Shop now Shop now Shop now  Up to 50% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Prime Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Listen with Prime Shop now Shop now

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars109
3.9 out of 5 stars
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:£8.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on 23 March 2010
I was excited about reading this book. When I begun reading it, I found it seemed to be giving me an account of her life story, rather than the subject I thought it was going to detail. I started off being quite interested in her story, but then getting very frustrated and wanting to get the point i.e. to tell me the science and the facts about emotions and why I feel the way I feel! I have struggled with this book - I keep putting it down, but keep telling myself I must push on to the important stuff. However I have now got about two thirds through the book and there must be about one page worth of interesting information about the "molecules of emotion". The rest is a rather self-interested description of her life, which is quite amusing at times, but I didn't buy the book to learn all about her life and her struggle as a female scientist.
I will search for another more interesting and informative book instead. Don't buy this unless you are really interested in her life story.
0Comment|55 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 10 April 2004
Candace Pert has a long and very distinguished CV of research into neuro-chemistry. It's good to read a former insider of the scientific establishment describing the interdependence between emotional and physical health.
I found the book itself rather disappointing though. The scientific sections are short and far between. Most of the book is Candace Pert's personal autobiography. She makes much of the macho competitive culture of the research community - a culture which, despite her criticism, she seems to have been quite willing to take part in. Although feminists may empathise with much of Pert's personal opinions, that was not the information I was looking for. Eventually I resorted to skipping the autobiographical chapters and just reading the scientific passages.
0Comment|21 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Molecules of Emotion by Candace B. Pert, Scribner, New York, 1997; Simon and Schuster, UK, 1998; 368 ff.

How the mind and body interact
By Howard Jones

This is essentially an autobiography. It tells the story of the research career of the author, an eminent biochemist who pioneered much of the work on endorphins and opiate receptors. She begins with her graduation in biology from Bryn Mawr College, through her neurophysiology research at Johns Hopkins University Medical School and the NIMH (some two-thirds of the book) to her `enlightenment' in the remaining one-third of the text, inspired in large measure by Deepak Chopra and his work in ayurvedic medicine.

In relating the discovery of neuroreceptors, the book is the equivalent to The Double Helix by James Watson in telling the story of the discovery of the structure of DNA. Dr Pert was excluded by her male co-workers from scientific honours for her discovery just as the contribution of Rosalind Franklin was ignored when Watson and Crick exploited her work for the Nobel Prize and Jocelyn Bell was passed over when her discovery of pulsars was honoured. Dr Pert makes the point forcibly in her book that male scientists have not behaved honourably in these matters - scientific honours are pursued ruthlessly.

The first part of this book is highly biochemical but readers should not be intimidated by the science as it is presented in a readable and engaging fashion, like a novel, and there is a Glossary of a few pages of technical terms at the end. The latter section of the book deals with how Dr Pert and her colleagues came to realise the interconnection of the body's systems, still regarded as distinct and autonomous by conventional medicine. She contributed hugely to the branch of medicine now known as psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) though, as she says, as well as the emotional and rational mind and the immune system, the endocrine system should be included in there too, but for making the term too unwieldy. There is ample evidence of the mechanism of some of the ways the mind and body interact, how positive thoughts are beneficial while negative attitudes are destructive, and how mood affects processes such as digestion, for example. Those who demand a rational scientific explanation of subjective feelings need look no further.

Dr Pert clearly embraces the emerging holistic vision of medical science and the benefits of naturopathic rather than allopathic treatment of imbalances wherever possible. There is a twenty-page Appendix of names of holistic organisations, mostly in U.K. with a few in the U.S.A., and those devoted to complementary medicine. We can be left in no doubt that there is an urgent need to consider the interaction of parts of the body within the whole organism.
The book is informative and inspiring. There's also a list of recommended Further Reading and a good Index.

Dr Howard A. Jones is the author of The Thoughtful Guide to God (2006) and The Tao of Holism (2008), both published by O Books of Winchester, UK.

The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter and Miracles
You Can Heal Your Life: 20th Anniversary Edition
0Comment|3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 17 August 1999
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.
0Comment|3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 1 March 2006
I found this book to be well written and hard to put down. The science was explained in terms that non-science people can understand and appreciate, and Dr. Pert's autobiographical story is very moving and very enthralling. I learned a lot from this book and recommend it to all my friends who are at all interested in how emotions affect the mind and the body.
0Comment|5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
At a meeting I went to Candace Pert said she didn't quite understand why complementary practitioners needed her to 'validate' their work, that surely the fact that we (and our clients) know it works (when it does!) is validation enough.

