A comprehensive history of cancer – one of the greatest enemies of medical progress – and an insight into its effects and potential cures, by a leading expert on the illness.
In The Emperor of All Maladies, Siddhartha Mukherjee, doctor, researcher and award-winning science writer, 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, arrogance and misperception, all leveraged against a disease that, just three decades ago, was thought to be easily vanquished in an all-out ‘war against cancer’. Mukherjee recounts centuries of discoveries, setbacks, victories and deaths, told through the eyes of predecessors and peers, training their wits against an infinitely resourceful adversary.
From the Persian Queen Atossa, whose Greek slave cut off her malignant breast, to the nineteeth-century recipient of primitive radiation and chemotherapy and Mukherjee’s own leukemia patient, Carla, The Emperor of All Maladies is about the people who have soldiered through toxic, bruising, and draining regimes to survive and to increase the store of human knowledge.
Riveting and magesterial, The Emperor of All Maladies provides a fascinating glimpse into the future of cancer treatments and a brilliant new perspective on the way doctors, scientists, philosophers and lay people have observed and understood the human body for millennia.
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‘Mukherjee calls this great and beautiful book a biography, rather than a history, because he wants his reader to understand his subject not just as a disease, a scientific problem or a social condition, but as a character – an antagonist with a story to tell. His intensely vivid and precise descriptions of biological processes accumulate into a character, fully developed and eerily familiar. The notion of "popular science" doesn't come close to describing this achievement. It is literature.’ Observer
‘This is a riveting book…profound, eloquent and searching’ John Carey, Sunday Times
‘”The Emperor of All Maladies” is the book that many will have been waiting for. This elegantly written overview allows us to look a once whispered-about illness squarely in the eye.’ Independent
‘So beautifully written; this is literature, not popular science. “The Emperor of Maladies” empowers us, makes it clear that we really do know this enemy, and so brings us another step closer to victory.’ Evening Standard
‘Mukherjee never condescends, yet he manages to write lucidly and tellingly about complex experimental, technological and theoretical matters’ Will Self, New StatesmanReview:
'Sid Mukherjee's book is a pleasure to read, if that is the right word. Cancer today is widely regarded as the worst of all the diseases from which one might suffer - if only because it is fast becoming the most common. Dr. Mukherjee explains how this perception came about, how cancer has been regarded across the years and what is now being done to treat its protean forms. His book is the clearest account I have read on this subject. With The Emperor of all Maladies, he joins that small fraternity of practicing doctors who cannot just talk about their profession but write about it.'
Tony Judt, author of Postwar and III Fares the Land
‘Rarely have the science and poetry of illness been so elegantly braided together as they are in this erudite, engrossing, kind book. Mukherjee's clinical wisdom never erases the personal tragedies which are its occasion; indeed, he locates with meticulous clarity and profound compassion the beautiful hope buried in cancer's ravages.’
Andrew Solomon, National Book Award-winning author of The Noonday Demon
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Book Description Scribner, 2010. Soft cover. Book Condition: New. Mukherjee, Siddhartha. THE EMPEROR OF ALL MALADIES. NY: Scribner, c2010. Later printing. 571pp, index. 8vo. New trade paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 85503
Book Description Paper Back. Book Condition: New. Verify ISBN for International Edition; year of publication 0007367481. Bookseller Inventory # 242079
Book Description Fourth Estate, London, 2011. br., cop.fig. Book Condition: NUOVO. cm.15x23,5, pp.XIV,(2),571,(3), 26 ill.in 8 tavv.in bn.ft., London, Fourth Estate 2011, cm.15x23,5, pp.XIV,(2),571,(3), 26 ill.in 8 tavv.in bn.ft., br., cop.fig. Bookseller Inventory # 216572
Book Description Scribner. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0007367481 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW6.2000025
Book Description Scribner, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0007367481