I Contain Multitudes by Ed Yong

I Contain Multitudes

Joining the ranks of popular science classics like The Botany of Desire and The Selfish Gene, a groundbreaking, wondrously informative, and vastly entertaining examination of the most significant revolution in biology since Darwin—a “microbe’s-eye view” of the world that reveals a marvelous, radically reconceived picture of life on earth.Every animal, whether human, squid, or wasp, is home to millions of bacteria and other microbes. Ed Yo...

Details I Contain Multitudes

TitleI Contain Multitudes
Release DateAug 9th, 2016
GenreScience, Nonfiction, Biology, Health, Audiobook

Reviews I Contain Multitudes

  • Will Byrnes
    You’ve got company.Carol Anne Freeling was certainly right when she said, “They’re hee-ur,” well maybe not enraged spirits, but there are certainly plenty of entities present to which we have paid insufficient attention. Maybe Regan MacNeil was closer to the mark in proclaiming “We are legion.” When Orson Welles said “We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone,” he was mistaken. Even when we are alone, we are never alone. W...
  • Jamie
    Well, I will never think of bacteria and archaea the same. I certainly have a newfound understanding of just how vital it is to every part of life. That microbes and bacteria have helped shape our planet for billions of years, down to every single flora and fauna; even all the oxygen we breath has come from bacteria. I also never really thought about the microbes that are constantly around us and even on me, or how many you are "seeding" to the w...
  • David
    This is a fascinating book about the microbes inside all of us, and inside other animals as well. Now, it is often said that there are ten times as many bacteria in our bodies as there are cells. This, it turns out, is probably an over-estimate; the number of bacteria is probably in the same ballpark as the number of cells. But still, that is a lot!This book goes into detail about the amazing partnerships--the symbioses--between microbes and larg...
  • Barbara
    Though we might lather our skin with antibacterial soap, clean our hands with alcohol sanitizers, gargle with mouthwash, scrub our kitchen surfaces, disinfect our bathrooms, spray Lysol all over the house, take antibiotics, etc., there are - and always will be - microbes everywhere. This is especially true of our warm moist bodies - which are covered inside and out with microorganisms....and this is a good thing.In fact our bodies are really an i...
  • Clif Hostetler
    Recently I've been hearing reports of miracle cures of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) by use of fecal matter transplants. Also I've heard that some autoimmune diseases may be caused by environments that are too clean. Upon hearing these things the question that comes to my mind is, why this new found enthusiasm for microorganisms? We've known about bacteria since Louis Pasteur. So why all this new information about microbes as if it was something...
  • Chrissie
    I liked this book so I am giving it three stars. It is common knowledge today that everything and all of us are covered with microbes - that some are good and some are bad. Their number can be debated. We have in the past been fixated on getting rid of them. This has been to our detriment. It is clear we have gone too far. Antibiotics are good and necessary, but at the same time they must be used with care. In heedlessly wiping out microbes, we h...
  • Emily
    A NEW NONFICTION FAVORITE!!! I'M SO HAPPY.This is absolutely fabulous scientific nonfiction. I think at times, scienctific nonfiction swings one of two ways--over simplified, or overly pendantic. This book truly hit the sweet spot. It's accessible, gorgeously written, and incredibly informative and well-researched.In particular, I liked that Yong doesn't shy away from differing schools of thought. Microbiology as we know it today is still a relat...
  • Forrest
    You are what you eat. You eat what you are.What you aren't eats you and other things that aren't you, but are in you.I am legion.
  • Joshua Buhs
    A fascinating topic poorly served by the conventions of popular science writing.Ed Yong's book is about microbes--bacteria, mostly, but also viruses and few other extremely small creatures--and how they live with other organisms--humans for the most part, with plenty of other animals, too, though no plants.It has Darwinian ambitions, announced in its subtitle: "A Grander View of Life" evokes Darwin's famous phrase closing the first edition of "On...
  • Paul
    You may think that we are just made from muscles, blood cells, bones and a fair bit of DNA, but in between the gaps are microbes. Billions and billions of them. There are the odd rogue ones, but most of them are useful and make up an essential element of our being. Without them we could not live. They help us in countless ways, sculpting our organs, protecting us from disease and feeding and nourishing us; our gut contains a complete ecosystem th...
  • aPriL does feral sometimes
    This is a fun read!Each one of us is a microbiome, with billions of bacteria literally on every bit of our skin and hair. Inside our bodies and in our cells, we have even more interesting little microscopic monsters. Plus, we share these little bugs with everyone we meet, especially the people we live with. If you have a dog, the volume of bacteria in your home increases exponentially. If, gentle reader, you are now scratching and twitching, may ...
  • Rebecca
    Ed Yong is a London-based science writer for The Atlantic and is part of National Geographic’s blogging network. I had trouble believing that I Contain Multitudes is his first book; it’s so fluent and engaging that it immediately draws you into the microbial world and keeps you marveling at its strange yet fascinating workings. Yong writes like a journalist rather than a scientist, and that’s a good thing: with an eye to the average reader,...
  • Olive (abookolive)
