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About Sherwin B. Nuland
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Winner American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults
An international bestseller, Sherwin B. Nuland’s How We Die has come to be regarded as the definitive book about the most universal human concern: death. The ebook edition includes the author's afterword to the paperback edition examining the current state of health care, and our relationship with life as it approaches its end. Nuland’s masterful How We Die has become a modern classic on how to take control of our own final days.
“Powerfully eloquent.... How We Die is a relentlessly frank and graphic description.... surprisingly absorbing.” — The New York Times; “Unforgettable.” — Kirkus Reviews; “Thought provoking and humane.” — Booklist; “The story comes from a sensitive observer...who has seen much, taken much thought, and written it all down with a superior gift for descriptive narrative.” — Washington Post Book World; “You cannot read How We Die without becoming aware of your body, if only...to ask it impermissible questions. You put the book down merely to pick it up again.” — The New Yorker; “Straight-forward, unsparing, yet deeply human.” — Anna Quindlen, The New York Times; “Rarer still, we come across an author with both style and substance, who gives us information that is a pleasure to read and from which we have much to learn—or relearn. When that material is combined with the wisdom of experience, we rejoice in the art and craft of medicine at its finest. Nuland’s book will occupy a permanent place on the short shelf of such classics. Buy it, read it, recommend it to your patients.” — Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA); “Profoundly poignant.” — People; “Engrossing.... We are in the hands of a remarkable portraitist.” — The New York Times Book Review; “Engrossing.... Hugely informative.” — Times Literary Supplement; “Eloquent and uncommonly moving reflections.... Nuland writes with unsentimental passion. He has the rare ability to explain the abstruse in language that can be both meticulously exact and wondrously evocative.” — Time; “Any reader who is still not convinced of his own mortality...is bound to be altered in some profound way by this book.... This is knowledge we all should have.” — USA Today; “Nuland’s work acknowledges, with unmatched clarity, the harsh realities of how life departs… There is compassion, and often wisdom, in every page.”- San Francisco Examiner; “Nuland combines the clinical eye of a physician with…emotional and philosophical reflectiveness.” — Newsday; “A shattering book: filled with pain, yet brimming with humanity. It’s impossible to read How We Die without realizing how earnestly we have avoided this most unavoidable of subjects--how we have protected ourselves by building a cultural wall of myths and lies. I don’t know of any writer or scientist who has shown the face of death as clearly, honestly, and compassionately as Sherwin Nuland does here.” — James Gleick; “Enthralling. It’s an original idea to look at death like this as if it were just another part of life, which indeed it is. The book ought to be frightening but it isn’t because Sherwin Nuland manages to make fascinating what is most terrifying and therefore entirely distracts us from the “I don’t want to know, I don’t want to think about it” attitude. Curiously, as we read, we do want to know, and instead of being shocked we become more and more interested.” — Ruth Rendell; (see http://www.writersreps.com/how-we-die for stunning testimonials to the book from Oliver Sacks MD, Rabbi Harold S.
The "riveting" (Houston Chronicle), "captivating" (Discover), and "compulsively readable" (San Francisco Chronicle) story of the discovery that handwashing helps prevent the spread of disease.
Surgeon, scholar, best-selling author, Sherwin B. Nuland tells the strange story of Ignác Semmelweis with urgency and the insight gained from his own studies and clinical experience. Ignác Semmelweis is remembered for the now-commonplace notion that doctors must wash their hands before examining patients. In mid-nineteenth-century Vienna, however, this was a subversive idea. With deaths from childbed fever exploding, Semmelweis discovered that doctors themselves were spreading the disease. While his simple reforms worked immediately—childbed fever in Vienna all but disappeared—they brought down upon Semmelweis the wrath of the establishment, and led to his tragic end.
The onset of aging can be so gradual that we are often surprised to find that one day it is fully upon us. The changes to the senses, appearance, reflexes, physical endurance, and sexual appetites are undeniable–and rarely welcome–and yet, as Nuland shows, getting older has its surprising blessings. Age concentrates not only the mind, but the body’s energies, leading many to new sources of creativity, perception, and spiritual intensity. Growing old, Nuland teaches us, is not a disease but an art–and for those who practice it well, it can bring extraordinary rewards.
“I’m taking the journey even while I describe it,” writes Nuland, now in his mid-seventies and a veteran of nearly four decades of medical practice. Drawing on his own life and work, as well as the lives of friends both famous and not, Nuland portrays the astonishing variability of the aging experience. Faith and inner strength, the deepening of personal relationships, the realization that career does not define identity, the acceptance that some goals will remain unaccomplished–these are among the secrets of those who age well.
