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The Gene: An Intimate History

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Dennis Boutsikaris

19 Hours 22 Minutes

Simon & Schuster

May 2016

Audio Book Summary

2017 Audie Award Finalist for Non-Fiction

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 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).

“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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Reviews

  • Maria Guadalupe cardenas

    Great book, it kept me interested and made me take notes and read up on different subjects. It's long, but the narration is wonderful.

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  • cassie w

    Very informative and detailed

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  • Donovan Patar

    Wow I never thought this would be so comprehensive and knowledge inducing.

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  • Riyadh Alshammari

    I enjoyed listening to this book.. I tell the history of the gene in beautiful way.. I wish that I listened to this book when I started medical school it would've made it more interesting.

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  • Nicholas Capito

    Excellent book! Wonderful narration! Was helpful to have a medical background but this story could be enjoyed by any with the interest in genetics.

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  • Gregory Monokian

    It is a rare book that can expose an entire field of study without oversimplification yet accessible and read like a novel. My only complaint was my disappointment when the last word was spoken (I wanted it to go on and on). Since the end of the story has a way to go, I look forward to his next installment in about 10 years. Bravo!

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  • Amir Rey

    Very thorough book for medical and biology student , highly recommended

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