The #1 NEW YORK TIMES Bestseller
The basis for the PBS Ken Burns Documentary The Gene: An Intimate History
From the Pulitzer Prizeâ€“winning author of The Emperor of All Maladiesâ€”a fascinating history of the gene and â€śa magisterial account of how human minds have laboriously, ingeniously picked apart what makes us tickâ€ť (Elle).
"Sid Mukherjee has the uncanny ability to bring together science, history, and the future in a way that is understandable and riveting, guiding us through both time and the mystery of life itself." â€“Ken Burns
â€śDr. 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 Lostâ€ť (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.
â€śMukherjee expresses abstract intellectual ideas through emotional storiesâ€¦[and] swaddles his medical rigor with rhapsodic tenderness, surprising vulnerability, and occasional flashes of pure poetryâ€ť (The Washington Post). Throughout, the story of Mukherjeeâ€™s own familyâ€”with its tragic and bewildering history of mental illnessâ€”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 experimentationâ€”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.
â€śA fascinating and often sobering history of how humans came to understand the roles of genes in making us who we areâ€”and what our manipulation of those genes might mean for our futureâ€ť (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. â€śThe Gene is a book we all should readâ€ť (USA TODAY).