New Books In Medicine

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Interviews with Scholars of Medicine about their New Book


  • B. Earp and J. Savulescu, Love Drugs: The Chemical Future of Relationships (Stanford UP, 2020) )

    B. Earp and J. Savulescu, "Love Drugs: The Chemical Future of Relationships" (Stanford UP, 2020) )

    11/05/2020 Duration: 01h11min

    Consider a couple with an infant (or two) whose lives have become so harried and difficult the marriage is falling apart. Would it be ethical for them to take oxytocin to help them renew their emotional bonds, or would this be an unethical evasion of the hard work that keeping a marriage going requires? What if someone has sexual desires that they consider immoral – should they be able to take a drug to suppress those desires, or alternatively can society force them to? Debates about the ethics of using drugs for enhancement rather than treatment usually focus on the individual, such as doping in sports. In Love Drugs: The Chemical Future of Relationships (Stanford University Press, 2020), Brian Earp and Julian Savulescu consider the case for using drugs to alter our love relationships. Earp, who is Associate Director of the Yale-Hastings Program in Ethics and and Health Policy at Yale University, and Savulescu, the Uehiro Chair in Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford, note that drugs that alter sexua

  • Howard Friedman, Ultimate Price: The Value We Place on Life (U California Press, 2020)

    Howard Friedman, "Ultimate Price: The Value We Place on Life" (U California Press, 2020)

    30/04/2020 Duration: 46min

    Howard Friedman's new book Ultimate Price: The Value We Place on Life (University of California Press, 2020) should be required reading for anyone sitting down to watch the evening news. The Covid-19 crisis is, unfortunately, a new broad-based instance in the valuation of human life. And I do mean value: in terms of cash dollars. Ultimate Price covers the ways that companies, courts, nations, and individuals have come to put a price tag on individual existence. While the book was written prior to the current situation, it provides an excellent starting point to understand what we are observing as governments, companies, healthcare providers, and individuals make life-and-death decisions. Daniel Peris is Senior Vice President at Federated Investors in Pittsburgh. Trained as a historian of modern Russia, he is the author most recently of Getting Back to Business: Why Modern Portfolio Theory Fails Investors. You can follow him on Twitter @HistoryInvestor or at Learn more

  • Leslie M. Harris, Slavery and the University: Histories and Legacies (U Georgia Press, 2019)

    Leslie M. Harris, "Slavery and the University: Histories and Legacies" (U Georgia Press, 2019)

    28/04/2020 Duration: 59min

    Slavery and the University: Histories and Legacies (University of Georgia Press, 2019), edited by Leslie M. Harris, James T. Campbell, and Alfred L. Brophy, is the first edited collection of scholarly essays devoted solely to the histories and legacies of this subject on North American campuses and in their Atlantic contexts. Gathering together contributions from scholars, activists, and administrators, the volume combines two broad bodies of work: (1) historically based interdisciplinary research on the presence of slavery at higher education institutions in terms of the development of proslavery and antislavery thought and the use of slave labor; and (2) analysis on the ways in which the legacies of slavery in institutions of higher education continued in the post–Civil War era to the present day. The collection features broadly themed essays on issues of religion, economy, and the regional slave trade of the Caribbean. It also includes case studies of slavery’s influence on specific institutions, such as P

  • Rachel Kauder Nalebuff, Stages: On Dying, Working, and Feeling (Thick Press, 2020)

    Rachel Kauder Nalebuff, "Stages: On Dying, Working, and Feeling" (Thick Press, 2020)

    23/04/2020 Duration: 51min

    Can care be enacted through art? Inside a cathedral, staff members from a nursing home work with an artist to perform a poetic text about caregiving, loss, and taking the time to feel one’s feelings. In the months leading up to the performance, the artist navigates her twenties—and art and life converge in unexpected ways. In Stages: On Dying, Working, and Feeling (Thick Press, 2020), Rachel Kauder Nalebuff has created a stirring work of hybrid nonfiction that takes us behind the scenes of artmaking and caregiving. Melding curiosity, humility, playfulness, and self-deprecation, Stages is an inquiry into the work it takes to sustain a meaningful life. Rachel Kauder Nalebuff is a writer working often in the realms of performance and oral history. She is editor of My Little Red Book (Hachette, 2009), a collection of people’s first period stories, and co-editor of The Feminist Utopia Project (Feminist Press, 2015) with Alexandra Brodsky. She runs a mentor program for seniors with Caitlin Ryan O’Connell and many f

