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 (edition 2010)

by Rebecca Skloot

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
7,033484515 (4.14)2 / 700
Member:ruthiekro
Title:The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Authors:Rebecca Skloot
Info:Crown (2010), Edition: Reprint, Kindle Edition, 386 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:nonfiction

Work details

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

  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 (479)  German (1)  Japanese (1)  Swedish (1)  Piratical (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (484)
Showing 1-5 of 479 (next | show all)
Incredible, compelling, heartbreaking. If this isn't at the top of the must-read suggestion list for everyone from high school students to medical professionals to just the average citizen, I'd be curious to know what would be in its place.

Skloot does an admirable job of getting to the bottom of what's been a small mystery for decades, practicing a bit of Gonzo journalism, but in an admirable way, to get the story told. Henrietta Lacks should be on U.S. currency, but short of that, this book should be provided to everyone free-of-charge (preferably paid for by some type of charitable trust set up by the medical industry). Lacks' inadvertent contribution to all of humanity can't get enough recognition I think and getting the history of one of the biggest finds in the medical field (I'd say pretty high up there near the discovery of penicillin) should be of interest to all.

Skloot does a great job of presenting some complex information in an accessible way and her treatment of the family is respectful, but honest. ( )
  Sean191 | Jul 21, 2015 |
Who knew that what we somehow know about cancer is thanks to her. This book is well written, it keeps you interested in every chapter. Worth reading. I would even recommend this book as a high school book. ( )
  AnaCaro | Jul 14, 2015 |
Henrietta Lacks was a poor tobacco farmer who died of cancer in the “coloured ward” of John Hopkins in the 1950’s. Unknown to Henrietta, during the course of routine tests, cells were taken from her and grown in a lab. Labelled HeLa they were the first cells to have been successfully grown and kept “alive”. These cells have since been reproduced and used for testing to this day. If someone took all HeLa cells grown they would weigh “more than 50 million metric tons”. “HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb’s effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions.”

Ms. Skloot takes us on a unique journey from the harvesting of the cells to their modern day applications. More intriguing than the science is the journey she makes with Henrietta’s descendants. Henrietta’s family was unaware of the phenomenom of the HeLa cells until 20 years after she died. To this day they struggle with “the legacy of her cells”. Ms. Skloot developed a close friendship with Deborah, who does not comprehend her mother’s contribution to science but makes the reader face not only moral questions but ethical ones as well … “if her mother was so important to medicine, why is it her family can not afford medical insurance?”

An excellent story that explains the science in an easy to comprehend manner without “talking down” to the reader. Despite her amazing story Henrietta Lacks lies in an unmarked grave and often the scientists working with the HeLa cells do not know the history behind them. Hopefully this book changes all that.
( )
  ChristineEllei | Jul 14, 2015 |
Not a fun read, but I think there are important lessons here about healthcare practices and costs. I also appreciate the irony of how this woman has become "immortal." ( )
  DianaSaco | Jul 8, 2015 |
10% of the book was 4 stars. 90% was 1 star. Where was the editor? ( )
  DL_Orton | Jun 29, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 479 (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)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
7 avail.
1435 wanted
6 pay13 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (4.14)
0.5
1 19
1.5 1
2 57
2.5 19
3 305
3.5 132
4 905
4.5 213
5 812

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 | 99,081,241 books! | Top bar: Always visible