Long for This World: The Strange Science of Immortality by Jonathan Weiner, NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble
Long for This World: The Strange Science of Immortality

Long for This World: The Strange Science of Immortality

by Jonathan Weiner
     
 

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“[A] searching and surprisingly witty look at the scientific odds against tomorrow.”
—Timothy Ferris

Jonathan Weiner—winner of the  Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and one of the most distinguished popular science writers in America—examines

Overview

“[A] searching and surprisingly witty look at the scientific odds against tomorrow.”
—Timothy Ferris

Jonathan Weiner—winner of the  Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and one of the most distinguished popular science writers in America—examines “the strange science of immortality” in Long for This World. A fast-paced, sure-to-astonish scientific adventure from “one of our finest science journalists” (Jonah Lehrer), Weiner’s Long for This World addresses the ageless question, “Is there a secret to eternal youth?” And has it, at long last, been found?

Editorial Reviews

Abraham Verghese
Weiner's strength as a writer is his ability to flesh out these complex theories without losing the reader…Even if writers become immortal, books must end, and it is by reaching the end that the reader can sit back and find meaning in the journey. Long for This World is a great trip.
—The New York Times
Village Voice
“A brilliant and improbably funny look inside the mind-bending science of immortality.”
Oliver Sacks
“I admire all of Jonathan Weiner’s books, but this one especially because of its intellectual depth and clarity, its sense of personal involvement, and its tone and wit. The chapter on the evolution of aging is particularly brilliant! I couldn’t put the book down.”
Rebecca Skloot
“Bizarre, fascinating, and fun.”
James Gleick
“I love this book. It is a mesmerizing blend of vivid (sometimes hilarious) reporting, wide-ranging scholarship, and the thoughtful probing of a great mystery. Like everything Jonathan Weiner does, it is far more than the sum of its parts.”
Jonah Lehrer
“Jonathan Weiner has done it again. In LONG FOR THIS WORLD, one of our finest science journalists explores the shadowy sword hanging over us all, weaving together the latest research with time-tested cultural wisdom. Will we ever live forever? And would we even want to?”
Timothy Ferris
“Taxes may be inevitable, but death? Maybe not so much, suggests Jonathan Weiner, one of our finest science writers, in this searching and surprisingly witty look at the scientific odds against tomorrow.”
Simon Critchley
“LONG FOR THIS WORLD is a rich and fascinating study of the longing for immortality and our lingering doubts about the possibility of surpassing our mortal limits.”
Carl Zimmer
“In LONG FOR THIS WORLD, Jonathan Weiner brings his immense talents—his masterful prose, his deep reporting, and his ability to see connections across the human experience—to one of science’s most intriguing frontiers: the science of aging.”
Kirkus Reviews
Pulitzer Prize winner Weiner (Science Writing/Columbia Univ.; His Brother's Keeper: A Story from the Edge of Medicine, 2004, etc.) offers a gripping account of the science of aging. The young field of gerontology, writes the author, is growing rapidly now that modern equipment allows biologists to closely study the molecular machinery of human cells. Yet the complex problem of aging remains a major challenge for researchers. If gerontologists are able to figure it out, life spans could take a big jump. (Average life expectancy has risen from about 20 in the Stone Age to 80 in today's developed world.) In this wonderfully crafted book, Weiner explores the history of humankind's yearning for longevity and the theories of gerontologists now working to help people live longer and alleviate the suffering of old age. The main narrative thread follows 47-year-old Aubrey de Grey, a voluble, arrogant, bearded British scientist who believes aging is a disease that can be cured through proper cleaning and repair of the body. By day a computer programmer, de Grey has emerged as a well-known figure at the fringe of gerontology, arguing at conferences and in journals that if we take action against seven types of cellular decay (repairing worn-out body parts, preventing the growth of cancers, etc.), humans could live forever. Moreover, this "general and impresario in the War on Aging" believes the breakthrough can be achieved within 25 years. Most academic scientists dismiss de Grey's claims as wildly optimistic, but many recognize his insights and even co-author papers with him. Demystifying the workings of the mitochondria that power our cells, the author brings to life the various theories of aging advanced by researchers such as gerontologist Ana Maria Cuervo, who agrees with de Grey that "the key to the problem of aging may well lie in a kind of sophisticated detoxification of our cells." Weiner's lucid, brightly paced narrative brims with snapshots of scientists, stories of experiments and informed speculations on what the conquest of aging would mean for the human experience. Immensely readable and informative. Events in New York, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062000217
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
06/22/2010
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
835,290
File size:
366 KB

What People are saying about this

Oliver Sacks
“I admire all of Jonathan Weiner’s books, but this one especially because of its intellectual depth and clarity, its sense of personal involvement, and its tone and wit. The chapter on the evolution of aging is particularly brilliant! I couldn’t put the book down.”
Timothy Ferris
“Taxes may be inevitable, but death? Maybe not so much, suggests Jonathan Weiner, one of our finest science writers, in this searching and surprisingly witty look at the scientific odds against tomorrow.”
James Gleick
“I love this book. It is a mesmerizing blend of vivid (sometimes hilarious) reporting, wide-ranging scholarship, and the thoughtful probing of a great mystery. Like everything Jonathan Weiner does, it is far more than the sum of its parts.”
Carl Zimmer
“In LONG FOR THIS WORLD, Jonathan Weiner brings his immense talents—his masterful prose, his deep reporting, and his ability to see connections across the human experience—to one of science’s most intriguing frontiers: the science of aging.”
Rebecca Skloot
“Bizarre, fascinating, and fun.”
Simon Critchley
“LONG FOR THIS WORLD is a rich and fascinating study of the longing for immortality and our lingering doubts about the possibility of surpassing our mortal limits.”
Jonah Lehrer
“Jonathan Weiner has done it again. In LONG FOR THIS WORLD, one of our finest science journalists explores the shadowy sword hanging over us all, weaving together the latest research with time-tested cultural wisdom. Will we ever live forever? And would we even want to?”

Meet the Author

Jonathan Weiner is one of the most distinguished popular-science writers in the country: his books have won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, Slate, Time, The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, The New Republic, Scientific American, Smithsonian, and many other newspapers and magazines, and he is a former editor at The Sciences. His books include The Beak of the Finch; Time, Love, Memory; and His Brother's Keeper. He lives in New York, where he teaches science writing at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.

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