The Gene: An Intimate History, Mukherjee's follow-up to the bestselling, Pulitzer-winning The Emperor of All Maladies, is the story of the quest to decipher the master-code of instructions that makes and defines humans, that governs our form, function and fate, and determines the future of our children. The book interweaves science, social history, and the story of Mukherjee's own family to explain the powerful science of genetics and to grapple with the extraordinary influence of heredity on our lives, personalities, identities, and choices.
Beginning in an obscure Augustinian abbey in Moravia in 1856, where a monk stumbled on the idea of a "unit of heredity" while working with pea plants, and intersecting with Darwin's theory of evolution and the horrors of Nazi eugenics in the 1940's, the gene ultimately transformed post-war biology, society and culture-and still sits at the epicenter of some of the most vital personal and political issues today.
In The Gene, Mukherjee-an assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University and a cancer physician-enumerates the realms transformed by the understanding of the gene: race and identity, sexuality, gender identity, sexual preference, illness, temperament, even free will.
The Gene is a response to the defining question of the future: What becomes of being human when we learn to "read" and "write" our own genetic information? The book provides the definitive account of the fundamental unit of heredity-and a vision for both humanity's past and future.
Siddhartha Mukherjee is a cancer physician and researcher. His book The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in general non-fiction. Mukherjee is an assistant professor of medicine at ColumbiaUniversity and a staff cancer physician at Columbia University Medical Center. A Rhodes scholar, he graduated from StanfordUniversity, University of Oxford, HarvardMedicalSchool. He has published articles in Nature, The New England Journal of Medicine, The New York Times, and The New Republic. He lives in New York with his wife and daughters.
Broadcast journalist Judy Woodruff is the Co-Anchor and Managing Editor of the PBS NewsHour with Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff. She has covered politics and other news for more than three decades at CNN, NBC and PBS.