The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer

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The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer

by Siddhartha Mukherjee

Scribner | August 9, 2011 | Trade Paperback

4.4 out of 5 rating. 5 Reviews
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WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE

The Emperor of All Maladies is a magnificent, profoundly humane "biography" of cancer-from its first documented appearances thousands of years ago through the epic battles in the twentieth century to cure, control, and conquer it to a radical new understanding of its essence. Physician, researcher, and award-winning science writer, Siddhartha Mukherjee examines cancer with a cellular biologist's precision, a historian's perspective, and a biographer's passion. The result is an astonishingly lucid and eloquent chronicle of a disease humans have lived with-and perished from-for more than five thousand years.

The story of cancer is a story of human ingenuity, resilience, and perseverance, but also of hubris, paternalism, and misperception. Mukherjee recounts centuries of discoveries, setbacks, victories, and deaths, told through the eyes of his predecessors and peers, training their wits against an infinitely resourceful adversary that, just three decades ago, was thought to be easily vanquished in an all-out "war against cancer." The book reads like a literary thriller with cancer as the protagonist.

From the Persian Queen Atossa, whose Greek slave may have cut off her diseased breast, to the nineteenth-century recipients of primitive radiation and chemotherapy to Mukherjee's own leukemia patient, Carla, The Emperor of All Maladies is about the people who have soldiered through fiercely demanding regimens in order to survive-and to increase our understanding of this iconic disease.

Riveting, urgent, and surprising, The Emperor of All Maladies provides a fascinating glimpse into the future of cancer treatments. It is an illuminating book that provides hope and clarity to those seeking to demystify cancer.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 608 pages, 3.64 × 2.41 × 0.59 in

Published: August 9, 2011

Publisher: Scribner

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1439170916

ISBN - 13: 9781439170915

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– More About This Product –

The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer

by Siddhartha Mukherjee

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 608 pages, 3.64 × 2.41 × 0.59 in

Published: August 9, 2011

Publisher: Scribner

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1439170916

ISBN - 13: 9781439170915

Read from the Book

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. “Not just any headache,” she would recall later, “but a sort of numbness in my head. The kind of numbness that instantly tells you that something is terribly wrong.” Something had been terribly wrong for nearly a month. Late in April, Carla had discovered a few bruises on her back. They had suddenly appeared one morning, like strange stigmata, then grown and vanished over the next month, leaving large map-shaped marks on her back. Almost indiscernibly, her gums had begun to turn white. By early May, Carla, a vivacious, energetic woman accustomed to spending hours in the classroom chasing down five- and six-year-olds, could barely walk up a flight of stairs. Some mornings, exhausted and unable to stand up, she crawled down the hallways of her house on all fours to get from one room to another. She slept fitfully for twelve or fourteen hours a day, then
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From the Publisher

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE

The Emperor of All Maladies is a magnificent, profoundly humane "biography" of cancer-from its first documented appearances thousands of years ago through the epic battles in the twentieth century to cure, control, and conquer it to a radical new understanding of its essence. Physician, researcher, and award-winning science writer, Siddhartha Mukherjee examines cancer with a cellular biologist's precision, a historian's perspective, and a biographer's passion. The result is an astonishingly lucid and eloquent chronicle of a disease humans have lived with-and perished from-for more than five thousand years.

The story of cancer is a story of human ingenuity, resilience, and perseverance, but also of hubris, paternalism, and misperception. Mukherjee recounts centuries of discoveries, setbacks, victories, and deaths, told through the eyes of his predecessors and peers, training their wits against an infinitely resourceful adversary that, just three decades ago, was thought to be easily vanquished in an all-out "war against cancer." The book reads like a literary thriller with cancer as the protagonist.

From the Persian Queen Atossa, whose Greek slave may have cut off her diseased breast, to the nineteenth-century recipients of primitive radiation and chemotherapy to Mukherjee's own leukemia patient, Carla, The Emperor of All Maladies is about the people who have soldiered through fiercely demanding regimens in order to survive-and to increase our understanding of this iconic disease.

Riveting, urgent, and surprising, The Emperor of All Maladies provides a fascinating glimpse into the future of cancer treatments. It is an illuminating book that provides hope and clarity to those seeking to demystify cancer.

About the Author

Siddhartha Mukherjee was born in 1970 in New Delhi, India. He received an undergraduate degree in biology from Stanford University, a DPhil in immunology from Magdalen College, Oxford University, and a M.D. from Harvard Medical School. He is known for his work on the formation of blood, and the interactions between the micro-environment and cancer cells. His book, The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in general non-fiction. He is an assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University and a staff physician at Columbia University Medical Center. His articles have appeared in Nature, The New England Journal of Medicine, The New York Times, and The New Republic.

Editorial Reviews

"This volume should earn Mukherjee a rightful place alongside Carl Sagan, Stephen Jay Gould, and Stephen Hawking in the pantheon of our epoch''s great explicators."-Boston Globe
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