Perhaps she was just being modest here - I have to say that it is precisely the work of Candace Pert and others in the field that gives me, as a practitioner, a way to understand what is happening, and therefore a way of explaining to clients, in a clear way, what they may be experiencing, without it being 'spooky wooky - woo, you must be a healer' - which can be disempowering or frightening to the client, depending on their belief system 'the practitioner healed me' and also places burdens on the practitioner's view of themselves.

Medical science also needed to understand 'what is going on' - and the respectability now of Psycho Neuro Immunology as a concept - due, in very large part, to Pert's work - means that without necessarily having any greater understanding of, or belief in, what 'goes on' in particularly bodywork and healing sessions, there is a greater willingness to suggest patients utilise this as adjuncts to conventional medicine.

The placebo effect is finally achieving respectability in its own right - how the mind and body can affect each other, positively, is being engaged with.

And .........on a slightly more humorous note, I have found it very useful to be able to blind a funding body with 'science' (which they didn't particularly understand) in order to get funding for one particular area where I work. This wasn't unethical, I had been asked to provide validation, and so had decided to ask clients to give subjective feedback of improvements in certain symptoms. A wiser person than myself said 'don't do that - provide some complicated science, they will be far more impressed'. So, to come back to Candace Pert's 'you don't need me to validate your work' - well, actually, we do!

And...........for the non-scientific, this is actually a VERY clear and readable account of neurochemistry. Having struggled hard to wade through some scientific papers, eyes crossed and with wet towel clamped firmly to head, Pert was a breath of fresh air!

Her individual journey is explored, and this is also very valid - there is of course a whole debate around how 'the observer' influences the experiment, so Pert's acknowledgement of WHO the scientist in the equation is utterly pertinent. The 'healer' and the 'client' engage together in a process - of course this does provide some stumbling blocks to the old double blind cross over randomised study, as the 'in the moment, this client, this therapist' is hugely central.

Very powerful book

However - Amazon, you have it wrong, this book 'Molecules of Emotion' is by Candace Pert - not Deepak Chopra - DC just wrote the foreword - there's somehow some sort of synchronicity going on here - often in 'science' the work of a woman scientist in the field gets unacknowledged or sidelines - cf Rosalind Franklyn's role in the 'discovery' of DNA.

Yes, yes, I know Amazon aren't doing this deliberately, its an annoying inputting blip which means that a lot of books with Forewords end up being credited to the foreword writer, rather than the author, due to the foreword writer being listed first.

I just thought it was amusingly illustrative in this case!
66 comments|108 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 15 September 2009
Well, I'm the analytical type, taught and trained to question and prove, but there is another side of me the intuitive, feminine, emotional me that this book makes a move towards being able to understand.

Firstly this is not for the faint hearted, there are terminologies, language and concepts that are not that easy too understand but Candance presents and describes them well. For anyone who works in any type of "alternative" health and has to ever justify their work this book is a must read.

It's written so that just as you're feeling that you're thinking the concepts may be too complicated for you, she reverts to the story that is being told, her story, and sucks you right in again.

I in fact read her second book first, but it inspired me to go back and read the first to gain a deeper understanding of what the second book was built on.

In both books she comes across as an inspiring woman - possibly more so in this one as it is a journey that she is letting go, you can see her release it, forgive it, and see where there was still some work to be done! For me it's a small insight into how difficult it must have been for the women in science - breaking the barriers down. The barriers are all but gone now but how easily we forget even though this past is so recent.

