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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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?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060765392
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 02/15/2011
Pages: 310
Sales rank: 971,914
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.72(d)

About 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.

Table of Contents

I The Phoenix

1 Immortal Longings 3

2 The Problem of Mortality 24

3 Life and Death of a Cell 45

4 Into the Nest of the Phoenix 71

II The Hydra

5 The Evolution of Aging 87

6 The Garbage Catastrophe 117

7 The Seven Deadly Things 145

8 The Methuselah Wars 175

9 The Weakest Link 197

III The Good Life

10 Long for This World 223

11 The Trouble with Immortality 246

12 The Everlasting Yes and No 268

Acknowledgments 283

Notes on Sources and Further Reading 285

Index 299

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?”

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Long for This World: The Strange Science of Immortality 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
puttocklibrary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
While I have occassionally thought about aging and death, I've never thought there was any real science about it, other than the fact that it's human (and animal, for that matter) nature.This book made me understand a lot more about what it means to be mortal--and what it might mean to be really immortal in our world today. The science is both interesting and easy to understand--and deeply thought provoking. If science tomorrow gave you the option to live a thousand years--would you, or wouldn't you? Read this this book to discover what your answer might be...
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