In the tradition of Jon Ronson and Tim Wu, an absorbing and revelatory journey into the American Way of Defying Death
As longevity medicine revolutionizes the lives of many older people, the quest to take the next step—to live as long as we choose—has spurred a scientific arms race, funded by Big Tech and Silicon Valley, in search of the elixir of life. Once the stuff of Mesopotamian mythology and episodes of Star Trek, as the pace of technological progress quickens, proposals to make humans immortal are becoming increasingly credible. It has also empowered a wild-eyed fringe of pseudo-scientists, tech visionaries, scam-artists, and religious fanatics who have given their lives to the pursuit of immortality.
Peter Ward’s The Price of Immortality is a probing, deeply reported, nuanced — and sometimes very funny — exploration of the current state of the race for immortality and an attempt to sort the swindlers from the scientists, while also analyzing the potentially devastating consequences should humanity realize its ultimate dream. Starting off at the Church of Perpetual Life in Florida and exploring the feuding subcultures around the nascent cryonics industry that first emerged in the wake of World War 2, Ward immerses himself into an eccentric world of startups, scientific institutions, tech billionaires and life-extension conferences, in order to find out if immortality is within our grasp, and what the cost might be if we choose to take what some people think is the next step in human evolution.