The Emperor of All Maladies (Paperback)
  • The Emperor of All Maladies (Paperback)

The Emperor of All Maladies (Paperback)

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Paperback 400 Pages / Published: 29/09/2011
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Winner of the Guardian First Book Award 2011

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Non-fiction 2011

Shortlisted for the Duff Cooper Prize 2011

Shortlisted for the Wellcome Trust Book Prize

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.

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
ISBN: 9780007250929
Number of pages: 400
Weight: 430 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 38 mm


`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 Statesman

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“A really interesting book”

I read a lot of "popular science" titles and I must admit that this kept me reading solidily for a week. It's a well written description of cancer and it's effects both on the patients and the... More

Paperback edition
24th February 2012
Helpful? Upvote 50

“The Emperor of All Maladies”

This book is perhaps the archetypal difficult pleasure: a biography of cancer; the human disease that strikes such resonanant fear into humans that sometimes it has not even been named. But it's more than worth... More

Paperback edition
21st October 2011
Helpful? Upvote 38

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