The gene: an intimate history

Siddhartha Mukherjee

Why I looked at this book

This was shortlisted for the 2016 Royal Society Insight Investment Science Book Prize, but I'm also interested in how the concept of the gene has progressed. Some think that the idea of the gene is too dominant in biology today, so I'd like to see what this book has to contribute to that argument.

First impressions

There's a long sample available from Amazon, with Mukherjee telling us of how the history of mental illness in his family makes heredity a personal matter for him, before introducing us to the lives of Mendel and Darwin. It's a long book and the author clearly feels that he has the opportunity to digress a little. I found things out about Mendel and Darwin which wouldn't be covered in a shorter book. However, at over 600 pages the book does seem a bit intimidating. Although it's interesting read so far, I'm worried that the gentle pace might lead to less motivation to keep reading.
Coming soon:
Main Review
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