El Cuerpo Transformado

Naief Yehya, Author Paidos Mexico $30.05 (232p) ISBN 978-968-853-466-3
In his first major work of nonfiction, Yehya, Mexican critic, novelist, and author of Obras Sanitarias (Sanitary Works, Grijalbo, 1994), examines the diverse applications of artificial intelligence and cybernetic modification of the human body to war, work, medicine, and reproduction, and the ethical dilemmas that accompany each new development, such as cloning. He links current and classic themes to his topic: For example, he compares the similarity of Catholicism's separation of mind and body to contemporary society's obsession with the eradication of physical imperfection. Yehya makes numerous allusions to popular culture and 20th-century events, and his evident command of a wide range of issues is the book's best feature. (Most of the references are to English-language books, television series, and movie titles; some are translated into Spanish.) Although his constant citation of other authors is occasionally distracting, this book is accessible and provocative. One of the most fascinating ideas here is the prediction that those who decline to avail themselves to technological advances, preferring to leave matters to biological chance, will soon be relegated to the fringe, much like today's parents who refuse medical interventions for their children on religious grounds. Recommended for public libraries and bookstores with clientele eager for serious nonfiction about cyborg technology. Laura Callahan, Univ. of California, Berkeley
Reviewed on: 08/01/2001
Release date: 08/01/2001
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