Cover image for Heart : a history
Heart : a history
Jauhar, Sandeep, 1968- author.
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2018.
Physical Description:
269 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
"For centuries, the human heart seemed beyond our understanding: an inscrutable shuddering mass that was the spark of life as well as somehow the driver of emotion and the seat of the soul. As the cardiologist and bestselling author Sandeep Jauhar shows in [this book], it was only recently that we demolished age-old taboos and developed the science to change the way we live. Deftly weaving together his own experiences with the defining discoveries of the past, Jauhar tells the colorful and little-known story of the doctors who risked their careers and the patients who risked their lives to know and heal this most vital organ. He introduces us to Daniel Hale Williams, the African-American doctor who performed the world's first heart surgery in 1890s Chicago. We meet C. Walton Lillehei, who connected a patient's circulatory system to a healthy donor's, paving the way for the heart-lung machine. And we encounter Wilson Greatbatch, who saved millions of lives by inventing the pacemaker--by accident. Jauhar skillfully braids these tales of breakthrough, hubris, and sorrow with moving accounts of his family's history of heart ailments and the patients he's treated over many years to create a lucid chronicle of the organ responsible for life, but also responsible for the most deaths around the globe. He also confronts the limits of medical technology, contending that future progress will depend more on how we choose to live than on the devices or procedures we invent. And he argues that paying more attention to the emotional states associated with the heart will be a key to living longer and better. Affecting, riveting, and beautifully written, Heart: A History takes the full measure of our life's most intimate enabler--the only organ that can move itself. "--Dust jacket.
General Note:
Includes index.
Part I: Metaphor. A small heart ; Prime mover -- Part II: Machine. Clutch ; Dynamo ; Pump ; Nut ; Stress fractures ; Pipes ; Wires ; Generator ; Replacement parts -- Part III: Mystery. Vulnerable heart ; A mother's heart ; Compensatory pause.
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