Will scientists one day fulfill the dream of eternal youth? Nuland examines the latest research into extending life and the scientists who are pursuing it. But ultimately, what compels him most is what happens to the mind and spirit as life reaches its culminating decades. Reflecting the wisdom of a long lifetime, The Art of Aging is a work of luminous insight, unflinching candor, and profound compassion.
–attributed to Hippocrates, c. 400 B.C.E.
The award-winning author of How We Die and The Art of Aging, venerated physician Sherwin B. Nuland has now written his most thoughtful and engaging book. The Uncertain Art is a superb collection of essays about the vital mix of expertise, intuition, sound judgment, and pure chance that plays a part in a doctor’s practice and life.
Drawing from history, the recent past, and his own life, Nuland weaves a tapestry of compelling stories in which doctors have had to make decisions in the face of uncertainty. Topics include the primitive (and sometimes illegal) procedures doctors once practiced with good intentions, such as grave robbing and prescribing cocaine as an anesthetic (which resulted in a physician becoming America’s first cocaine addict); the curious “cures” for irregularity touted by people from the ancient Egyptians to the cereal titan John Harvey Kellogg and bodybuilder Charles Atlas; and healers grappling with today’s complex moral and ethical quandaries, from cloning to gene therapy to the adoption of Eastern practices like acupuncture.
Nuland also recounts his most dramatic experiences in a forty-year medical career: the time he was called out of the audience of a Broadway play to help a man having a heart attack (when no other doctor there would respond), and how he formed a profound friendship with an unforgettable–and doomed–heart patient. Behind these inspiring accounts always lie the mysteries of the human body and human nature, the manner in which the ill can will themselves back to health and the odd and essential interactions between a body’s own healing mechanisms and a doctor’s prescriptions.
Riveting and wise, amusing and heartrending, The Uncertain Art is Sherwin Nuland’s best work, gems from a man who has spent his professional life acting in the face of ambiguity and sharing what he has learned.
How does medical science advance? Popular historians would have us believe that a few heroic individuals, possessing superhuman talents, lead an unselfish quest to better the human condition. But as renowned Yale surgeon and medical historian Sherwin B. Nuland shows in this brilliant collection of linked life portraits, the theory bears little resemblance to the truth. Through the centuries, the men and women who have shaped the world of medicine have been not only very human, but also very much the products of their own times and places. Presenting compelling studies of great medical innovators and pioneers, Doctors gives us a fascinating history of modern medicine. Ranging from the legendary Father of Medicine, Hippocrates, to Andreas Vesalius, whose Renaissance masterwork on anatomy offered invaluable new insight into the human body, to Helen Taussig, founder of pediatric cardiology and co-inventor of the original "blue baby" operation, here is a volume filled with the spirit of ideas and the thrill of discovery.
“A kaleidoscope of creativity . . . unsentimental and sometimes unpredictable.”—Journal of the American Medical Association
Founded just six years ago, Bellevue Literary Review is already widely recognized as a rare forum for emerging and celebrated writers—among them Julia Alvarez, Raphael Campo, Rick Moody, and Abraham Verghese—on issues of health and healing. Gathered here are poignant and prizewinning stories, essays, and poems, the voices of patients and those who care for them, which form the journal’s remarkable dialogue on “humanity and the human experience.”
Danielle Ofri, MD, author of Incidental Findings and Singular Intimacies, is the editor in chief of Bellevue Literary Review. She lives in New York City.
In evoking their relationship, Nuland also summons up the warmth and claustrophobia of a vanished immigrant New York, a world that impelled its children toward success yet made them feel like traitors for leaving it behind. Full of feeling and unwavering observation, Lost in America deserves a place alongside such classics as Patrimony and Call It Sleep.
Part of the Jewish Encounter series
Moses Maimonides was a Renaissance man before there was a Renaissance: a great physician who served a sultan, a dazzling Torah scholar, a community leader, a daring philosopher whose greatest work—The Guide for the Perplexed—attempted to reconcile scientific knowledge with faith in God. He was a Jew living in a Muslim world, a rationalist living in a time of superstition. Eight hundred years after his death, his notions about God, faith, the afterlife, and the Messiah still stir debate; his life as a physician still inspires; and the enigmas of his character still fascinate.
Sherwin B. Nuland—best-selling author of How We Die—focuses his surgeon’s eye and writer’s pen on this greatest of rabbis, most intriguing of Jewish philosophers, and most honored of Jewish doctors. He gives us a portrait of Maimonides that makes his life, his times, and his thought accessible to the general reader as they have never been before.