The Emperor of All Maladies: Book summary and reviews of The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee

The Emperor of All Maladies

A Biography of Cancer

By Siddhartha Mukherjee

The Emperor of All Maladies
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  • Published in USA  Nov 2010,
    592 pages.

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Book Summary

The Emperor of All Maladies is a magnificently written "biography" of cancer - from its origins to the epic battle to cure, control, and conquer it.

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Book Awards

  • award image Pulitzer Prize for Letters, Drama and Music, 2011

Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Mukherjee's formidable intelligence and compassion produce a stunning account of the effort to disrobe the 'emperor of maladies.'" - Publishers Weekly

"With this riveting and moving book, Siddhartha Mukherjee joins the first rank of those rare doctor-authors who can wield a pen as gracefully as a scalpel: Jerome Groopman, Atul Gawande, Richard Selzer. A magisterial, wise, and deeply human piece of writing." - Adam Hochschild, author of King Leopold's Ghost and Bury the Chains

"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 can not just talk about their profession but write about it." - Tony Judt, author of Postwar and Ill Fares the Land

"The Emperor of All Maladies beautifully describes the nature of cancer from a patient's perspective and how basic research has opened the door to understanding this disease." - Bert Vogelstein, Director, Ludwig Center at Johns Hopkins University

"A labor of love … as comprehensive as possible." - George Canellos, M.D., William Rosenberg Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

"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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Rated 4 of 5 of 5 by avid
everything cancer history
This is a very palatable way to learn about cancer. The book covers the history of its diagnosis and treatment, in all its many forms, and efforts that currently exist to identify and treat modern cancers. About 80 of this book is in layman's terms, and several specific cases are included to humanize the information. It does not admonish or instruct, but rather provides useful knowledge about the disease and potential cures and treatments. Read it if you want to learn what cancer is/does and how it's currently being treated. Knowledge is power, right?

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Siddhartha Mukherjee is a cancer physician and researcher. He is an assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University and a staff cancer physician at the CU/NYU Presbytarian Hospital.  A Rhodes scholar, he graduated from Stanford University, University of Oxford, Harvard Medical School. He has published articles in Nature, The New England Journal of MedicineThe New York Times, and The New Republic. He lives in New York with his wife and daughters.

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