The Emperor of All Maladies

The Emperor of All Maladies

By Siddhartha Mukherjee

  • Release Date: 2010-11-16
  • Genre: History
Score: 4
4
From 541 Ratings
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Description

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, and now a documentary from Ken Burns on PBS, 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.

Reviews

  • The Emperor of All Books

    5
    By Ali Apple
    Once you start reading you won't let it go, the language is perfect and I was amused by lots of insightful information. Allah bless us all. Thank you doctor for this book and... We want more!
  • A complete look

    5
    By OG Snowflake
    A fascinating history of cancer. It was dramatic and moving and scary. Got the Pulitzer for a reason. This author is CONSUMED with his subject.
  • Empowering

    5
    By eSteve Z
    I was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia in May of 2011. My CML is under control. This book helped me deal with my initial shock and anxiety over being told that I have a blood cancer. It is difficult to read of the suffering endured by many over the centuries but immensely heartening to hear of the courage and triumph of many. If you have cancer or are sensitive, keep a tissue or handkerchief close and be prepared for a roller coaster of emotions. Read it to the end. You will not be sorry.
  • Fascinating journey through the history of cancer

    5
    By scapula0002
    There was always a grip on the subject and SM very eloquently details the internal conflicts and an inertia to believe in another's scientific evidence among physicians dealing with cancer. Kudos, I learnt a lot
  • Absolutely Riveting!

    5
    By Billfish62
    Pure facts and simple emotions under one cover. Anyone ever touched by cancer--that is, everyone--should experience this horrific ride looking over the shoulder of the monster.
  • Magnificent and riveting!

    5
    By Wild Bill from Oregon
    This is a must-read for anyone battling ... or who may someday be battling ... cancer. Of course, this means all of us!
  • Riveting!

    5
    By icop357
    Obviously based on massive research, this book portrays the personal struggles of the many individuals who have devoted their life on the war against cancer.
  • Don't waste your money

    2
    By shag208
    Very knowledgeable author but too technical and not enough emphasis on the people.
  • The Emperor of all Maladies

    5
    By Radamesm
    This biography of cancer was presented remarkably well. I was concerned that the subject matter would be rather complex and at times boring, but surprisingly encountered an exciting and gripping storyline. The scientific and medical discussions of various accounts of cancel occurrences were woven with such simplicity that the reader did not have to resort to a reference manual for explanations. I now have a much better understanding of cancel and since I tend to gravitate towards the optimistic side, I think cancer will surely be eradicated in all its forms.
  • Riveting

    5
    By genevievecs12
    Fascinating, moving and interesting while still thoroughly (for a lay person) explaining a complex and convoluted scientific history. I never expected to be mesmerized, but absolutely was. Read this book regardless of how closely or personally cancer has touched your life.

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