Medicine

All the Living and the Dead: From Embalmers to Executioners, an Exploration of the People Who Have Made Death Their Life's Work

All the Living and the Dead: From Embalmers to Executioners, an Exploration of the People Who Have Made Death Their Life's Work

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A deeply compelling exploration of the death industry and the people--morticians, detectives, crime scene cleaners, embalmers, executioners--who work in it and what led them there.

We are surrounded by death. It is in our news, our nursery rhymes, our true-crime podcasts. Yet from a young age, we are told that death is something to be feared. How are we supposed to know what we're so afraid of, when we are never given the chance to look?

Fueled by a childhood fascination with death, journalist Hayley Campbell searches for answers in the people who make a living by working with the dead. Along the way, she encounters mass fatality investigators, embalmers, and a former executioner who is responsible for ending sixty-two lives. She meets gravediggers who have already dug their own graves, visits a cryonics facility in Michigan, goes for late-night Chinese with a homicide detective, and questions a man whose job it is to make crime scenes disappear.

Through Campbell's incisive and candid interviews with these people who see death every day, she asks: Why would someone choose this kind of life? Does it change you as a person? And are we missing something vital by letting death remain hidden? A dazzling work of cultural criticism, All the Living and the Dead weaves together reportage with memoir, history, and philosophy, to offer readers a fascinating look into the psychology of Western death.

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And the Band Played On

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Upon it's first publication twenty years ago, And The Band Played on was quickly recognized as a masterpiece of investigative reporting. An international bestseller, a nominee for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and made into a critically acclaimed movie, Shilts' expose revealed why AIDS was allowed to spread unchecked during the early 80's while the most trusted institutions ignored or denied the threat. One of the few true modern classics, it changed and framed how AIDS was discussed in the following years. Now republished in a special 20th Anniversary edition, And the Band Played On remains one of the essential books of our time.
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Beautiful Journey : Finding Purpose Through Cancer

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In The Beautiful Journey, Andrea takes you on an emotional rollercoaster as she chronicles her journey through cancer. You'll laugh (yes, laugh), cry, and cheer her on as she battles to become victorious over this disease. Andrea shares her raw, honest experiences as she is forced to make heavy, life-saving decisions.

However, The Beautiful Journey is more than a story about cancer. Andrea includes many valuable lessons she learns as a result of facing this adversity, including:

- How to overcome fear

- How blessings can be found in adversity

- The difference between living a successful life vs. one of significance

- The importance of living...on purpose

- Finding the beauty in all things

- The importance of listening to your body

As you follow Andrea's story of how she claims victory over cancer, you'll be able to go on your own "beautiful journey" of self-discovery and awareness.

Black  Death:  A  Biological  Reappraisal

Black Death: A Biological Reappraisal

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1st American edition; dust jacket in protective cover; black cloth with gilt lettering on spine; binding tight; text clean and bright. VG+/VG+
CHOICE WORDS: WRITERS ON ABORT

CHOICE WORDS: WRITERS ON ABORT

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A landmark literary anthology of poems, stories, and essays, Choice Words collects essential voices that renew our courage in the struggle to defend reproductive rights. Twenty years in the making, the book spans continents and centuries. This collection magnifies the voices of people reclaiming the sole authorship of their abortion experiences. These essays, poems, and prose are a testament to the profound political power of defying shame.

Contributors include Ai, Amy Tan, Anne Sexton, Audre Lorde, Bobbie Louise Hawkins. Camonghne Felix, Carol Muske-Dukes, Diane di Prima, Dorothy Parker, Gloria Naylor, Gloria Steinem, Gwendolyn Brooks, Jean Rhys, Joyce Carol Oates, Judith Arcana, Kathy Acker, Langston Hughes, Leslie Marmon Silko, Lindy West, Lucille Clifton, Mahogany L. Browne, Margaret Atwood, Molly Peacock, Ntozake Shange, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Sharon Doubiago, Sharon Olds, Shirley Geok-lin Lim, Sholeh Wolpe, Ursula Le Guin, and Vi Khi Nao.

Dignity for Deeply Forgetful People: How Caregivers Can Meet the Challenges of Alzheimer's Disease

Dignity for Deeply Forgetful People: How Caregivers Can Meet the Challenges of Alzheimer's Disease

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For caregivers of deeply forgetful people: a book that combines new ethics guidelines with an innovative program on how to communicate and connect with people with Alzheimer's.

