Mortal and Immortal DNA: Science and the Lure of Myth


Product Details

$16.95  $15.76
Bellevue Literary Press
Publish Date
5.9 X 8.9 X 0.6 inches | 0.6 pounds

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About the Author

Gerald Weissmann (August 7, 1930 - July 10, 2019) was a physician, scientist, editor, and essayist whose collections include The Fevers of Reason: New and Selected Essays; Epigenetics in the Age of Twitter: Pop Culture and Modern Science; Mortal and Immortal DNA: Science and the Lure of Myth; and Galileo's Gout: Science in an Age of Endarkenment.


Select Praise for Gerald Weissmann

"Gerald Weissmann is Lewis Thomas's heir." --Robert Coles

"Weissmann has a strong and well-informed interest, unusual for a scientist, both in poetry and in art." --Freeman Dyson

"[Weissmann] bridges the space between science and the humanities, and particularly between medicine and the muses, with wit, erudition, and, most important, wisdom." --Adam Gopnik

"America's most interesting and important essayist." --Eric Kandel

"How I envy the reader coming upon Dr. Weissmann's elegant, entertaining essays for the first time!" --Jonas Salk

"Dr. Weissmann's juggling with the balls of global politics, biology, medicine, and culture in the framework of history is breathtaking." --Bengt Samuelsson, Nobel Laureate and former chairman of the Nobel Foundation

"The premier essayist of our time, Weissmann writes with grace and style." --Richard Selzer

"An absolutely first-rate writer." --Kurt Vonnegut

"[Weissmann] is a man of wide culture, a captivating and graceful writer." --New Yorker

"Weissmann introduces us to a new way of thinking about the connections between art and medicine." --New York Times Book Review

"Oliver Sacks, Richard Selzer, Lewis Thomas . . . Weissmann is in this noble tradition."--Los Angeles Times

"As a belles-letterist, Weissmann is the inheritor of the late Lewis Thomas . . . Like Thomas, he's a gifted researcher and clinician who writes beautifully. Unlike Thomas, he is an original and indefatigable social historian as well." --Boston Globe

"He writes as a doctor, a medical scientist, a knowing lover of art and literature and a modern liberal skeptic. But more than anything else, Weissmann writes as a passionate and wise reader." --New Republic

"Weissmann is a master of the essay form. His witty and elegant prose makes the toughest subject matter not only accessible but entertaining." --Barnes and Noble Review

"[Weissmann] is a Renaissance Man. . . . He'll stretch your mind's hamstrings." --Christian Science Monitor

"[Weissmann's essays] intertwine the profound connections of science and art in the context of our modern era . . . to illuminate the ongoing challenges scientists face in dealing with scrutiny and criticism, from colleagues and from our broader society." --Science

"Weissmann not only endeavors to connect the realms of literature and medicine, but also to create community among readers in light of class, race, religion, and age." --Glassworks Magazine

"Essays that brim with knowledge and bubble with attitude." --Kirkus Reviews

"Erudite, engaging, and accessible." --Library Journal

"Juicy and conversational." --Booklist

"Weissmann models his work after that of his mentor, Lewis Thomas. . . . His ideas . . . are every bit as important." --Publishers Weekly

"Weissmann's humanist, sometimes sardonic, voice binds together disparate strands to show how all human endeavor is linked. . . . Weissmann clearly sees how history obfuscates the work of women, people of color and immigrants, and tries to alter that." --Shelf Awareness for Readers