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What made the experience of listening to The Gene the most enjoyable?
Mukherjee is a masterful educator and story-teller. He does the yeoman's work of taking complex scientific topics and explaining them so that almost any reader can understand (or at least take the first step of understanding).
What did you like best about this story?
I liked that he always interspersed the science with humanity - he discussed the impact on people of various discoveries and their power to both help and harm people.
Any additional comments?
Mukherjee does it again, taking a complex and nuanced scientific history, meticulously explaining it as simply as possible (but no simpler), and infusing it with human stories and reactions and impacts. He distills the incredible story of genetics -- its discovery, our efforts to understand it, the way it has been used and misused, and what it might mean for our human or transhuman future -- into a thoroughly engaging book that bring you up to speed on the state of genetics and what they may mean for humanity's future. Mukherjee, though, goes one step further in making the book even more personal - he discusses at length mental health issues in his paternal family and what might be lurking in his own genome, his own thoughts about whether he would want to be tested for such genes (if/when mental health genes are identified), and whether such identification would lead to more empathy or new forms of discrimination. In the end, Mukherjee does what he did in Emperor of all Maladies in discussing cancer, he takes a broad and complex issue that touches every human and reveals it in language and nuance, leaving the reader both educated and emotionally altered.
19 of 19 people found this review helpful
This is the best book on the subject I have seen. I am interested in genomics and somewhat knowledgeable. It's clarity and breath are most impressive.
The scientists and their history are well described. The author demonstrated a remarkably sensitive appreciation of the nexus between science and humanity. An extensive use of historical context makes for some interesting reading.
Chapter 36 discussing the implications and the future is particularly poignant. This book should be read and understood by anyone interested in what has happened and will happen in medicine, disease, anthropology and social sciences. The political implications are obvious.
17 of 18 people found this review helpful