The Gene: An Intimate History - Siddhartha Mukherjee

The book is subtitled "An Intimate History" and this is what Siddharta Mukherjee provides with this book: a comprehensive overview of genetics and the discovery of the human gene. Starting with Gregor Mendel and his experiments with peas and up to the modern day and its use of the genetic knowledge that mankind has aquired over the last 200 years, there is a lot of information in this book.


Almost to much information. I have to admit, I felt a sense of fatigue towards the end of it, because Mukherjee included certain topics in his narrative that I haven´t been particularly interested in (could we alter the gender of a child by manipulating DNA?). Another point of critisism for me is that Mukherjee (who is a medical doctor) only focuses on the medical site of genetics and he doesn´t go into other topics, such as genetic engineering of food. Which is a shame, I would have loved to read about other things than diseases and medicin in general.


I´m glad that I read this book, because the topic is incredibly interesting and fascinating, but it is not without its flaws. Especially the second half of the book kept me from enjoying it to the fullest.