by Barbara C. Canavan*

When The Emperor of All Maladies was published in late 2010, I knew it would be near the top of my stack of books to read. Since I am a PhD student in the History of Science and Medicine, reading a notable book on the history of cancer and its treatments is a must. Sadly, at the time of its publication, my mother had just died unexpectedly at age 82 of a disease for which she had never received a prior diagnosis: cancer, or acute myelogenous leukemia, to be exact. From diagnosis to death took a mere six days. So I hesitated to take this in-depth look at cancer, a disease that left my family and me stunned and grieving from such a sudden loss. I reasoned, however, that the approach of the book would be detached and scientific, perhaps similar to the tone of the academic tomes that I tackle each week. I began to read. (read the full review at Spontaneous Generations here)

*Barbara C. Canavan is pursuing a Ph.D. in History of Science at Oregon State University

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One thought on “Review: The Emperor of All Maladies

  1. Barb-
    Nice review, Barb. Many personal touches bring it up close and intimate, but still with a circumspect tone, especially at the end, when we, hoping for a positive note, read that
    “progress in treating cancer has been incremental.” Not a disease for the faint of heart… Good work, Barb. -Rick

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