  • Lloyd B. Minor, Discovering Precision Health (Wiley-Blackwell, 2020)

    Lloyd B. Minor, "Discovering Precision Health" (Wiley-Blackwell, 2020)

    22/04/2020 Duration: 58min

    Today's guest is scientist, surgeon, and dean of the Stanford University School of Medicine, Dr. Lloyd B. Minor. Previously he served as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at The Johns Hopkins University. With more than 140 published articles and chapters, Dr. Minor is an expert in balance and inner ear disorders. Our conversation covers innovative progress underway in replacing reactive medicine with precision and prevention. His new book, Discovering Precision Health: Predict, Prevent, and Cure to Advance Health and Well-Being (Wiley-Blackwell, 2020), takes us through this exciting and cutting edge work taking place at Stanford, and in Silicon Valley. Colin Miller and Dr. Keith Mankin host the popular medical podcast, PeerSpectrum. Colin works in the medical device space and Keith is a retired pediatric orthopedic surgeon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

  • Richard G. Tedeschi, Posttraumatic Growth: Theory, Research and Applications (Routledge, 2018)

    Richard G. Tedeschi, "Posttraumatic Growth: Theory, Research and Applications" (Routledge, 2018)

    21/04/2020 Duration: 01h26s

    During this global pandemic, many of us will experience trauma, which the authors define as a severely stressful life-altering event. A traumatic event is like an earthquake, shattering an individual’s coherent world-view the way an earthquake can shatter the foundations of buildings. A traumatic event is undesirable in the extreme and significant enough to challenge “the basic assumptions about one’s future and how to move toward that future…such as the loss of loved ones, of cherished roles or capabilities, or of fundamental, accepted ways of understanding life.” Posttraumatic Growth: Theory, Research and Applications (Routledge, 2018), Richard G. Tedeschi and his colleagues (Jane Shakespeare-Finch, Kanako Taku and Lawrence G. Calhoun rework and overhaul the seminal 2006 Handbook of Posttraumatic Growth. It provides a wide range of answers to questions concerning knowledge of posttraumatic growth (PTG) theory, its synthesis and contrast with other theories and models, and its applications in diverse setting

  • Baptiste Brossard, Forgetting Items: The Social Experience of Alzheimer’s Disease (Indiana UP, 2019)

    Baptiste Brossard, "Forgetting Items: The Social Experience of Alzheimer’s Disease" (Indiana UP, 2019)

    20/04/2020 Duration: 51min

    Alzheimer's disease has not only profound medical consequences for the individual experiencing it but a life-changing impact on those around them. From the moment a person is suspected to be suffering from Alzheimer's or another form of dementia, the interactions they encounter progressively change. Baptiste Brossard's new book Forgetting Items: The Social Experience of Alzheimer’s Disease (Indiana University Press, 2019) focuses on that social experience of Alzheimer's, delineating the ways disease symptoms manifest and are understood through the interactions between patients and the people around them. Mapping out those interactions takes readers through the offices of geriatricians, into patients' narratives and interviews with caregivers, down the corridors of nursing homes, and into the discourses shaping public policies and media coverage. Revealing the everyday experience of Alzheimer's helps us better understand the depth of its impact and points us toward more knowledgeable, holistic ways to help tre

  • Carlo Caduff, The Pandemic Perhaps: Dramatic Events in a Public Culture of Danger (U California Press, 2015)

    Carlo Caduff, "The Pandemic Perhaps: Dramatic Events in a Public Culture of Danger" (U California Press, 2015)

    16/04/2020 Duration: 49min

    Carlo Caduff’s The Pandemic Perhaps: Dramatic Events in a Public Culture of Danger (University of California Press, 2015) is an ethnographic inquiry into pandemic anxieties in the mid-2000s when such an event was widely anticipated by experts. Examining how experts in the United States framed a catastrophe that has not happened yet, the book trains a lens on the many generative ways in which the absence of a disease made preparedness a permanent project. Drawing on fieldwork among scientists and public health professionals in New York City, the book investigates how experts, government actors and institutions co-produced pandemic prophecies that were made meaningful to communities on the ground through the framework of catastrophe. Centered on the question how to engage a disease such as influenza in anticipation of potential crisis, this monograph analyses the infelicities of failure and the limits of planning. The pandemic - past, present and future – is arguably always with us, even in its absence. In this

