One of the most absorbing and empowering science histories to hit the shelves in recent years.

THE DEATH OF CANCER

AFTER FIFTY YEARS ON THE FRONT LINES OF MEDICINE, A PIONEERING ONCOLOGIST REVEALS WHY THE WAR ON CANCER IS WINNABLE—AND HOW WE CAN GET THERE

One of the world's most renowned and forward-thinking oncologists recounts 35 years of cancer research and tells us why we should be optimistic about the future.

In the last 20 years, cancer survival rates have skyrocketed thanks to the innovative researchers and physicians pioneering effective therapies. Leading this “war on cancer” is DeVita (Medicine and Epidemiology and Public Health/Yale School of Medicine), whose career credentials include stints as director of the National Cancer Institute, president of the American Cancer Society, and director of the Yale Cancer Center. Even more impressive: he developed a cure for Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the first true cure for any form of cancer and the first of many successes to come in the field of combination chemotherapy. In each chapter, the author deftly navigates the many nuances of cancer research and treatment using accessible language to describe exciting technological advances while also providing a gritty look at the uneasy relationship between government and science. On one hand, writes DeVita, programs like the NCI exist because of federal funding, and many of America’s cancer centers are among the best in the world. However, the author also delivers a no-holds-barred analysis of bureaucracy’s weakness: it remains challenging to get new treatments approved, even in an era in which many cancer drugs show incredible promise. DeVita reports on this and myriad other issues facing cancer doctors and the patients they care for, imbuing his superb science writing with an emotional back story—including his own cancer diagnosis—that enriches the joys and struggles he has faced in his long career. This book is also far more than a history: it’s a manifesto in which the author states plainly what needs to be done to eradicate the disease. In the meantime, he arms readers with behind-the-scenes details about where to seek treatment, insisting that we’ve arrived at “the beginning of the end” of the disease.

One of the most absorbing and empowering science histories to hit the shelves in recent years.

Pub Date: Nov. 3, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-374-13560-7

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Sarah Crichton/Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Aug. 9, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2015

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IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.

A LITTLE HISTORY OF POETRY

A light-speed tour of (mostly) Western poetry, from the 4,000-year-old Gilgamesh to the work of Australian poet Les Murray, who died in 2019.

In the latest entry in the publisher’s Little Histories series, Carey, an emeritus professor at Oxford whose books include What Good Are the Arts? and The Unexpected Professor: An Oxford Life in Books, offers a quick definition of poetry—“relates to language as music relates to noise. It is language made special”—before diving in to poetry’s vast history. In most chapters, the author deals with only a few writers, but as the narrative progresses, he finds himself forced to deal with far more than a handful. In his chapter on 20th-century political poets, for example, he talks about 14 writers in seven pages. Carey displays a determination to inform us about who the best poets were—and what their best poems were. The word “greatest” appears continually; Chaucer was “the greatest medieval English poet,” and Langston Hughes was “the greatest male poet” of the Harlem Renaissance. For readers who need a refresher—or suggestions for the nightstand—Carey provides the best-known names and the most celebrated poems, including Paradise Lost (about which the author has written extensively), “Kubla Khan,” “Ozymandias,” “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads, which “changed the course of English poetry.” Carey explains some poetic technique (Hopkins’ “sprung rhythm”) and pauses occasionally to provide autobiographical tidbits—e.g., John Masefield, who wrote the famous “Sea Fever,” “hated the sea.” We learn, as well, about the sexuality of some poets (Auden was bisexual), and, especially later on, Carey discusses the demons that drove some of them, Robert Lowell and Sylvia Plath among them. Refreshingly, he includes many women in the volume—all the way back to Sappho—and has especially kind words for Marianne Moore and Elizabeth Bishop, who share a chapter.

Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-300-23222-6

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Yale Univ.

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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