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The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of…
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The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer (original 2010; edition 2010)

by Siddhartha Mukherjee

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,7401722,367 (4.31)1 / 315
A stunning combination of medical history, cutting-edge science, and narrative journalism that transforms the listener's understanding of cancer and much of the world around them. Siddhartha Mukherjee provides a fascinating glimpse into the future of cancer treatments and offers a bold new perspective on the way doctors, scientists, philosophers, and lay people have observed and understood the human body for millennia.… (more)
Member:Grobiewan
Title:The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer
Authors:Siddhartha Mukherjee
Info:Scribner, Hardcover, 571 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:to-read

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The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee (2010)

Recently added byGary46, stinkerelly, AkashD, sbarrios93, kevin_LT, SeanK1964, private library, PeterDing
  1. 41
    The Secret History of the War on Cancer by Devra Davis (lemontwist)
  2. 10
    And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic by Randy Shilts (DetailMuse)
    DetailMuse: Both are excellent history-of-medicine narratives.
  3. 21
    Illness as Metaphor & AIDS and Its Metaphors by Susan Sontag (caitlinlizzy)
  4. 00
    The Philadelphia Chromosome: A Mutant Gene and the Quest to Cure Cancer at the Genetic Level by Jessica Wapner (hailelib)
    hailelib: Expands on Mukherjee's discussion of the development and testing of Gleevec.
  5. 00
    Grace and Grit: Spirituality and Healing in the Life and Death of Treya Killam Wilber by Ken Wilber (wester)
    wester: A time-slice of cancer history in a personal story, versus the overview of this same history. Close up and panorama view of the same thing.
  6. 01
    The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee (jigarpatel)
    jigarpatel: Given the relationship between cancer and genetic pathways, Mukherjee's later The Gene (2016) is insightful for the layperson, recommend this as a precursor to The Emperor of All Maladies.
  7. 02
    The Wisdom of the Body: Discovering the Human Spirit by Sherwin B. Nuland (fountainoverflows)
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» See also 315 mentions

English (169)  Italian (1)  German (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (172)
Showing 1-5 of 169 (next | show all)
Cancer often seems like an organism with a mind of its own, a distorted version of ourselves that has particularly rough-and-tumble tactics up its sleeves to ensure its survival. Mukherjee tells the story of how medicine has perceived, diagnosed and treated cancer over the millennia, explains how cancer comes to be, and relates histories of his own patients.

This is a thorough book that is very well put together. I did lose a little bit of steam in the last chapter or so, but overall I felt like I learned a lot. I’d certainly recommend this if you like books about medicine or the history of medicine. I wonder how much things have changed in the 10 years since the book was published. ( )
  rabbitprincess | Oct 21, 2020 |
There are so many things in this history/biography of cancer that made me hopeful but also many that infuriated me, such as how so many women were mutilated because doctors didn’t want to believe what the research showed about radical mastectomies. Anyway, after I finished the book, I watched the Ken Burns special because this is all so fascinating, and even though I don’t have a medical background, I could still understand what I read because the information is presented so well. An excellent, infuriating, informative, and unforgettable book, for sure. ( )
  MadMaudie | Sep 5, 2020 |
One of the most accessible science books I've ever read. The surgical history of cancer and the politics/movement behind cancer research was enlightening. ( )
  bsmashers | Aug 1, 2020 |
Listened to this one in the car. I was hesitant to start it - concerned it would be too technical to enjoy. Boy, was I wrong. It's a fascinating book - and very well written. I looked forward to my morning commute. There's a point about 2/3rds of the way through that gets very technical (and it's necessary)- but I let the audiobook pull me along which helped me stick with it - and I did get a better understanding of that particular area the book was explaining and was glad to have hung in there. Excellent read! ( )
  wills2003 | Jul 30, 2020 |
I learned a lot about cancer and medicine in general. The book started out readable, but became less and less so as it went on. ( )
  mitchtroutman | Jun 14, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 169 (next | show all)
It's time to welcome a new star in the constellation of great doctor-writers. With this fat, enthralling, juicy, scholarly, wonderfully written history of cancer, Siddhartha Mukherjee - a cancer physician and researcher at Columbia University - vaults into that exalted company ...
 
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Epigraph
Illness is the night-side of life, a more onerous citizenship. Everyone who is born holds dual citizenship, in the kingdom of the well and the kingdom of the sick. Although we all prefer to use only the good passport, sooner or later each of us is obliged, at least for a spell, to identify ourselves as citizens of that other place. —Susan Sontag
Dedication
To Robert Sandler (1945-1948), and to those who came before and after him.
First words
Prologue
Diseases desperate grown
By desperate appliance are relieved
Or not at all.

—William Shakespeare,
Hamlet

Cancer begins and ends with people. In the midst of
scientific abstraction, it is sometimes possible to forget
this one basic fact. . . . Doctors treat diseases, but they also
treat people, and this precondition of their professional
existence sometimes pulls them in two directions at once.

—June Goodfield

On the morning of May 19, 2004, Carla Reed, a thirty-year-old kindergarten teacher from Ipswich, Massachusetts, a mother of three young children, woke up in bed with a headache.
In a damp fourteen-by-twenty-foot laboratory in Boston on a December morning in 1947, a man named Sidney Farber waited impatiently for the arrival of a parcel from New York.
Quotations
In solving a problem of this sort, the grand thing is to be able to reason backwards. That is a very useful accomplishment, and a very easy one, but people do not practice it much. —Sherlock Holmes, in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's A Study in Scarlet
Physicians of the utmost fame Were called at once; but when they came They answered, as they took their Fees, "There is no Cure for this Disease." —Hilaire Belloc
Its palliation is a daily task, its cure a fervent hope. —William Castle, describing leukemia in 1950
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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A stunning combination of medical history, cutting-edge science, and narrative journalism that transforms the listener's understanding of cancer and much of the world around them. Siddhartha Mukherjee provides a fascinating glimpse into the future of cancer treatments and offers a bold new perspective on the way doctors, scientists, philosophers, and lay people have observed and understood the human body for millennia.

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