  • Sara E. Davies, Containing Contagion: The Politics of Disease Outbreaks in Southeast Asia (Johns Hopkins UP, 2019)

    Sara E. Davies, "Containing Contagion: The Politics of Disease Outbreaks in Southeast Asia" (Johns Hopkins UP, 2019)

    15/04/2020 Duration: 49min

    At the start of 2020 few of us would have recognized the face of the current director general of the World Health Organization. Three months later, and in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic he and other senior WHO officials appear on television and online almost daily, exhorting governments around the world to take urgent measures to stop the spread of the virus, advising them on how to do so, and coordinating efforts. To these exhortations governments in Southeast Asia, like their counterparts elsewhere, have a duty to respond. This duty they owe not only to their citizens and neighbours, but also to the international community of states, via a special regulatory regime that has emerged in part out of experiences fighting recent contagions in East and Southeast Asia. In Containing Contagion: The Politics of Disease Outbreaks in Southeast Asia (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019), Sara E. Davies explains how and why a duty to contain contagion at the source or within borders became central to the contemp

  • Travis Lupick, Fighting for Space: How a Group of Drug Users Transformed One City’s Struggle with Addiction (Arsenal, 2108)

    Travis Lupick, "Fighting for Space: How a Group of Drug Users Transformed One City’s Struggle with Addiction" (Arsenal, 2108)

    08/04/2020 Duration: 53min

    North America is in the grips of a drug epidemic; with the introduction of fentanyl, the chances of a fatal overdose are greater than ever, prompting many to rethink the war on drugs. Public opinion has slowly begun to turn against prohibition, and policy-makers are finally beginning to look at addiction as a health issue as opposed to one for the criminal justice system. While deaths across the continent continue to climb, In Fighting for Space: How a Group of Drug Users Transformed One City’s Struggle with Addiction (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2018), Travis Lupick explains the concept of harm reduction as a crucial component of a city’s response to the drug crisis. It tells the story of a grassroots group of addicts in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside who waged a political street fight for two decades to transform how the city treats its most marginalized citizens. Over the past twenty-five years, this group of residents from Canada's poorest neighborhood organized themselves in response to the growing number of over

  • George Scialabba, How To Be Depressed (U Penn Press, 2020)

    George Scialabba, "How To Be Depressed" (U Penn Press, 2020)

    08/04/2020 Duration: 35min

    George Scialabba is a prolific critic and essayist known for his incisive, wide-ranging commentary on literature, philosophy, religion, and politics. He is also, like millions of others, a lifelong sufferer from clinical depression. In How To Be Depressed (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2020), Scialabba presents an edited selection of his mental health records spanning decades of treatment, framed by an introduction and an interview with renowned podcaster Christopher Lydon. The book also includes a wry and ruminative collection of "tips for the depressed," organized into something like a glossary of terms—among which are the names of numerous medications he has tried or researched over the years. Together, these texts form an unusual, searching, and poignant hybrid of essay and memoir, inviting readers into the hospital and the therapy office as Scialabba and his caregivers try to make sense of this baffling disease. In Scialabba's view, clinical depression amounts to an "utter waste." Unlike heart surger

  • Ray Dorsey, Ending Parkinsons Disease: A Prescription for Action (Public Affairs, 2020)

    Ray Dorsey, "Ending Parkinson's Disease: A Prescription for Action" (Public Affairs, 2020)

    06/04/2020 Duration: 42min

    Brain diseases are now the world's leading source of disability. The fastest growing of these is Parkinson's: the number of impacted patients has doubled to more than six million over the last twenty-five years and is projected to double again by 2040. Harmful pesticides that increase the risk of Parkinson's continue to proliferate, many people remain undiagnosed and untreated, research funding stagnates, and the most effective treatment is now a half century old. In Ending Parkinson's Disease: A Prescription for Action (Public Affairs, 2020), Ray Dorsey MD, Todd Sherer PhD, Michael S. Okun MD, and Bastiaan R. Bloem MD PhD provide a plan to help prevent Parkinson's, improve care and treatment, and end the silence associated with this devastating disease. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

  • Owen Whooley, On the Heels of Ignorance: Psychiatry and the Politics of Not Knowing (U Chicago Press, 2019)

    Owen Whooley, "On the Heels of Ignorance: Psychiatry and the Politics of Not Knowing" (U Chicago Press, 2019)

