The bestselling author of Intern and Doctored tells the story of the thing that makes us tickFor centuries, the human heart seemed beyond our understanding: an inscrutable shuddering mass that was somehow the driver of emotion and the seat of the soul. As the cardiologist and bestselling author Sandeep Jauhar shows in Heart: A History, it was only recently that we demolished age-old taboos and devised the transformative procedures that have changed the way we live. Deftly alternating between key historical episodes and his own work, Jauhar tells the colorful and little-known story of the doctors who risked their careers and the patients who risked their lives to know and heal our most vital organ. He introduces us to Daniel Hale Williams, the African American doctor who performed the world's first open heart surgery in Gilded Age Chicago. We meet C. Walton Lillehei, who connected a patient's circulatory system to a healthy donor's, paving the way for the heart-lung machine. And we encounter Wilson Greatbatch, who saved millions by inventing the pacemaker--by accident. Jauhar deftly braids these tales of discovery, hubris, and sorrow with moving accounts of his family's history of heart ailments and the patients he's treated over many years. He also confronts the limits of medical technology, arguing that future progress will depend more on how we choose to live than on the devices we invent. Affecting, engaging, and beautifully written, Heart: A History takes the full measure of the only organ that can move itself.
"A deeply reported and entertainingly written exploration of the human immune system and how it works." --USA Today
National Bestseller * The essential book to read to understand your immune system during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
The Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist explicates for the lay reader the intricate biology of our immune system (Jerome Groopman, MD, New York Review of Books)
New York Times science reporter Matt Richtel's An Elegant Defense illuminates the human immune system as never before, uniquely entwining intimate patient stories with science's centuries-long quest to unlock the mysteries of sickness and health.
The immune system is our body's essential defense network, a guardian vigilantly fighting viruses and illness, healing wounds, maintaining order and balance, and keeping us alive. Its legion of microscopic foot soldiers--from T cells to "natural killers"--patrols our body, linked by a nearly instantaneous communications grid. It has been honed by evolution over millennia to face an almost infinite array of threats.
For all its astonishing complexity, however, the immune system can be easily compromised by fatigue, stress, toxins, advanced age, and poor nutrition--hallmarks of modern life--and even by excessive hygiene. Paradoxically, it is a fragile wonder weapon that can turn on our own bodies with startling results, leading today to epidemic levels of autoimmune disorders.
Richtel effortlessly guides readers on a scientific detective tale winding from the Black Plague to twentieth-century breakthroughs in vaccination and antibiotics, to the cutting-edge laboratories that are revolutionizing immunology--perhaps the most extraordinary and consequential medical story of our time. The foundation that Richtel builds makes accessible revelations about cancer immunotherapy, the microbiome, and autoimmune treatments that are changing millions of lives. An Elegant Defense also captures in vivid detail how these powerful therapies, along with our behavior and environment, interact with the immune system, often for the good but always on a razor's edge that can throw this remarkable system out of balance.
Drawing on his groundbreaking reporting for the New York Times and based on extensive new interviews with dozens of world-renowned scientists (including Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases), Matt Richtel has produced a landmark book, equally an investigation into the deepest riddles of survival and a profoundly human tale that is movingly brought to life through the eyes of his four main characters, each of whom illuminates an essential facet of our "elegant defense."--The Missourian
Fifty crucial milestones, treatments, and technologies in the history of health, each explained in a minute.
Did you know that technology now allows reconstructive surgery to use customized 3D-printed body parts? This is just one of the incredible feats that modern medicine has brought to us. Find out even more about the direction of medical technology and more in Know It All: Medicine
Grab some scrubs and prepare yourself for an intriguing visit to the world of illness and those who treat it. Know It All: Medicine takes you on an engrossing journey that starts with history's very first "medicines" and moves on to today's keyhole surgery, bionic limbs, and breakthrough drug treatments.
It's an essential and engaging read for anyone who wants to know more about the contemporary state of medicine, and what the future may hold for medicine and its practitioners. Excellent for those curious about technology, and those in the medical field alike
Conceived as the most modern, humane incarceration facility the world had ever seen, New York's Blackwell's Island, site of a lunatic asylum, two prisons, an almshouse, and a number of hospitals, quickly became, in the words of a visiting Charles Dickens, "a lounging, listless madhouse." Digging through city records, newspaper articles, and archival reports, Stacy Horn tells a gripping narrative through the voices of the island's inhabitants. We also hear from the era's officials, reformers, and journalists, including the celebrated undercover reporter Nellie Bly. And we follow the extraordinary Reverend William Glenney French as he ministers to Blackwell's residents, battles the bureaucratic mazes of the Department of Correction and a corrupt City Hall, testifies at salacious trials, and in his diary wonders about man's inhumanity to his fellow man. Damnation Island shows how far we've come in caring for the least fortunate among us--and reminds us how much work still remains.
This groundbreaking work examines the role of women in the Western healing traditions. Drawing on the disciplines of history, anthropology, botany, archaeology, and the behavioral sciences, Jeanne Achterberg discusses the ancient cultures in which women worked as independent and honored healers; the persecution of women healers in the witch hunts of the Middle Ages; the development of midwifery and nursing as women's professions in the nineteenth century; and the current role of women and the state of the healing arts, as a time of crisis in the health-care professions coincides with the reemergence of feminine values.
Since it was first published in 1955, "A Short History of Medicine" has been hailed as the best available book of its kind: a concise and readable introduction to the history of medicine, written for students and professionals alike. This revised edition of Erwin H. Ackerknecht's classic volume is now available in paperback, making the book especially suitable for classroom use.