How do we approach a deeply forgetful loved one so as to notice and affirm their continuing self-identity? For three decades, Stephen G. Post has worked around the world encouraging caregivers to become more aware of--and find renewed hope in--surprising expressions of selfhood despite the challenges of cognitive decline.

In this book, Post offers new perspectives on the worth and dignity of people with Alzheimer's and related disorders despite the negative influence of hypercognitive values that place an ethically unacceptable emphasis on human dignity as based on linear rationality and strength of memory. This bias, Post argues, is responsible for the abusive exclusion of this population from our shared humanity. With vignettes and narratives, he argues for a deeper dignity grounded in consciousness, emotional presence, creativity, interdependence, music, and a self that is not gone but differently abled. Post covers key practical topics such as:

- understanding the experience of dementia
- noticing subtle expressions of continuing selfhood, including paradoxical lucidity
- perspectives on ethical quandaries from diagnosis to terminal care and everything in between, as gleaned from the voices of caregivers
- how to communicate optimally and use language effectively
- the value of art, poetry, symbols, personalized music, and nature in revealing self-identity
- the value of trained dementia companion dogs

At a time when medical advances to cure these conditions are still out of reach and the most recent drugs have shown limited effectiveness, Post argues that focusing discussion and resources on the relational dignity of these individuals and the respite needs of their caregivers is vital. Grounding ethics on the equal worth of all conscious human beings, he provides a cautionary perspective on preemptive assisted suicide based on cases that he has witnessed. He affirms vulnerability and interdependence as the core of the human condition and celebrates caregivers as advocates seeking social and economic justice in an American system where they and their loved ones receive only leftover scraps. Racially inclusive and grounded in diversity, Dignity for Deeply Forgetful People also includes a workshop appendix focused on communication and connection, A Caregiver Resilience Program, by Rev. Dr. Jade C. Angelica.

Dr. Mutter's Marvels : A True Tale of Intrigue and Innovation at the Dawn of Modern Medicine

Dr. Mutter's Marvels : A True Tale of Intrigue and Innovation at the Dawn of Modern Medicine

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A mesmerizing biography of the brilliant and eccentric medical innovator who revolutionized American surgery and founded the country's most famous museum of medical oddities

Imagine undergoing an operation without anesthesia, performed by a surgeon who refuses to sterilize his tools--or even wash his hands. This was the world of medicine when Thomas Dent Mütter began his trailblazing career as a plastic surgeon in Philadelphia during the mid-nineteenth century.

Although he died at just forty-eight, Mütter was an audacious medical innovator who pioneered the use of ether as anesthesia, the sterilization of surgical tools, and a compassion-based vision for helping the severely deformed, which clashed spectacularly with the sentiments of his time. Brilliant, outspoken, and brazenly handsome, Mütter was flamboyant in every aspect of his life. He wore pink silk suits to perform surgery, added an umlaut to his last name just because he could, and amassed an immense collection of medical oddities that would later form the basis of Philadelphia's renowned Mütter Museum.

Award-winning writer Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz vividly chronicles how Mütter's efforts helped establish Philadelphia as a global mecca for medical innovation--despite intense resistance from his numerous rivals. (Foremost among them: Charles D. Meigs, an influential obstetrician who loathed Mütter's "overly modern" medical opinions.) In the narrative spirit of The Devil in the White City, Dr. Mütter's Marvels interweaves an eye-opening portrait of nineteenth-century medicine with the riveting biography of a man once described as the "[P. T.] Barnum of the surgery room."

Empire of Pain

Empire of Pain

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR - A grand, devastating portrait of three generations of the Sackler family, famed for their philanthropy, whose fortune was built by Valium and whose reputation was destroyed by OxyContin. From the prize-winning and bestselling author of Say Nothing.

A real-life version of the HBO series Succession with a lethal sting in its tail...a masterful work of narrative reportage." - Laura Miller, Slate

The history of the Sackler dynasty is rife with drama--baroque personal lives; bitter disputes over estates; fistfights in boardrooms; glittering art collections; Machiavellian courtroom maneuvers; and the calculated use of money to burnish reputations and crush the less powerful. The Sackler name has adorned the walls of many storied institutions--Harvard, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Oxford, the Louvre. They are one of the richest families in the world, but the source of the family fortune was vague--until it emerged that the Sacklers were responsible for making and marketing a blockbuster painkiller that was the catalyst for the opioid crisis.

