100 Books That Defined the Decade
For good, for bad, for ugly.
Siddhartha Mukherjee, The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer (2010)
The art of medicine is long, Hippocrates tells us, “and life is short; opportunity fleeting; the experiment perilous; judgment flawed.”
Essential stats: Mukherjee’s groundbreaking work of history and science ran a cool 592 pages; it won the 2011 Pulitzer in General Nonfiction, the Guardian first book award, the inaugural PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award, and was a New York Times bestseller.
What’s a “biography” of cancer, anyway? In this riveting and influential book, Mukherjee traces the known history of our most feared ailment, from its earliest appearances over five thousand years ago to the wars still being waged by contemporary doctors, and all the confusion, success stories, and failures in between.
Genius power couple: Siddhartha Mukherjee and Sarah Sze.
The Pulitzer committee’s summary: “An elegant inquiry, at once clinical and personal, into the long history of an insidious disease that, despite treatment breakthroughs, still bedevils medical science.”
They even made it into a TV show:
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