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Publisher's Summary

In The Lives of a Cell, Dr. Lewis Thomas opens up to the listener a universe of knowledge and perception that is perhaps not wholly unfamiliar to the research scientist; but the world he explores is also one of men and women, of complex interrelationships, old ironies, peculiar powers, and intricate languages that give identity to the alienated and direction to the dependent. This remarkable work offers a subtle, bold vision of humankind and the world around us - a sense of what gives life - from a writer who seems to draw grace and strength from the very substance of his subject, a man of wit and imagination who takes pleasure in and gives meaning to nearly everything he beholds. Lewis Thomas was chairman of the Department of Pathology and Dean at Yale Medical School and president of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. The Lives of a Cell won a National Book Award in 1974.

©1974 Lewis Thomas (P)1995 Blackstone Audiobooks

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Oldy but goody

Mildly dated but still pretty interesting and relevant. He really goes off on tangents in the last few chapter, especially on the micro minutia of language derivations, which don't have much to do with "lives of a cell". When he sticks to biology and philosophy of biology, much better.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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So enlightening and enjoyable!

This book had so many more topics related to the cell than simply a discourse on a little unit of physiology.

The author coneyed similarities between a cell as a unit of physiology as well as groups of beings that, as a collective, act as a cell.

I have listened twice and I'll listen again because each time I hear it, my perspectives on life and existence are enhanced.

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More Interesting as History Now

When I first read this book in the very-early 1980's it was fascinating, and I loved it - it was my first real encounter with the 'we are colonies of cells' perspective (a potentially useful perspective), and I now realize that I probably skipped-over the philosophizing - for I now viewed the author's philosophizing (and there seemed to be a lot of it) as dated, cliche, a bit leftist, and just plain inadequate and weak.

Today, it will probably not be your first encounter with such a bio-mindset, and it may not be your first encounter with bad philosophizing - both being mainstream these days (and the latter dating back to the beginning of humanity), but it should be fascinating from a historical time-capsule standpoint - how people philosophically thought in that era.