Empire of Pain is the saga of three generations of a single family and the mark they would leave on the world, a tale that moves from the bustling streets of early twentieth-century Brooklyn to the seaside palaces of Greenwich, Connecticut, and Cap d'Antibes to the corridors of power in Washington, D.C. It follows the family's early success with Valium to the much more potent OxyContin, marketed with a ruthless technique of co-opting doctors, influencing the FDA, downplaying the drug's addictiveness. Empire of Pain chronicles the multiple investigations of the Sacklers and their company, and the scorched-earth legal tactics that the family has used to evade accountability.

A masterpiece of narrative reporting, Empire of Pain is a ferociously compelling portrait of America's second Gilded Age, a study of impunity among the super-elite and a relentless investigation of the naked greed that built one of the world's great fortunes.

Facemaker: A Visionary Surgeon's Battle to Mend the Disfigured Soldiers of World War I (Pre-Order & Save 10%)

Facemaker: A Visionary Surgeon's Battle to Mend the Disfigured Soldiers of World War I (Pre-Order & Save 10%)

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A New York Times Bestseller

Enthralling. Harrowing. Heartbreaking. And utterly redemptive. Lindsey Fitzharris hit this one out of the park. --Erik Larson, author of The Splendid and the Vile


Lindsey Fitzharris, the award-winning author of The Butchering Art, presents the compelling, true story of a visionary surgeon who rebuilt the faces of the First World War's injured heroes, and in the process ushered in the modern era of plastic surgery.

From the moment the first machine gun rang out over the Western Front, one thing was clear: humankind's military technology had wildly surpassed its medical capabilities. Bodies were battered, gouged, hacked, and gassed. The First World War claimed millions of lives and left millions more wounded and disfigured. In the midst of this brutality, however, there were also those who strove to alleviate suffering. The Facemaker tells the extraordinary story of such an individual: the pioneering plastic surgeon Harold Gillies, who dedicated himself to reconstructing the burned and broken faces of the injured soldiers under his care.

Gillies, a Cambridge-educated New Zealander, became interested in the nascent field of plastic surgery after encountering the human wreckage on the front. Returning to Britain, he established one of the world's first hospitals dedicated entirely to facial reconstruction. There, Gillies assembled a unique group of practitioners whose task was to rebuild what had been torn apart, to re-create what had been destroyed. At a time when losing a limb made a soldier a hero, but losing a face made him a monster to a society largely intolerant of disfigurement, Gillies restored not just the faces of the wounded but also their spirits.

The Facemaker places Gillies's ingenious surgical innovations alongside the dramatic stories of soldiers whose lives were wrecked and repaired. The result is a vivid account of how medicine can be an art, and of what courage and imagination can accomplish in the presence of relentless horror.

Pre-Order Now!  Release date: June 7, 2022
A Peculiar Book Club selection - July 28, 2022

Kill Shot: A Shadow Industry, a Deadly Disease

Kill Shot: A Shadow Industry, a Deadly Disease

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Now in paperback. An award-winning investigative journalist's horrifying true crime story of America's deadliest drug contamination outbreak and the greed and deception that fueled it.

Two pharmacists sit in a Boston courtroom accused of murder. The weapon: the fungus Exserohilum rostratum. The death count: 100 and rising. Kill Shot is the story of their hubris and fraud, discovered by a team of medical detectives who raced against the clock to hunt the killers and the fungal meningitis they'd unleashed.

Bloodthirsty is how doctors described the fungal microbe that contaminated thousands of drug vials produced by the New England Compounding Center (NECC). Though NECC chief Barry Cadden called his company the Ferrari of Compounders, it was a slapdash operation of unqualified staff, mold-ridden lab surfaces, and hastily made medications that were injected into approximately 14,000 people. Once inside some of its human hosts, the fungus traveled through the tough tissue around the spine and wormed upward to the deep brain, our control center for balance, breath, and the vital motor functions of life.

Now, investigative journalist Jason Dearen turns a spotlight on this tragedy--the victims, the heroes, and the perpetrators--and the legal loopholes that allowed it to occur. Kill Shot forces a powerful but unchecked industry out of the shadows.