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Molecules of Emotion: The Science Behind Mind-Body Medicine Paperback – Feb 17 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; 1 edition (Feb. 17 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684846349
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684846347
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 14.1 x 2.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #23,491 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
SCIENTISTS, by nature, are not creatures who commonly seek out or enjoy the public spotlight. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Vaughan on July 15 2004
Format: Paperback
"Molecules of Emotion" was certainly not what I expected from the jacket blurbs. Yes, there is some discussion of the scientific discoveries regarding emotion, but only in the first half of the book, and even there, it's a small minority of the content, couched in a personal narrative more centered on Candace Pert's viewpoint of her own career.
Yes, the saddening politics of paper publication, awards selection and grant approval in the world of government- and industry-funded biological research is quite an interesting read for an outsider. It even got my blood boiling to think of the promising therapies that are possibly being ignored due to their lack of profit potential (though this wasn't a new idea to me). It's too bad this ends up being the high point of the book.
From the very beginning, Pert's own ego comes to the fore in places in a way that detracts from the information that I (and presumably some others) bought the book for in the first place. There is something about the way she describes her personal experiences (more extensively and less modestly than might have seemed appropriate for a presentation of important scientific information) that made me wonder how much differently other people must perceive her than she perceives herself (even before she admits as much later on).
Unfortunately, this is not the worst of it. The early content is clearly scientifically validated, and describes in some detail (just enough for plausibility) the experiments that were conducted and the meaning of the results.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Carol Bardelli and Jerry Bardelli on Aug. 12 2002
Format: Paperback
Molecules of Emotion by Candace Pert Ph.D. reads like a high tech medical thriller. The fact that it's autobiographical non-fiction never detracts and it proves an intriguing and surprisingly entertaining read. An often controversial and brilliant research scientist, Candace Pert has been on the cutting edge since the early 1970's, particularly in biomolecular medicine. She has contributed enormously to the paradigm shift in scienctific research that lead to proof of the mind-body connection in the laboratory. Her book takes the reader along on her often rocky journey in a burgeoning field and reveals the inside politics of the "old boy" club modern science has yet to outgrow today. Pert makes complicated science seem easy to understand and dishes it up in palatable bites. The plot alternates between a front row seat at one of her popular lectures and the wider view of her life as a scientist. From Ph.D. candidate at Johns Hopkins, controversial NIH insider to extensive lecturer, she shows the dark side of her professional journey as well as the gratifying career-making highs. She touches on her roles as a wife, mother of three and decidedly feminine woman in an alpha male field. What many will find truely thrilling about this book is the revolutionary science behind mind-body medicine and the promise of a brighter future for all humanity as the science is put into practice. A "must read" for nearly everyone. Of particular interest to women embarking on a career in the sciences or mind-body medicine advocates.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By SueI on Dec 4 2011
Format: Paperback
Candice Pert's book finally makes the connection between hard core science and the "subjective" world of emotions. It shows how much more control we have over our lives and our health than previously thought. Candice brings the basics of biology to a level that all can understand and bridges the gap between the building blocks of our cells and the way we perceive the world. It is great to know that women are making huge inroads into a traditionally male-dominated profession, and bringing their intuition, and proving it empirically. A fascinating read!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Melissa Deacon on Feb. 2 2002
Format: Paperback
Reading this book was a saddening experience. I don't believe that true personal or planetary healing will ever occur so long as our brothers of the animal kingdom are being killed and mutilated in our search for better health. I found Candace's justifications for experimenting on animals patronizing and arrogant. Refusing to kill animals in the name of science isn't about being squeamish, it's about being compassionate. Monkeys brains really didn't need to be put in a blender to discover the obvious - that there are strong emotional links to disease. And women don't need to be as cruel as their most heartless male collegues to 'prove' anything to them. It's going to take some people with great hearts as well as great minds to make the big steps needed for the healing of humanity.
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Format: Paperback
From the introduction:

"Writing this book was an attempt to put down on paper, in a much more detailed and usable form, the material I've been presenting in lectures."

"My goal in writing, as in speaking, was twofold: to explain the science underlying the new bodymind medicine, and to give enough practical information about implications of that science, and about the therapies and practitioners embodying it, to enable my readers to make the best possible choices about personal health and well-being."

Unfortunately little effort was made to truly adapt those lectures to the book form. They are often direct transpositions like if the author was still speaking to an audience. I found this irritating at times. On the other hand, the fact that the book is derived from lectures makes it a captivating read. There was not a dull moment, as it should be for any lecture.

It is important to specify that this book is not a scientific treaty. I mention this because many reviewers were disappointed that it was not. While the book never pretended to be a scientific treaty, I can understand than some readers might have been mislead by the title. I think the best way to characterize this book is to say that it is a scientific story. Other reviewers have mentioned that it can be compared to "The Double Helix" by James Watson. Except that it would be the story of the discovery of the double helix as seen from the point of view of Rosalind Franklin! For a large portion of this book is dedicated to the discovery of the first molecule of emotion by the author who recounts how she felt betrayed by her mentor. The story of this misappropriation occupies a large portion of the book, but it is a fascinating read into the politics of science.
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