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Amazon Best Books of the Month, November 2010: "In 2010, about six hundred thousand Americans, and more than 7 million humans around the world, will die of cancer." With this sobering statistic, physician and researcher Siddhartha Mukherjee begins his comprehensive and eloquent "biography" of one of the most virulent diseases of our time. An exhaustive account of cancer's origins, The Emperor of All Maladies illustrates how modern treatments--multi-pronged chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery, as well as preventative care--came into existence thanks to a century's worth of research, trials, and small, essential breakthroughs around the globe. While The Emperor of All Maladies is rich with the science and history behind the fight against cancer, it is also a meditation on illness, medical ethics, and the complex, intertwining lives of doctors and patients. Mukherjee's profound compassion--for cancer patients, their families, as well as the oncologists who, all too often, can offer little hope--makes this book a very human history of an elusive and complicated disease. --Lynette Mong
Starred Review. Mukherjee's debut book is a sweeping epic of obsession, brilliant researchers, dramatic new treatments, euphoric success and tragic failure, and the relentless battle by scientists and patients alike against an equally relentless, wily, and elusive enemy. From the first chemotherapy developed from textile dyes to the possibilities emerging from our understanding of cancer cells, Mukherjee shapes a massive amount of history into a coherent story with a roller-coaster trajectory: the discovery of a new treatment--surgery, radiation, chemotherapy--followed by the notion that if a little is good, more must be better, ending in disfiguring radical mastectomy and multidrug chemo so toxic the treatment ended up being almost worse than the disease. The first part of the book is driven by the obsession of Sidney Farber and philanthropist Mary Lasker to find a unitary cure for all cancers. (Farber developed the first successful chemotherapy for childhood leukemia.) The last and most exciting part is driven by the race of brilliant, maverick scientists to understand how cells become cancerous. Each new discovery was small, but as Mukherjee, a Columbia professor of medicine, writes, "Incremental advances can add up to transformative changes." Mukherjee's formidable intelligence and compassion produce a stunning account of the effort to disrobe the "emperor of maladies." (Nov.) (c)
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One of the best books I've ever read. When I tell people how much I enjoyed reading a book on the history, science, cultural impact, the industry and economics of cancer, well you... Read morePublished 4 days ago by Gary Olsen
I've just finished reading for the second time, taking notes this time around.
Since my first read, I've started working in a pharma company. Read more
I was mesmerized with the history contained in this book. Having lived through some misguidance from doctors, I was fascinated with the crazy things that were first tried to cure... Read morePublished 5 days ago by Beatrice Lauderdale
The Emperor of All Maladies” is a history of eureka moments and decades of despair. Mukherjee describes vividly the horrors of the radical mastectomy, which got more and more... Read morePublished 11 days ago by S.A.N MONSANTO MONSANTO
An amazing, comprehensive book about the history, and state of, cancer.Published 12 days ago by BBB
What a great book!! It has both a medical perspective and a personal perspective. The personal comments and experiences are priceless. Read morePublished 12 days ago by William H. Bruening
wow...not a happy book...but well written, clear, honest and grateful to have read it. recommending it to othersPublished 12 days ago by Alice Larson
I liked this book very much. It provides a lot of medical background into the nature of cancer and the search to cure it. Read morePublished 13 days ago by John B.