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The Gene: An Intimate History

Unabridged Audio Book

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Dennis Boutsikaris

19 Hours 22 Minutes

Simon & Schuster

May 2016

Audio Book Summary

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?

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.

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  • 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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