Immortality: The Quest to Live Forever and How it Drives Civilisation

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9781849541367: Immortality: The Quest to Live Forever and How it Drives Civilisation
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Immortality shows how the quest to live forever has driven the development of human civilisation, and how that quest is now coming to a climax through modern science. It argues that humans are hardwired to pursue eternal life - and that the way they have done so has stayed remarkably consistent through the ages. All the main beliefs on defying death, from freeing your soul to freezing your brain, fall into four simple categories - the four paths to immortality. Although all four paths are ancient, science is now showing us - for the first time in human history - which of them could really lead to infinity. Immortality uses the stories of ten exceptional characters, from Queen Nefertiti to the Dalai Lama, to show how these four paths have shaped our culture from ancient times through to today. Unlike most books on this hugely popular subject, Immortality does not argue from a particular religious viewpoint. Written by Stephen Cave, philosopher (PhD, Cambridge) and regular writer for the Financial Times, it shows general readers how the latest research in fields from anti-aging to neuroscience is providing new answers to life's most important question.

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Review:

"A beautifully clear and entertaining look at life after death. Cave does not shrink from the hard questions. Bold and thought-provoking."
--Eric Olson, author of "The Human Animal "and "What Are We? "
" "
""Immortality "plumbs the depths of the human mind and ties the quest for the infinite prolongation of life into the very nature of civilization itself. Cave reveals remarkable depth and breadth of learning, yet is always a breeze to read. I thoroughly enjoyed his book--it's a really intriguing study."
--David Boyd Haycock, author of "Mortal Coil "and "A Crisis of Brilliance"

"I loved this.Cave has set himself an enormous task and accomplished it--inspades. Establishing a four-level subject matter, he has stuck to his guns and never let up. As he left one level and went to the next, I was always a little worried: Would he be able to pull it off? This was especially true as he approached the end. There is a sense in which each level, as he left it smoking in the road, looked easy as he started the next. In fact, the last level, while it is the most difficult, is the best, the most satisfying. I am happy to live in the world Cave describes."
-- Charles Van Doren, author of "A History of Knowledge "

"Cave is smart, lucid, elegant and original. "Immortality" is an engaging read about our oldest obsession, and how that obsession propels some of our greatest accomplishments."
--Greg Critser, author of "Eternity Soup "
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"In "Immortality" Stephen Cave tells wonderful stories about one of humanity's oldest desires and comes to a wise conclusion."
-- Stefan Klein, author of "The Science of Happiness "and "The Secret Pulse of Time "

"Cave has produced a strikingly original and compelling exploration of the age-old conundrum: Can we live forever, and do we really want to?"
--John Horgan, science journalist and author of "The End of War"

'An epic inquiry into the human desire to defy death and how to overcome it' - Julian Baggini, Financial Times --http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/b1c3570a-7765-11e1-93cb-00144feab49a.html#axzz1qs7RSf19

'A must-read exploration of what spurs human ingenuity' - S. Jay Olshansky, New Scientist --http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21428592.500-our-desire-to-thwart-death-drives-progress.html

'An epic inquiry into the human desire to defy death and how to overcome it' - Julian Baggini, Financial Times --http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/b1c3570a-7765-11e1-93cb-00144feab49a.html#axzz1qs7RSf19

'A must-read exploration of what spurs human ingenuity' - S. Jay Olshansky, New Scientist --http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21428592.500-our-desire-to-thwart-death-drives-progress.html

About the Author:

Stephen Cave is a writer, philosopher and diplomat. He regularly writes essays and book reviews for the Financial Times.

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9781849544931: Immortality: The Quest To Live Forever and How It Drives Civilisation

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