HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by…
Loading...

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

by Rebecca Skloot

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
7,469527462 (4.14)2 / 713
  1. 130
    The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman (kidzdoc)
  2. 50
    Medical Apartheid by Harriet A. Washington (lives4laughs, fannyprice)
  3. 40
    The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson (bunnygirl)
    bunnygirl: personal history and stories linked with the larger African American history. if you were wondering about Skloot's reference to the Lacks family being part of the Great Migration, this book explains exactly what it is and tells the stories of three families in a similar manner.… (more)
  4. 40
    A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines (krazy4katz)
    krazy4katz: Reading "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks," I was pained by the impoverished lives of people who still lived on plantations in the 1940s - lack of schooling, lack of health care, lack of any kind of decent housing etc. "A Lesson Before Dying" more directly addresses the life of people still living on plantations in the '40s. Even though I sort of knew this, it was an emotional shock to truly recognize that all the abuse and oppression did not end with the Civil War but was still there 80 years later.… (more)
  5. 30
    Body Hunters: How the Drug Industry Tests Its Products On the World's Poorest Patients by Sonia Shah (legxleg)
  6. 63
    Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach (VenusofUrbino)
    VenusofUrbino: If you like well-researched and well-written non-fiction like "Immortal Life" then you will also appreciate Mary Roach.
  7. 20
    The Mapmaker's Wife: A True Tale of Love, Murder, and Survival in the Amazon by Robert Whitaker (sboyte)
    sboyte: Fascinating stories of the people behind great scientific discoveries.
  8. 31
    Better by Atul Gawande (Othemts)
  9. 20
    The Plutonium Files: America's Secret Medical Experiments in the Cold War by Eileen Welsome (barbharris1)
  10. 21
    The Wandering Gene and the Indian Princess by Jeff Wheelwright (LeesyLou)
    LeesyLou: If you have an interest in the social and personal ethics and background of medical care, this adds to your understanding. Minority cultures and personal medical ethics are equally poorly understood by many practitioners.
  11. 10
    Life Itself: Exploring the Realm of the Living Cell by Boyce Rensberger (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Cell cultures are being used to study diseases as well as cure them. Learn about the cell cultures called 'HeLa' in The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, and read about cell cultures' utility as a whole in Life Itself.
  12. 10
    The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee by Marja Mills (akblanchard)
    akblanchard: In both books, journalists get personally involved with their subjects.
  13. 00
    The Juggler's Children: A Family History Gene by Gene by Carolyn Abraham (sboyte)
  14. 00
    The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History by John M. Barry (LKAYC)
  15. 11
    Tissue and Cell Donation: An Essential Guide by Ruth M. Warwick (Limelite)
    Limelite: Scientific discussion of medical/ethical, and other considerations regarding patients' rights and the medical profession's responsibilities on the subject, as well as other pertinent procedures.
  16. 12
    The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson (macart3)
    macart3: Deals with bioethics and human experimentation without others' consent.
  17. 04
    The Dangerous Joy of Dr. Sex and Other True Stories by Pagan Kennedy (Othemts)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

English (520)  Japanese (1)  German (1)  Catalan (1)  Swedish (1)  French (1)  Piratical (1)  All languages (526)
Showing 1-5 of 520 (next | show all)
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
370 pages

★★★★ ½

HeLa cell - a cell type in an immortal cell line used in scientific research. It is the oldest and most commonly used human cell line.

Of course, many people I know have read this book so most are probably aware of what it’s about. Henrietta Lacks was an African- American woman who in the early 1950s got cervical cancer and during her treatment her doctors didn’t think twice about taking her cells and doing with them as they pleased. Quickly, the person became an unknown figure while her cells grew and contributed so very much to the science and health community. It would take over 50 years for the story of this extraordinary woman to come out, and it wouldn’t be an easy journey to get there at times.

I have wanted to read this book for some time but I never got around to it and the wait at the library was crazy. I finally got an audio copy from my library and I started listening to this right away. I had high expectations since so many people I knew had raved about this book. Luckily it hit those high expectations. What a wonderful story about a wonderful woman who was forgotten in history. This is much more than just about Henrietta Lacks but what her cells have done for medical research and what it’s done to her living family. If you’re one of the few who have yet to read this non-fiction book, I say, now is the time! It reads so smoothly that it is often hard to see it as a non-fiction and more as a novel, so this is a good one for many and a story that deserves to be told.