Worth the read if you're trying to look for the science behind your alternative beliefs.
0Comment|2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 11 February 1998
Pert, will one day be generally regarded at least as highly as Sherrington or Penfield in the archives of neuroscience and probably higher. In her typically atypical style, she breaks all the rules as she wrote this remarkable book. And why not? She broke the nearly three hundred year Cartesian (the mind and body are separate) paradigme, one of the most enduring in all of science! This is not just a clearly written book on the neuroscience of emotion carrying peptides/receptors, but also of the emotional human drama of her journey of scientific discoveries. For the scientist in us, Pert clearly spells out how ligands (substances which specifically bind to selective receptors initiating sometimes dramatic intracellular biochemical changes) and termed "information molecules" or "information substances" communicate across systems which were for the most part traditionally considered separate. The "new neurology" demonstrates ligand communication between the neurological, immune, endocrine, and gastrointestinal systems. The reader may well be astounded to see that the traditional neurotransmitters (ligands such as dopamine, histamine, GABA, etc.) only comprise a tiny fraction of nervous system communication. The peptides, carriers of emotion and other information make up 95% of all ligands. Beyond the science however, Dr. Pert also provides an interesting inside look at the real world of scientific research. Her struggles, defeats and triumphs are told as she describes the dog-eat-dog culture of competitive neuroscience research in the suppressive and male dominated pharmacological, governmental, political realms. Only rarely in history does discovery, high intellect, and raw courage meld in one human being. And when it does, a revolution is born.
0Comment|10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 16 November 2006
I found this a most interesting read. I would recommend this book for all/any interested in stories of scientific discovery and biography, especially those interested in life sciences, medicine, human biology etc. It is really a bit of an autobiography, so recognize that much of it is one person's view.

The story of the discovery of the opiate receptor is interesting and I think the science made very accessible to a non scientific audience, however bear in mind I do have a PhD in chemistry from a major UK university. So one of the things that most interested me was the personality of the author and her perspective on the politics of science and women in science.

I would be far from endorsing all that she says and the conclusions that she draws re the mind body etc., however Candace Pert has done serious and world respected science and I do think she has many valid points to make on the nature of the scientific establishment and how hard it can be to progress new ideas and for that the book is most interesting.

However it is also concerning to me that some people's reviews on this website suggest that Candace Pert has won a Nobel Prize or discovered a cure for AIDS - this is not the case and to be fair her book does not claim this - which makes me wonder on the rationality of some readers who appear to have drawn these mistaken conclusions from this book. It's easy to do an internet search on her name, check out her own website and see that she does not claim to be a Nobel laureate, although she does believe that her beloved Peptide T will prove to be a significant contributor to AIDS treatment (which may well still prove to be the case) - I have no trouble in believing her view in the book that significant commercial vested interests combined with science establishment turf wars may have thwarted its development. Drugs companies are not exactly the altruistic organizations we might prefer them to be and there are real issues around the fact that nature identical chemicals which may be safest for human drug treatments are not best for commercial exploitation from the patent point of view. Scientific establishments are also run by fallible human beings.

I was a little disappointed by some of the comments towards the end which seem to label all good positive attitudes as female/feminine and all negative / aggressive ones as masculine. There are really serious gender issues in science as in the rest of society and I felt this view a little simplistic, although I guess understandable given the author's own experiences.

So there is much of interest here and much to ponder, but also much that seems to have but a tenuous link with real science, so read with discernment as well as enjoyment and fascination!

However it is also concerning to me that some people's reviews on this website suggest that Candace Pert has won a Nobel Prize or discovered a cure for AIDS - this is not the case and to be fair her book does not claim this - which makes me wonder on the rationality of some readers who appear to have drawn these mistaken conclusions from this book. It's easy to do an internet search on her name, check out her own website and see that she does not claim to be a Nobel laureate, although she does believe that her beloved Peptide T will prove to be a significant contributor to AIDS treatment (which may well still prove to be the case) - I have no trouble in believing her view in the book that significant commercial vested interests combined with science establishment turf wars may have thwarted its development. Drugs companies are not exactly the altruistic organisations we might prefer them to be and there are real issues around the fact that nature identical chemicals which may be safest for human drug treatments are not best for commercial exploitation from the patent point of view. Scientific establishments are also run by fallible human beings.

I was a little disappointed by some of the comments towards the end which seem to label all good positive attitudes as female/feminine and all negative / aggressive ones as masculine. There are really serious gender issues in science as in the rest of society and I felt this view a little simplistic, although I guess understandable given the author's own experiences.

So there is much of interest here and much to ponder, but also much that seems to have but a tenuous link with real science, so read with discernment as well as enjoyment and fascination!
0Comment|49 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 26 March 2003
This is a one of those very special books that will be a well thumbed gem on your bookcase. The first part of the book is a little difficult to follow for the unscientific mind (mine!!) but what follows makes the jargon busting worth every minute. The first time I read this book was on holiday - and I couldn't put it down, these amazing concepts at last seem to have some scientific proof. There is not a week goes by that I do not recommend the book to a Client (I am a massage therapist working in rehabilitation). If there is one book to read, this is it.
0Comment|76 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Sponsored Links

  (What is this?)