    03/04/2020 Duration: 01h02min

    Psychiatry has always aimed to peer deep into the human mind, daring to cast light on its darkest corners and untangle its thorniest knots, often invoking the latest medical science in doing so. But, as Owen Whooley’s sweeping new book tells us, peering deep into the human mind is, well, really hard. On the Heels of Ignorance: Psychiatry and the Politics of Not Knowing (University Chicago Press, 2019) begins with psychiatry’s formal inception in the United States in the 1840s and moves through two centuries of constant struggle simply to define and redefine mental illness, to say nothing of the best way to treat it. Whooley’s book is no anti-psychiatric screed, however; instead, he reveals a field that has muddled through periodic reinventions and conflicting agendas of curiosity, compassion, and professional striving. On the Heels of Ignorance draws from intellectual history and the sociology of professions to portray an ongoing human effort to make sense of complex mental phenomena using an imperfect set of

  • Matt Cook, Sleight of Mind: 75 Ingenious Paradoxes in Mathematics, Physics, and Philosophy (MIT Press, 2020)

    Matt Cook, "Sleight of Mind: 75 Ingenious Paradoxes in Mathematics, Physics, and Philosophy" (MIT Press, 2020)

    30/03/2020 Duration: 54min

    Paradox is a sophisticated kind of magic trick. A magician's purpose is to create the appearance of impossibility, to pull a rabbit from an empty hat. Yet paradox doesn't require tangibles, like rabbits or hats. Paradox works in the abstract, with words and concepts and symbols, to create the illusion of contradiction. There are no contradictions in reality, but there can appear to be. In Sleight of Mind: 75 Ingenious Paradoxes in Mathematics, Physics, and Philosophy (MIT Press, 2020), Matt Cook and a few collaborators dive deeply into more than 75 paradoxes in mathematics, physics, philosophy, and the social sciences. As each paradox is discussed and resolved, Cook helps readers discover the meaning of knowledge and the proper formation of concepts―and how reason can dispel the illusion of contradiction. The journey begins with “a most ingenious paradox” from Gilbert and Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance. Readers will then travel from Ancient Greece to cutting-edge laboratories, encounter infinity and its diffe

  • Baptiste Brossard, Why do We Hurt Ourselves? Understanding Self-Harm in Social Life (Indiana UP, 2018)

    Baptiste Brossard, "Why do We Hurt Ourselves? Understanding Self-Harm in Social Life" (Indiana UP, 2018)

    30/03/2020 Duration: 50min

    Why does an estimated 5% of the general population intentionally and repeatedly hurt themselves? What are the reasons certain people resort to self-injury as a way to manage their daily lives? In Why do We Hurt Ourselves? Understanding Self-Harm in Social Life (Indiana University Press, 2018), sociologist Baptiste Brossard draws on a five-year survey of self-injurers and suggests that the answers can be traced to social, more than personal, causes. Self-injury is not a matter of disturbed individuals resorting to hurting themselves in the face of individual weaknesses and difficulties. Rather, self-injury is the reaction of individuals to the tensions that compose, day after day, the tumultuousness of their social life and position. Self-harm is a practice that people use to self-control and maintain order—to calm down, or to avoid "going haywire" or "breaking everything." More broadly, through this research Brossard works to develop a perspective on the contemporary social world at large, exploring quests fo

  • Melissa Kravetz, Women Doctors in Weimar and Nazi Germany: Maternalism, Eugenics and Professional Identity (U Toronto Press, 2019)

    Melissa Kravetz, "Women Doctors in Weimar and Nazi Germany: Maternalism, Eugenics and Professional Identity" (U Toronto Press, 2019)

    17/03/2020 Duration: 01h20s

    In her new book, Women Doctors in Weimar and Nazi Germany: Maternalism, Eugenics and Professional Identity (University of Toronto Press, 2019), Melissa Kravetz examines how German women physicians gained a foothold in the medical profession during the Weimar and Nazi periods, Women Doctors in Weimar and Nazi Germany reveals the continuity in rhetoric, strategy, and tactics of female doctors who worked under both regimes. Additionally, she explains how and why women occupied particular fields within the medical profession, how they presented themselves in their professional writing, and how they reconciled their medical perspectives with their views of the Weimar and later the Nazi state. Melissa Kravetz is an assistant professor of history at Longwood University. Craig Sorvillo is a PhD candidate in modern European history at the University of Florida. He specializes in Nazi Germany, and the Holocaust. He can be reached at or on twitter @craig_sorvillo. Learn more about your ad choice