As a note on the audio version: The narrator is soothing. Not particularly bad, unless you’re tired. Then, her soothing voice may just put you straight to sleep. ( )
  UberButter | Feb 9, 2016 |
Found this an accessible and complelling read. Interesting and informative and opened up a few questions about what happens in Britain to our cells?! ( )
  Laurochka | Feb 6, 2016 |
A HeLa cell is a cell type in an immortal cell line used in scientific research. It was derived from the cancer cells of the poor black woman Henrietta Lacks. I did not know anything about HeLa or Henrietta, everything was absolutely new to me. A very interesting and disturbing book. ( )
  Wassilissa | Feb 4, 2016 |
Narrated by Cassandra Campbell. A compelling and sometimes distressing story about bioethics and race. It's hard to imagine being in the Lacks family's shoes on learning that Henrietta's cells have been used worldwide for decades to advance medical science without their knowledge or consent. The author did a respectful job sharing the Lacks story which adds heft and humanity to the scientific story. The science described is not too complicated for laymen readers to follow, although I did gloss over some of those passages while listening. Narrator Campbell reads with such compassion and earnestness that I could believe it was the author herself reading. ( )
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
I really enjoyed that the author was able to take a topic that is difficult for many to follow and humanize it as the story of Henrietta and her family. As the author was herself part of the work, it was more like story-telling and carried the reader along without getting too heavy in the science and ethical portions. The historical aspect of the birth and evolution of this area of cell biology that made so many other things possible was very engaging, the whole concept of what was accepted practice at the time, and how "the time" could change so quickly.... ( )
  MaureenCean | Feb 2, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 520 (next | show all)
Skloot narrates the science lucidly, tracks the racial politics of medicine thoughtfully and tells the Lacks family’s often painful history with grace. She also confronts the spookiness of the cells themselves, intrepidly crossing into the spiritual plane on which the family has come to understand their mother’s continued presence in the world. Science writing is often just about “the facts.” ­Skloot’s book, her first, is far deeper, braver and more wonderful.
 
I put down Rebecca Skloot’s first book, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” more than once. Ten times, probably. Once to poke the fire. Once to silence a pinging BlackBerry. And eight times to chase my wife and assorted visitors around the house, to tell them I was holding one of the most graceful and moving nonfiction books I’ve read in a very long time.
 
Writing with a novelist's artistry, a biologist's expertise, and the zeal of an investigative reporter, Skloot tells a truly astonishing story of racism and poverty, science and conscience, spirituality and family, all driven by a galvanizing inquiry into the sanctity of the body and the very nature of the life force.
added by sduff222 | editBooklist, Donna Seaman (Dec 1, 2009)
 
Henrietta Lacks died of cervical cancer in a “colored” hospital ward in Baltimore in 1951. She would have gone forever unnoticed by the outside world if not for the dime-sized slice of her tumor sent to a lab for research eight months earlier. ...
Skloot, a science writer, has been fascinated with Lacks since she first took a biology class at age 16. As she went on to earn a degree in the subject, she yearned to know more about the woman, anonymous for years, who was responsible for those ubiquitous cells....
 
Skloot tells a rich, resonant tale of modern science, the wonders it can perform and how easily it can exploit society's most vulnerable people.
added by Shortride | editPublishers Weekly
 

» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rebecca Sklootprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Acedo, Sara R.Cover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Campbell, CassandraNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grip, GöranTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Townsend, MandaPhotographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Turpin, BahniNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
We must not see any person as an abstraction.
Instead, we must see in every person a universe with its own secrets,
with its own treasures, with its own sources of anguish,
and with some measure of triumph.

----Elie Wiesel
from The Nazi Doctors and the Nuremberg Code
Dedication
For my family:

My parents, Betsy and Floyd; their spouses, Terry and Beverly;
my brother and sister-in-law, Matt and Renee;
and my wonderful nephews, Nick and Justin.
They all did without me for far too long because of this book,
but never stopped believing in it, or me.

And in loving memory of my grandfather,
James Robert Lee (1912-2003),
who treasured books more than anyone I've known.
First words
On January 29, 1951, David Lacks sat behind the wheel of his old Buick, watching the rain fall.
Quotations
...But I always have thought it was strange, if our mother cells done so much for medicine, how come her family can't afford to see no doctors? Don't make no sense. People got rich off my mother without us even knowin about them takin her cells, now we don't get a dime. I used to get so mad about that to where it made me sick and I had to take pills. But I don't got it in me no more to fight. I just want to know who my mother was.
----Deborah Lacks
When I tell people the story of Henrietta Lacks and her cells, the first question is usually Wasn't it illegal for doctors to take Henrietta's cells without her knowledge? Don't doctors have to tell you when they use your cells in research? The answer is no--not in 1951, and not in 2009, when this book went to press.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (5)

Book description
Non-fiction. This book is a memoir, a biography, a human interest story w/ racial, legal & moral issues. Covers the journey of the HeLa cells.
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer, yet her cells--taken without her knowledge--became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first "immortal" human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer and viruses; helped lead to in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions. Yet Henrietta Lacks is buried in an unmarked grave. Her family did not learn of her "immortality" until more than twenty years after her death, when scientists began using her husband and children in research without informed consent. The story of the Lacks family is inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of--From publisher description.… (more)

» see all 7 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
6 avail.
1382 wanted
6 pay15 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (4.14)
0.5
1 21
1.5 1
2 61
2.5 19
3 319
3.5 135
4 960
4.5 216
5 850

Audible.com

2 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 103,173,632 books! | Top bar: Always visible