    See my review on booktube: https://youtu.be/7A6jT35WEEQ
  • Dov Zeller
    “Forget Orson Welles, and heed Walt Whitman: “I am large, I contain multitudes.”“'Each animal is an ecosystem with legs,' says John Rawls."“As palaeontologist Andrew Knoll once said, 'Animals might be evolution's icing, but bacteria are really the cake.'"Yep, Ed Yong knows how to salt and pepper his writing with some good quotes. He also pens some wonderful great-for-quoting prose himself: "It's estimated that every human contains 100 t...
  • Ana
    Read Harder Challenge 2018#6. A book about nature... and loads of accessible sciencey stuff, with an “I am legion” vibe, I might add. This is a fun read!
  • Allie
    Utterly fascinating. Review to come, once I pick up the pieces of my brain and assemble some coherent thoughts.
  • Charlene
    This book is jam-packed with tons of information about the recently uncovered world of microbes. Considering how many books about microbes are popping up, I was skeptical at first, but it quickly became apparent that this book was based on nothing but the best science available on the subject. Just like the Sonnenburgs' book Gut, I contain Multitudes focused on what we know about microbes and was very clear about the lack of evidence when specula...
  • Wanda
    First of all, kudos for an excellent title, referencing the poetry of Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself. It is not the only literary reference and I truly appreciate that in a science writer.Yong gives the feeling of being on a safari, observing exotic wildlife. He makes single-celled organisms as interesting as wildebeest and lions. We have come a long way in understanding this part of the ecosystem, and we have miles to go before we perfect that ...
  • Isil Arican
    I love Ed Yong's articles and I wanted to read this book since I heard it was coming out.Microbiom is a fascinating subject and he does a good job of giving background information, explaining the background work and giving interesting examples. So overall I enjoyed reading it.The reason for only three stars: the books structure is not great. He talks about an issue and revisits it again and again. It is lacking the flow, and feels like he is visi...
  • Cheese
    This was an excellent eye opener into the world of microbiomes and how they shape our world.We are just a vessel for them. They are the real dominant species on this planet. We live with them, we provide for them adn they work with us. The examples given in this book are really interesting, but what really blows my mind is how we can now start using them to improve the way we live and improve our planet.
  • Ian Rose
    My favorite popular science book of the past few years. I think it certainly deserves to be mentioned aside Elizabeth Kolbert's Sixth Extinction, Song of the Dodo, etc. I read a fair amount about biology and practiced it in the field (albeit in a wildly different specialty) and I was still shocked by some of the work going on in microbial bio today. Can't recommend it enough, for people interested in science and certainly for science fiction writ...
  • Leo Walsh
    Reading a straight pop-science book is a nice change, and even better when the book covers super-interesting material, as Ed Yong’s I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life does. Where Yong lays bare research into inter-species cooperation that’s changing scientist’s views about natural selection. In the classic evolutionary/ biological view, it’s “us” against “the world.” Life is a struggle, red in ...
  • Atila Iamarino
    Uma revisão bem ponderada sobre as descobertas recentes do microbioma humano (e não só humano). O Ed Yong é um escritor de ciência de mão cheia, tranquilamente um dos melhores da atualidade, que entre outras coisas bloga no Not Exactly Rocket Science, da NatGeo. Este é o primeiro livro dele (pelo que sei) e já acerta de mão cheia. Bem humorado, bem explicado, bastante acessível e atualizado. Na minha opinião, o livro definitivo para se...
  • Emma Sea
    just fantastic. the best book I've read in the last couple of years. Makes me actually excited and optiomistic about the future, which is a refreshing sensation after so many climate change books.
  • Barbara
    This book contains so much information one would need to reread and reread it and still not absorb it all. The history of microbe studies as well as very current research is fascinating. Ed Long does a great job using analogies to help the lay reader understand the complexities. Those interested in science and specifically microbes will enjoy this book.
  • Pequete
    This will be a difficult book to review, because I find myself short of words to express how good it is! Ed Yong is a science journalist and an amazing story teller. He masters the difficult art of delivering detailed and scientifically accurate information in an agreeable way, without scaring away the layman reader while satisfying someone with knowledge in the field as well. In fact, he manages to make it so interesting that I often found mysel...
  • Anna
    This was a fascinating book. I’ve heard of gut microbiota and faecal microbiome transfer, but there was tons of new information. One of the most important concepts for me was that the microbiome is necessary for the normal development and functioning of higher organisms. One of the main targets for research is the gut:“The weird biology of germ-free animals is most obvious in the gut. A well-functioning gut needs a big surface area for absorb...
  • John
    A Most Engrossing Exploration of the Microbial Organisms Which Lurk Within UsEchoing Charles Darwin's concluding paragraph in the first edition of Darwin's "On the Origin of Species" in its subtitle, noted science journalist Ed Yong's "I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life" is an exceptional, quite riveting, account explaining how bacteria and other microbes have played - and continue to play - important roles in...