Reading Level: Adult
Length: 3 hours and 5 minutes
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Release Date: May 11, 2000
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: Free Audiobook from Audible.com
Rating: 3/5 stars
I got this as a free audiobook from audible.com. I am a chemical engineer/chemist by trade and thought this sounded like an interesting read. The book is narrated by the author Candace Pert.
The very first thing I noticed is that the author is incredibly conceited, she spends a lot of time bragging about her accomplishments right away. This book is more of an autobiography than an actually book behind the science of emotion.
There are some interesting theories in this book, that I think many people would agree with. The main theory is that emotional state is caused by a variety of chemicals, particularly peptids. These molecules not only have an influence on your emotions but on your overall physical health as well, you can’t really separate the two. I think this theory was groundbreaking at the time, but much more widely accepted now.
There is a also a lot of discussion about the male domination of science and how hard the author had to work to get recognized. I think maybe this might have been more true in the 70’s than today. The author also comes to the realization by the end that maybe it was her aggressive attitude and combativeness that caused some of her issues with her male cohorts and I couldn’t agree more.
Working as a female in a male dominated field I have found that the opinion of those around you (male or otherwise) is fed by your attitude towards them. I have never had a ton of issue with my male coworkers respecting me and treating me as an equal. I had some issues in college, but now that I am working with the people I want to work with and in a field I am comfortable in it just hasn’t been an issue. If you have an attitude of competence, but aren’t completely arrogant, I don’t think you will have much of an issue.
Okay stepping off my soapbox now…
Overall this was an interesting read, but not exactly what I was hoping for or expecting. It is more an autobiography of Pert’s work and a treatise on the struggles of female scientists than an explanation behind the chemicals that guide our emotional and physical health. It was free so I can’t really complain, but I wouldn’t really recommend it either.