Reviews of The Birth of the Mind

Science - June 11, 2004

"With clarity and precision, Marcus, a developmental psychologist at New York University, lays to rest the rumors of a gene shortage and also rebuts the argument that minds are too complex to have been designed over evolutionary time by the process of natural selection"

-- Clark Barrett
Department of Anthropology

Metapsychology - April 30, 2004

" a wonderful book which I heartily recommend to any interested readers who want to explore either genomics or the workings of the mind/brain"

-- Lloyd Wells, MD, PhD

Nature Neuroscience - April, 2004

About half of the estimated 30,000-odd genes in the human genome are expressed in the brain. Among these genes is hidden the explanation for our unique human cognitive abilities, and for many of the differences between individual people. Developmental neurobiology is the essential bridge for connecting genome to behavior, but despite its obvious importance, there has not yet been a popular book devoted to this subject.

The Birth of the Mind is an ambitious attempt to fill this gap ... a concise and very readable introduction to the field ... as clear an account as I have ever seen of the nature versus nurture "debate"...

Einstein famously advised that everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler. Marcus takes this to heart...

... I have no hesitation recommending it to students, scientists from other
disciplines, or lay readers wanting to learn something about this fascinating and fast-developing field.

Charles Jennings
Executive Editor of the Nature Research Journals.

Nature - February 19, 2004

"The Birth of the Mind .... describes the complex world of genes in an entertaining and gripping way."

"[In] such diverse disciplines as evolution, genetics, gene expression, cell biology, neurobiology, and psychology, Marcus ... makes the relevant issues understandable to the lay reader, and does an even better job of dispelling the myths that impede the way we think about genes and their role in making brains, and hence minds."

"Anyone interested in the topic would be encouraged to read this book"

-- Anthony Monaco
Director of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics
University of Oxford - Editorial Review

"an engaging and often witty look at how our genetic code can be simple enough to make basic proteins and complicated enough to help us learn languages"

-- Therese Littleton
Science Editor

Curled Up with a Good Book- February, 2004


"[written] in a down-to-earth style about an out-of-this-world subject matter – ... this awe-inspiring book shows the intricate relationship between our genes and our thinking patterns and learning styles."

"The Birth of the Mind [is] totally mind-boggling... a page-turner that is all nonfiction"

Genome News Network - January 23, 2004

"interesting and accessible ... progress in genomics means that we are now ready to learn about the mind by understanding how genes build the brain."

Booklist - November 15, 2003

"A lucid, pleasing chronicle of how genes construct the human mind."

Publishers Weekly - November 17, 2003

" Marcus' upbeat, friendly writing style ... makes even the most arcane genetics principles a joy to read."

"a rare and delicate balance of scientific detail and layperson accessibility "