The extraordinary 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 Thomas Morgan to Crick, Watson and Rosa 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."
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-07-25
- Reviewer: Staff
Veteran voice actor Boutsikaris’s talents are on full display in the audio edition of the latest from oncologist and Pulitzer Prize–winning author Mukherjee. He uses vocal flexibility to stress phrases, words, and even syllables to illuminate the grand tale of how scientists have come to understand the role genes play in human development, behavior, and physiology. Boutsikaris has such control of grammatical structure that every sentence, no matter the length, is clear, and he includes frequent transitional pauses that help the listener retain focus all the way through Mukherjee’s complex but fascinating narrative, chronicling breakthroughs in the quest to understand human heredity, from the work of Darwin and Mendel to current research in the field of genetics. A Scribner hardcover. (May)