takes the reader from Darwin’s groundbreaking theory of evolution, to the horrors of Nazi eugenics, to present day and beyond - as we learn to “read” and “write” the human genome that unleashes the potential to change the fates and identities of our children.
Majestic in its scope and ambition, The Gene provides us with a definitive account of the epic history of the quest to decipher the master-code that makes and defines humans – and paints a fascinating vision of both humanity’s past and future.
"Siddhartha Mukherjee is the perfect person to guide us through the past, present, and future of genome science’ Bill Gates
‘A thrilling and comprehensive account of what seems certain to be the most radical, controversial and, to borrow from the subtitle, intimate science of our time…Read this book and steel yourself for what comes next’ Sunday Times
In skillful prose, Mukherjee, an oncologist and the Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Emperor of All Maladies, relates the grand tale of how scientists have come to understand the role genes play in human development, behavior, and physiology. He deftly relates the basic scientific facts about the way genes are believed to function, while making clear the aspects of genetics that remain unknown. Mukherjee offers insight into both the scientific process and the sociology of science, exploring the crucial experiments that have shed light on the biochemical complexities inherent in the genome. He also examines many of the philosophical and moral quandaries that have long swirled around the study of genetics, addressing such important topics as eugenics, stem cell research, and what it means to use the composition of a person's genotype to make predictions about his or her health or behavior. Looking to the future, Mukherjee addresses prospects for medical advances in the treatment of diseases and in selecting or actively crafting the genetic composition of offspring, regularly pointing out the pressing ethical considerations. Throughout, he repeatedly poses the question, "What is natural'?" declining to offer a single answer, in recognition that both context and change are essential. By relating familial information, Mukherjee grounds the abstract in the personal to add power and poignancy to his excellent narrative.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Fabulous account of the gene and it's place in science. Highly recommended for anyone with even a passing interest