The Gene: An Intimate History

The Gene: An Intimate History

Spanning the globe and several centuries, The Gene is the story of the quest to decipher the master-code that makes and defines humans, that governs our form and function.

The story of the gene begins in an obscure Augustinian abbey in Moravia in 1856 where a monk 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 post-war biology. It reorganizes our understanding of sexuality, temperament, choice and free will. This is a story driven by human ingenuity and obsessive minds – from Charles Darwin and Gregor Mendel to Francis Crick, James Watson and Rosalind Franklin, and the thousands of scientists still working to understand the code of codes.

This is an epic, moving history of a scientific idea coming to life, by the author of The Emperor of All Maladies. But woven through The Gene, like a red line, is also an intimate history – the story of Mukherjee’s own family and its recurring pattern of mental illness, reminding us that genetics is vitally relevant to everyday lives. These concerns reverberate even more urgently today as we learn to “read” and “write” the human genome – unleashing the potential to change the fates and identities of our children.

Majestic in its ambition, and unflinching in its honesty, The Gene gives us a definitive account of the fundamental unit of heredity – and a vision of both humanity’s past and future.

Title:The Gene: An Intimate History
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9781476733500
Format Type:

    The Gene: An Intimate History Reviews

  • Tony

    I have this tendency, when I read a book as brilliantly informing as this one, to wipe the froth from my mouth, shuffle the pages of notes I've written contemporaneous to the reading, and plunge into ...

  • Always Pouting

    I think this was really good, and even better than The Emperor of All Maladies which I just read recently as well. I might have enjoyed this one more because it's relevant to my current day to day thi...

  • Aditi

    Hello bookish peeps,Another one of my review has been posted on our country's largest daily newspaper's website, The Times of India. "This book is the story of the birth, growth, and future of one of ...

  • Petra-X is down to 75 books awaiting reviews

    I listened to the BBC abridged audio book as I often do before ordering it. I like hardbacks so I try and be sure first I want to read it. I didn't like it enough. I loved The Emperor of All Maladies:...

  • Riku Sayuj

    Not half as good a narrative as The Emperor of All Maladies, but still a good account of the Gene's journey and where it is going. It will hold your attention even if you have read multiple accounts o...

  • Carol

    Cannot begin to tell you what I learned from this fascinating study of The Gene but I gained great insight from the thorough research of Siddhartha Mukherjee. I am destined for a second read/listen. T...

  • Ayse_

    In this beautifully written, vivid history of genetics; Mukherjee takes us by the hand and walks us through the hall of fame of all the people who are the reason for modern biology as we study it toda...

  • Bradley

    Thanks goes to Netgalley and a wonderful author for a wonderfully told series of stories within the world of genetics.I was worried, briefly, by the insistence of bringing Aristotle's take on the geno...

  • Emma

    I'm not going to lie, there were some pages of this book where all my mind saw was 'science science science science' etc etc over and over again instead of the actual words which apparently make sense...

  • Elyse  Walters

    Siddhartha Mukherjee, Pulitzer's Prize winning book, "The Emperor of All Maladies"scared the hell out of me right from the 'get go'....when I read that "1 in 4 people will get cancer in your lifetime"...