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Molecules Of Emotion: The Science Behind Mind-Body Medicine Paperback – February 17, 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1 edition (February 17, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684846349
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684846347
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (212 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,233 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Intrigue at the "Palace": back-stabbing, deceit, shunning, love affairs. This is not the plot to I, Claudius but the account Pert gives of her time working at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a.k.a. the Palace. Yet her time at NIH is not the central point here. Nor are the molecules of the title, although they do get due coverage. Pert offers mainly an account of her journey from a conventional scientist to one who also embraces complementary and alternative medicine. The journey is long and not without price. She was passed over for the Lasker and Nobel prizes for her work on opiate receptors while colleagues were recognized; she believes that her development of a potential AIDS drug was thwarted owing to scientific dirty pool as well as her being a woman in a man's world. Along the way, she took control of her career, her life, and her personal mission. This is an eye-opening book for anyone who thinks that people with medical degrees act more civil or are more altruistic than the rest of us, though Pert also shows that some do rise above the fray. Recommended for academic and special libraries.?Lee Arnold, Historical Soc. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

Pert, a self-described ``catalyst in the mindbodyspirit revolution in modern medical science,'' and once a chief of brain chemistry at the NIH, freely intermingles vibrant stories of her professional and personal life with her theories about neuropeptides. Currently a research professor at Georgetown Medical Center in Washington, Pert may be best known as one of the scientists on Bill Moyers's PBS series Healing and the Mind. In the early 1970s, she made a name for herself with her key role in discovering the brain's opiate receptors. For the next decade, however, owing to her protests over her exclusion from the prestigious Lasker Award, her reputation among scientists was more that of feminist troublemaker than pathfinder. Certainly the picture she draws here of the science establishment would seem to suggest a world of aggressive, even ruthless, alpha males fighting for the top prize. She also traces her own evolution from competitive bench scientist to explorer of personal healing modalities. The death of her father, the end of her marriage, her resignation from the NIH, her embracing of the Christian faith, and her discovery of the healing power of dreams--all were, she says, life-shaping events. Pert also explains her theory that neuropeptides and their receptors are the biochemicals of emotions, carrying information in a vast network linking the material world of molecules with the nonmaterial world of the psyche. Her views on mind-body cellular communication mesh well with the concepts of energy held by many alternative therapies, and she is now, not surprisingly, a popular lecturer on the wellness circuit. Her final chapter describes an eight-part program for a healthy lifestyle, and she has appended an extensive list of alternative medicine resources. Strong scientific support for the mind-body school of medicine, sure to rankle those alpha males back in the labs. (Author tour) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Candace B. Pert, Ph.D., is a Research Professor in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D.C., where she also conducts AIDS research. She was featured in Bill Moyers's book and PBS series Healing and the Mind, and lectures extensively throughout the country.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

186 of 194 people found the following review helpful By Tom Perigrin on July 31, 2005
Format: Paperback
I purchased the book expecting to read about peptides, receptors, structure activity relationships, and the relationship between "molecules" and "emotions". Instead, I got an interesting book about being a woman scientist in a male dominated field, and the inside political struggles of being a grad student, post doc, etc. I read about choosing publication dates, the struggle for the Lasker prize, etc. Having "been there, done that", I can attest that Dr Pert is right about everything she says. Her story is very well written, engaging, and even entertaining.

But I didn't want to read about the POLITICS and SOCIOLOGY of studying the molecules of emotion. I wanted a review of the area, giving pertainent molecular, chemical, biochemical and psychological information. Of course, such a tome might not sell as well to the general public, but I'm not convinced that the general public will be all that interested in the power struggles that go on in academia and the palace.

I would line up for a second book by Dr Pert - one that reviews the area in the fashion described.

However, that doesn't mean the current book isn't without merit. I will probably recommend this book to beginning graduate students, along with other classics such as Brook's "The Mythical Man Month". I have seldom seen such a clearly defined expositon of the cut-throat nature of academia and big science as this book. I wonder how many grad students will be dismayed by the revelation that science is 10% inspiration, 50% persperation, and 40% politics.
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133 of 143 people found the following review helpful By Carol Bardelli and Jerry Bardelli on August 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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76 of 82 people found the following review helpful By Christopher M. Adams on August 16, 1999
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Dr. Perts book is worth reading by any one interested in understanding the interrelationship between our body, mind, emotions and health. Much better than the many dogmatic eastern books so lacking in western-scientific thought, Dr. Pert makes the science easily understandable by laypersons. Those who criticize her "whining" against her former mentors obviously didn't finish the book, or they would have seen her own admission for her need to release the unhealthy emotions she harbored for being slighted by her male colleagues who took the credit for her valuable discovery. It's seems her detractors are the ones who are whining too much! Thought her writing is perhaps shaky at first (she lacks the eloquence of say, E.O. Wilson), she finds her stride midway through, presenting an intriguing account of the science behind the vital two-way communication continuously going on within us. While her descent into religion and spirituality was disappointing (she should have stuck with emotions - which are enough to convey her point), the book still reflects a solid effort.
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45 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Asaf Rolef Ban-Shahar on August 23, 2000
Format: Paperback
When I was first recommended this book, the title made me very uncomfortable - too New Age for me. I thought it would be another book that would claim to find the bridge between mind and body, to point some unscientific pseudofacts that we should all be aware of. However, after the third recommendation I bought the book and delved into it.
Dr Candace Pert is a neuroscientist and she speaks biology, which is a recognised territory for me, since my wife is a scientist as well.
At the beginning of her book (which is, more than anything, a novel, a very good novel and very well written) Candace unfolds her scientific history and experience, mainly from a biological point of view but also from an autobiographical one. I was excited to enter her lab, when she invited me in, with her enthusiastic approach towards science and with professional knowledge phrased in words I could understand. Very gradually, she draws you into the basics of information-substances, which create the core of information flow in our bodies, communicating with the outside world and the inner one. With regard to facts - the book is full of them. If you are looking for scientific approval of complementary medicine, of hypnotherapy or any mind-body approach, you will surely find references for it there.
It is so heart-warming to find a western scientist who not only acknowledges the unity of mind-body (the body is the unconscious mind, she says), but also further serves the public in the endeavour to shift the old paradigm of separation and move towards a new, integrated one.
Candace's future flows right into her past (since information and metaphors are boundless in terms of space and time), creating a shift in her language.
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