  • Travis Bell et al., CTE, Media, and the NFL: Framing a Public Health Crisis as a Football Epidemic (Lexington, 2019)

    Travis Bell et al., "CTE, Media, and the NFL: Framing a Public Health Crisis as a Football Epidemic" (Lexington, 2019)

    16/03/2020 Duration: 59min

    Today we are joined by Travis Bell, Janelle Applequist, and Christian Dotson-Pierson to discuss their new book CTE, Media, and the NFL: Framing a Public Health Crisis as a Football Epidemic (Lexington Books, 2019). In our conversation, we discussed public misconceptions about Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, the media’s problematic connection of CTE with the NFL and concussions, and the league’s efforts to produce alternative histories of CTE. In CTE, Media, and the NFL, Bell, Applequist and Dotson-Pierson use media theory to unpack reporting on CTE. They explain the long history of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, beginning with punch-drunk diagnosis among interwar boxers to the first female brain with confirmed CTE from a victim of domestic violence. Through a close reading of over seven hundred articles from six American newspapers, painstakingly coded for dozens of variables, they show how the media wrote about it. In these stories football plays a specific role in shaping American notions of masculinit

  • Tania Jenkins, Doctors’ Orders: The Making of Status Hierarchies in an Elite Profession (Columbia UP, 2020)

    Tania Jenkins, "Doctors’ Orders: The Making of Status Hierarchies in an Elite Profession" (Columbia UP, 2020)

    16/03/2020 Duration: 51min

    In her new book, Doctors’ Orders: The Making of Status Hierarchies in an Elite Profession (Columbia University Press, 2020), Dr. Tania Jenkins engages readers in readers in a ethnography where she spent years observing and interviewing American, international, and osteopathic medical residents in two hospitals to reveal the unspoken mechanisms that are taken for granted and that lead to hierarchies among supposed equals. She found that the United States does not need formal policies to prioritize American-trained MDs. By relying on a system of informal beliefs and practices that equate status with merit and eclipse structural disadvantages, the profession convinces international and osteopathic graduates to participate in a system that subordinates them to American-trained MDs. Offering a rare ethnographic look at the inner workings of an elite profession, Doctors’ Orders sheds new light on the formation of informal status hierarchies and their significance for both doctors and patients. This social separatio

  • Josh Seim, Bandage, Sort, and Hustle: Ambulance Crews on the Front Lines of Urban Suffering (U California Press, 2020)

    Josh Seim, "Bandage, Sort, and Hustle: Ambulance Crews on the Front Lines of Urban Suffering" (U California Press, 2020)

    13/03/2020 Duration: 01h01min

    What is the role of the ambulance in the American city? The prevailing narrative provides a rather simple answer: saving and transporting the critically ill and injured. This is not an incorrect description, but it is incomplete. Drawing on field observations, medical records, and his own experience as a novice emergency medical technician, sociologist Dr. Josh Seim reimagines paramedicine as a frontline institution for governing urban suffering. Bandage, Sort, and Hustle: Ambulance Crews on the Front Lines of Urban Suffering (University of California Press, 2020) argues that the ambulance is part of a fragmented regime that is focused more on neutralizing hardships (which are disproportionately carried by poor people and people of color) than on eradicating the root causes of agony. Whether by compressing lifeless chests on the streets or by transporting the publicly intoxicated into the hospital, ambulance crews tend to handle suffering bodies near the bottom of the polarized metropolis. Dr. Seim illustrate

  • Sandro Galea, Well: What We Need to Talk About When We Talk About Health (Oxford UP, 2019)

    Sandro Galea, "Well: What We Need to Talk About When We Talk About Health" (Oxford UP, 2019)

    10/03/2020 Duration: 26min

    In Well: What We Need to Talk About When We Talk About Health (Oxford University Press, 2019), physician Sandro Galea examines what Americans miss when they fixate on healthcare: health. Americans spend more money on health than people anywhere else in the world. And what do they get for it? Statistically, not much. Americans today live shorter, less healthy lives than citizens of other rich countries, and these trends show no signs of letting up. The problem, Sandro Galea argues, is that Americans focus on the wrong things when they think about health. Our national understanding of what constitutes "being well" is centered on medicine — the lifestyles we adopt to stay healthy, and the insurance plans and prescriptions we fall back on when we're not. While all these things are important, they've not proven to be the difference between healthy and unhealthy on the large scale. Well is a radical examination of the subtle and not-so-subtle factors that determine who gets to be healthy in America. Galea shows how

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