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Extended Audio Sample The Cancer Chronicles: Unlocking Medicine’s Deepest Mystery, by George Johnson Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: George Johnson Narrator: Arthur Morey Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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When the woman he loved was diagnosed with a metastatic cancer, science writer George Johnson embarked on a journey to learn everything he could about the disease and the people who dedicate their lives to understanding and combating it. What he discovered is a revolution under way—an explosion of new ideas about what cancer really is and where it comes from. In a provocative and intellectually vibrant exploration, he takes us on an adventure through the history and recent advances of cancer research that will challenge everything you thought you knew about the disease.

Deftly excavating and illuminating decades of investigation and analysis, he reveals what we know and don’t know about cancer, showing why a cure remains such a slippery concept. Johnson combs through the realms of epidemiology, clinical trials, laboratory experiments, and scientific hypotheses—rooted in every discipline from evolutionary biology to game theory and physics. Cogently extracting fact from a towering canon of myth and hype, he describes tumors that evolve like alien creatures inside the body, paleo-oncologists who uncover petrified tumors clinging to the skeletons of dinosaurs and ancient human ancestors, and the surprising reversals in science’s comprehension of the causes of cancer, with the foods we eat and environmental toxins playing a lesser role.

Throughout his pursuit, Johnson clarifies the human experience of cancer with elegiac grace, bearing witness to the punishing gauntlet of consultations, surgeries, targeted therapies, and other treatments. He finds compassion, solace, and community among a vast network of patients and professionals committed to the fight and wrestles to comprehend the cruel randomness cancer metes out in his own family. For anyone whose life has been affected by cancer, this book provides a new understanding. The Cancer Chronicles is endlessly surprising and as radiant in its prose as it is authoritative in its eye-opening science.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “This elegant and insightful chronicle is at once intensely personal and meticulously studious…This is extraordinary scholarship delivered with an intimate poignancy.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “A thorough and nuanced presentation of the state of (cancer) science, refreshing in its honest appraisal that the war is far from over.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Cancer touches every family on the planet. For those who want to gain some serious insights into the subject, this book is a great place to start.”

    Paul Davies, principal investigator, Center for Convergence of Physical Science and Cancer Biology

  • “Everyone who is concerned about cancer—that is, every thinking adult—should read The Cancer Chronicles.” 

    Charles C. Mann, New York Times bestselling author of 1493

  • The Cancer Chronicles is a rich and sweeping exploration of the history, prehistory, and future of cancer, all anchored in harrowing personal experience…Completely accessible to the lay reader, this is a book for anyone whose life has been touched by cancer, which is just about everyone.” 

    Barbara Ehrenreich, New York Times bestselling author of Nickel and Dimed

  • One of the New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books of 2013
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