The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer

Siddhartha Mukherjee, Scribner, $30 (592p) ISBN 978-1-4391-0795-9
Mukherjee's debut book is a sweeping epic of obsession, brilliant researchers, dramatic new treatments, euphoric success and tragic failure, and the relentless battle by scientists and patients alike against an equally relentless, wily, and elusive enemy. From the first chemotherapy developed from textile dyes to the possibilities emerging from our understanding of cancer cells, Mukherjee shapes a massive amount of history into a coherent story with a roller-coaster trajectory: the discovery of a new treatment—surgery, radiation, chemotherapy—followed by the notion that if a little is good, more must be better, ending in disfiguring radical mastectomy and multidrug chemo so toxic the treatment ended up being almost worse than the disease. The first part of the book is driven by the obsession of Sidney Farber and philanthropist Mary Lasker to find a unitary cure for all cancers. (Farber developed the first successful chemotherapy for childhood leukemia.) The last and most exciting part is driven by the race of brilliant, maverick scientists to understand how cells become cancerous. Each new discovery was small, but as Mukherjee, a Columbia professor of medicine, writes, "Incremental advances can add up to transformative changes." Mukherjee's formidable intelligence and compassion produce a stunning account of the effort to disrobe the "emperor of maladies." (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/27/2010
Release date: 11/01/2010
Show other formats
Hardcover - 400 pages - 978-0-00-744787-9
Hardcover - 571 pages - 978-1-4391-0795-9
Paperback - 978-1-4391-9570-3
Paperback - 496 pages - 978-957-13-5567-2
Paperback - 571 pages - 978-0-00-725092-9
Hardcover - 571 pages - 978-0-00-725091-2
Paperback - 573 pages
Compact Disc - 978-1-4001-4917-9
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-61707-019-8
MP3 CD - 978-1-4001-6917-7
Compact Disc - 978-1-4001-1917-2
Hardcover - 873 pages - 978-1-4104-4715-9
Hardcover - 400 pages - 978-0-00-736748-1
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address


Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.