There are so many different avenues into such a huge series of topics as those raised by Human Genetic engineering that it is hard to know where to start. Still, with any of the first eleven books listed you won't go far wrong. The other side follows below. They are under-represented but they deserve it; the big battalions are on their side. There are many more books to add, and I intend to ...
On the Side of the Angels
Lori ANDREWS The Clone Age: Adventures in the New World of Reproductive Technology. (New York: Henry Holt, 1999)
It's a rare achievement for anyone, let alone a Law Professor, to combine a sense of humor with a firm grasp of moral principles, and Andrews manages it brilliantly. What makes this book so readable is that she never forgets she is writing about people (and she has some weird characters to describe) so the hard facts slip down very easily. She approaches the issues from a background of fighting for reproductive rights, which led her onto the Human Genome Project's Working Group on Ethical and Social Implications, from which she finally resigned in disgust. Her story could almost be a paradigm of society's attitudes to these issues; in fact, I hope it is. Highly recommended.
Ruth HUBBARD and Elijah WALD Exploding the Gene Myth. (Boston: Beacon Press, 1993, revised 1999)
Ruth HUBBARD Profitable Promises: Essays on Women, Science and Health. (Monroe, ME: Common Courage Press, 1995)
Professor Emerita of Biology at Harvard, Hubbard knows her science. Equally important, she knows people. The Essays are easier reading, but the Gene Myth is as good an overview as any.
Richard C. Lewontin Biology As Ideology: The Doctrine of DNA. (First published in Canada in 1991; also, with title and sub-title reversed, in England by Penguin in 1993 with an additional chapter; available from Harperperennial)
Richard C. Lewontin The Triple Helix: Gene, Organism, and Environment. (Harvard University Press, 2000)
Commie biology at its finest. "Science ... is a supremely social institution, reflecting and reinforcing the dominant values and views of society at each historical epoch." Heresy from deep within the church. Lewontin is probably the most distinguished biologist outside the techno-euphoric mainstream, ferociously intelligent and remarkably clear. And concise each book has less than 130 pages of text. The Doctrine of DNA was described as "the most subversive book to be published in English in 1993." Everyone should read it.
C.S. Lewis The Abolition of Man. (First published in 1943, frequently republished since)
The title essay lays out the most important moral issues of germline engineering in less than 18 pages (you could almost say in the first four), and did so almost 60 years ago. It is placed at the end of a very slim volume (69 pages including the notes) but I recommend reading it first.
Leon R. Kass, The Wisdom of Repugnance. (First published in The New Republic, June 2, 1997, reprinted as part of a debate in The Ethics of Human Cloning by Leon R. Kass and James Q. Wilson)
Specifically a response to the notorious cloned sheep and the prospect of cloned people. Kass is a conservative in the best sense and I disagree with many of his social attitudes but he is spot on when it comes to the importance of appreciating the, well, wisdom of finding this technological barbarianism revolting. Many people's first response to the idea of human cloning is "Yuck"; Kass validates this.
Andrew Kimbrell The Human Body Shop: The Cloning, Engineering and Marketing of Life. (2nd edition, Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing, 1997)
The cloning reference in the title seems like a marketing ploy, the book is much broader than that. Kimbrell focuses on commodification and through that touches on most of the social implications of genetic technologies. A really excellent overview, including coverage of the philosophical implications and legislative recommendations.
Bryan Appleyard Brave New Worlds: Staying Human in the Genetic Future. (London & New York: Viking Penguin, 1998)
Appleyard is a journalist for the British Sunday Times, and it shows. He did his research, conducted interviews, and created an intelligent and readable overview from a point of view that is just a little too much within the cultural establishment for my taste. But it's a good piece of work. By the way, compare his title to Lee Silver's (below); Appleyard's is an appropriate allusion to Aldous Huxley's famous dystopia.
Richard Heinberg Cloning the Buddha: The Moral Impact of Biotechnology. (Wheaton, IL: Quest Books, 1999)
A genuinely different book that largely succeeds in the difficult task of balancing factual reporting with a perspective that occasionally threatens to drift away into neo-Buddhist Gaian whimsy, and then becomes firmly rooted in American politics, including a revealing list of people who have moved between the biotech industry and the government agencies that are charged with regulating it. Appleyard's post-hippie brother?
Jeremy Rifkin The Biotech Century. (New York: Tarcher/Putnam, 1998)
Rifkin has worked so long and hard on these and related issues that he has almost become the token of opposition, the one they call to present the other side of the case; oh no not him again. And the industry tries to write him off as predictable, as if his responses were uninformed knee-jerk reactions. That's their way of undercutting him because he really is that good. Perhaps he (like those he opposes) overestimates the primacy of biology, but he makes a convincing and detailed case for his position. This book probably contains more facts per page than any other listed here.
And On the Other Hand
Lee M. Silver Remaking Eden: Cloning and Beyond in a Brave New World. (New York: Avon, 1997)
Lee M. Silver Remaking Eden: How Genetic Engineering and Cloning Will Transform the American Family. (New York: Bard, 1998)
Spot the difference. The second one is the paperback; perhaps someone informed him that Huxley's Brave New World was an awful warning, not a goal to be proud of or comfortable with. The sloppy thinkng that would let him include that allusion in the original title is absolutely typical of the slipshod nature of the work. This appalling book has become notorious for the idea that the rich will evolve into a different species than the rest of us, who are unimportant. Read it to see just how obscene the fantasies of a Princeton Professor can be. Please don't buy it, you'll only encourage him; the library probably has it. I address a couple of his most annoying sections in an essay.
Gregory Stock & John Campbell, eds Engineering the Human Germline: An Exploration of the Science and Ethics of Altering the Genes We Pass to Our Children. (New York & Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000)
Know thine enemy. This arises from a Symposium held at UCLA in March, 1998, where the principal movers in the field went public. There are papers, including short contributions from some who were not at the Symposium (a few of whom are skeptics) and a transcript of a revealing panel discussion, at which James Watson, especially, blows off steam and gives people like me ammunition to quote.
Gregory E. Pence Who's Afraid of Human Cloning? (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 1998)
Not our Gregory, that's for sure. This is the guy who compares picking babies to choosing labradors. I can't be bothered to refute him here; you can do it for yourself. He's a professor of philosophy at the University of Alabama, and this is prima facie evidence for his removal on grounds of incompetence.