Khan delivers a highly readable mixture of motivational manual and medical memoir.

UNLOCKING THE NATURAL-BORN LEADER'S ABILITIES

AN AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL EXPOSÉ

A leadership guide with an autobiographical foundation.

In his nonfiction debut, Pakistan-born physician Khan lays out his concept of “natural-born leaders”—people who are “optimistic, selfless, and do not seek external rewards or glory,” and instead seek “a sense of internal satisfaction and happiness.” According to the author, such people are “target-oriented, fully focused, self-confident, and intrinsically motivated to accomplish their tasks,” and the main goal of his book is to help his readers identify and enhance the natural-born leadership qualities inside themselves. Khan himself says that he “unlocked” his own leadership skills while working as an internist, pulmonologist, and chief of medicine in Saudi Arabia, but he says that he began the process in childhood, when he embraced responsibility and its rewards. The author takes readers through the various stages of his career in medicine, from residency to upper management, and draws lessons about self-confident leadership from a variety of trying circumstances—lessons that Khan asserts are crucial in the modern era, when the world is suffering from a “crisis when it comes to leadership.” Some of Khan’s points can seem muddled; for example, he appears to believe, as the book’s title implies, that the ability to be a natural-born leader is achievable by anyone, which seems to conflict with the idea of a “leadership crisis”; if everybody can be a natural-born leader, then the world should already be full of them. Fortunately, the quality of the other major narrative strand of Khan’s book—his personal experiences dealing with patients, fellow doctors, and supervisors over a career spanning half a century—more than compensates. Their behind-the-scenes glimpses of the medical world are consistently gripping, whether they demonstrate the “unlocking” of leadership traits or not.

Khan delivers a highly readable mixture of motivational manual and medical memoir.

Pub Date: July 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5245-9956-0

Page Count: 124

Publisher: Xlibris

Review Posted Online: Nov. 30, 2018

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Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and...

THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS

A dense, absorbing investigation into the medical community's exploitation of a dying woman and her family's struggle to salvage truth and dignity decades later.

In a well-paced, vibrant narrative, Popular Science contributor and Culture Dish blogger Skloot (Creative Writing/Univ. of Memphis) demonstrates that for every human cell put under a microscope, a complex life story is inexorably attached, to which doctors, researchers and laboratories have often been woefully insensitive and unaccountable. In 1951, Henrietta Lacks, an African-American mother of five, was diagnosed with what proved to be a fatal form of cervical cancer. At Johns Hopkins, the doctors harvested cells from her cervix without her permission and distributed them to labs around the globe, where they were multiplied and used for a diverse array of treatments. Known as HeLa cells, they became one of the world's most ubiquitous sources for medical research of everything from hormones, steroids and vitamins to gene mapping, in vitro fertilization, even the polio vaccine—all without the knowledge, must less consent, of the Lacks family. Skloot spent a decade interviewing every relative of Lacks she could find, excavating difficult memories and long-simmering outrage that had lay dormant since their loved one's sorrowful demise. Equal parts intimate biography and brutal clinical reportage, Skloot's graceful narrative adeptly navigates the wrenching Lack family recollections and the sobering, overarching realities of poverty and pre–civil-rights racism. The author's style is matched by a methodical scientific rigor and manifest expertise in the field.

Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and Petri dish politics.

Pub Date: Feb. 9, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4000-5217-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2010

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A wonderful page-turner written with humility, immediacy, and great style. Nothing came cheap and easy to McCandless, nor...

INTO THE WILD

The excruciating story of a young man on a quest for knowledge and experience, a search that eventually cooked his goose, told with the flair of a seasoned investigative reporter by Outside magazine contributing editor Krakauer (Eiger Dreams, 1990). 

Chris McCandless loved the road, the unadorned life, the Tolstoyan call to asceticism. After graduating college, he took off on another of his long destinationless journeys, this time cutting all contact with his family and changing his name to Alex Supertramp. He was a gent of strong opinions, and he shared them with those he met: "You must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life''; "be nomadic.'' Ultimately, in 1992, his terms got him into mortal trouble when he ran up against something—the Alaskan wild—that didn't give a hoot about Supertramp's worldview; his decomposed corpse was found 16 weeks after he entered the bush. Many people felt McCandless was just a hubris-laden jerk with a death wish (he had discarded his map before going into the wild and brought no food but a bag of rice). Krakauer thought not. Admitting an interest that bordered on obsession, he dug deep into McCandless's life. He found a willful, reckless, moody boyhood; an ugly little secret that sundered the relationship between father and son; a moral absolutism that agitated the young man's soul and drove him to extremes; but he was no more a nutcase than other pilgrims. Writing in supple, electric prose, Krakauer tries to make sense of McCandless (while scrupulously avoiding off-the-rack psychoanalysis): his risky behavior and the rites associated with it, his asceticism, his love of wide open spaces, the flights of his soul.

A wonderful page-turner written with humility, immediacy, and great style. Nothing came cheap and easy to McCandless, nor will it to readers of Krakauer's narrative. (4 maps) (First printing of 35,000; author tour)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-679-42850-X

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Villard

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1995

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