Posted: January 25, 2017, 5:36pm
I’ve been waiting for this book to show up at my door for a while now. It’s brand new, released within the past few months: The Gene: An Intimate History. This book by Siddhartha Mukherjee (a prominent doctor, appearing on the news now and again, also the author of awell known history of cancer book called The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer). Dr. Mukherjee is back at it again with a biology book for lay-people, mixed with the language and the flair for story-telling of a historian.
I’m only a few chapters in, but here’s a quote on the inside cover:
“The story of the gene begins in earnest in an obscure Augustinian abbey in Moravia in 1856 where Gregor Mendel, a monk working with pea plants, stumbles on the idea of a “unit of heredity.” It intersects with Darwin’s theory of evolution, and collides with the horrors of Nazi eugenics in the 1940s. The gene transforms postwar biology. It invades discourses concerning race and identity, and provides startling answers to some of the most potent questions coursing through our political and cultural realms. … Above all, the story of the gene is driven by human ingenuity and obsessive minds — from Gregor Mendel and Charles Darwin to Francis Crick, James Watson, and Rosalind Franklin to the thousands of scientists working today to understand the code of codes.”
If that doesn’t make you want to read it, I don’t know what will!
Published on July 26th, 2017
Last updated on August 10th, 2017