Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: Book Review

  • Book review: The Black Angels: The Untold Story of the Nurses Who Helped Cure Tuberculosis

    Howard FischerUppsala, Sweden “Well, son, I’ll tell you:Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.”– Langston Hughes, “Mother to Son” At the start of the twentieth century, Dr. Hermann Biggs, chief of the New York City Department of Health, declared that tuberculosis (TB) was a reportable communicable disease. The city would be able to count…

  • Book review: Meeting the Challenge: Top Women in Science

    Arpan K. BanerjeeSolihull, United Kingdom Women have long faced difficulties in acceptance to scientific fields. Science today remains male-dominated, but there are more examples of brilliant female scientists who have broken through the so-called glass ceiling. In her preface to Meeting the Challenge, Magdolna Hargittai illustrates this point with the 2020 Chemistry Nobel Prize winners,…

  • Book review: Life Unseen: A Story of Blindness

    Arpan K. BanerjeeSolihull, United Kingdom In her new book, Selina Mills, an award-winning journalist who is legally blind, takes us on a journey through the cultural history of visual impairment and blindness. It is both informative and empowering, weaving together research and the author’s personal experience. Throughout time, loss of sight has been associated with…

  • Book review: Sir Thomas Browne: The Opium of Time

    Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, UK   Cover of Sir Thomas Browne: The Opium of Time by Gavin Francis Sir William Osler was a great admirer of Sir Thomas Browne’s 1643 Religio Medici, one of his favorite books and on his recommended reading list for medical men. Browne influenced many writers, such as Samuel Johnson, WG…

  • Book review: The Story of the Brain in 10 1/2 Cells

    Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, United Kingdom   Cover of The Story of the Brain in 10 1/2 Cells by Richard Wingate The brain is arguably the most complex organ in the human body, containing more than 100 billion neurons. In this new book, neuroscientist Richard Wingate sets out to describe different types of brain cells,…

  • Book review: Pathogenesis: How Germs Made History

    Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, UK   Cover of Pathogenesis: How Germs Made History by Jonathan Kennedy I do not use superlatives lightly, but this is an extraordinary book. It is ambitious in scope and seeks to describe the progress of humanity from earliest times with an emphasis on the role of infectious diseases in our…

  • Book review: Pandemic Obsession: How They Feature in our Popular Culture

    Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, UK   Cover of Pandemic Obsession: How They Feature in Our Popular Culture by Stephen Basdeo. Following the worldwide COVID pandemic, there has been a plethora of books published on the theme of epidemics and pandemics. Readers may be forgiven if they feel they are now suffering from literary pandemic fatigue.…

  • Book review: A History of Insanity and the Asylum

    Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, UK   Cover of A History of Insanity and the Asylum by Juliana Cummings. Mental health topics have long been a source of fascination. In this new book, author Juliana Cummings explores the history of insanity and asylums from the Middle Ages to the modern era, revealing the sometimes-shocking treatment of…

  • Book review: The Soul of Medicine: Tales from the Bedside

    Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   “Life is short, and the art long; the occasion fleeting, experience fallacious, and judgment difficult.” – Hippocrates   Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash. The Soul of Medicine is a slender (200-page) book by surgeon-author Sherwin B. Nuland. It contains twenty-one essays, each one based on a “tale” told…

  • Book review: The Oxford Handbook of Science and Medicine in the Classical World

    Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, UK   Cover of The Oxford Handbook of Science and Medicine in the Classical World, edited by PT Keyser and J Scarborough. Classical antiquity has long been a subject of human fascination. The time period covered in this book ranges from around 1000 BCE to 650 CE. The editors have produced…