New Books Network

Jill A. Fisher, “Adverse Events: Race, Inequality, and the Testing of New Pharmaceuticals” (NYU Press, 2020)
Imagine that you volunteer for the clinical trial of an experimental drug. The only direct benefit of participating is that you will receive up to $5,175. You must spend twenty nights literally locked in a research facility. You will be told what to eat, when to eat, and when to... Read More
Danielle Giffort, “Acid Revival: The Psychedelic Renaissance and the Quest for Medical Legitimacy” (U Minnesota Press, 2020)
Psychedelic drugs are making a comeback. In the mid-twentieth century, scientists actively studied the potential of drugs like LSD and psilocybin for treating mental health problems. After a decades-long hiatus, researchers are once again testing how effective these drugs are in relieving symptoms for a wide variety of psychiatric conditions,... Read More
Stuart Ritchie, “Science Fictions: Exposing Fraud, Bias, Negligence, and Hype in Science” (Penguin Books, 2020)
So much relies on science. But what if science itself can’t be relied on? In Science Fictions: Exposing Fraud, Bias, Negligence, and Hype in Science (Penguin Books, 2020), Stuart Ritchie, a professor of psychology at King’s College London, lucidly explains how science works, and exposes the systemic issues that prevent the... Read More
Nicole Piemonte, “Afflicted: How Vulnerability Can Heal Medical Education and Practice” (MIT Press, 2018)
In Afflicted: How Vulnerability Can Heal Medical Education and Practice (The MIT Press), Nicole Piemonte examines the preoccupation in medicine with cure over care, arguing that the traditional focus on biological intervention keeps medicine from addressing the complex realities of patient suffering. Although many have pointed to the lack of... Read More
Donna Drucker, “Contraception: A Concise History” (The MIT Press, 2020)
The beginning of the modern contraceptive era began in 1882, when Dr. Aletta Jacobs opened the first birth control clinic in Amsterdam. The founding of this facility, and the clinical provision of contraception that it enabled, marked the moment when physicians started to take the prevention of pregnancy seriously as... Read More
Nathan Carlin, “Pastoral Aesthetics: A Theological Perspective on Principlist Bioethics” (Oxford UP, 2019)
It is often said that bioethics emerged from theology in the 1960s, and that since then it has grown into a secular enterprise, yielding to other disciplines and professions such as philosophy and law. During the 1970s and 1980s, a kind of secularism in biomedicine and related areas was encouraged... Read More
Mari K. Webel, “The Politics of Disease Control: Sleeping Sickness in Eastern Africa, 1890-1920” (Ohio UP, 2019)
In The Politics of Disease Control. Sleeping Sickness in Eastern Africa, 1890-1920 (Ohio University Press, 2019), Mari K. Webel tells a history of colonial interventions among three communities of the Great Lakes region of East Africa. At the dawn of the twentieth century, Eastern African societies faced a range of... Read More
Lesly-Marie Buer, “RX Appalachia: Stories of Treatment and Survival in Rural Kentucky” (Haymarket, 2020)
Using the narratives of women who use(d) drugs, this account challenges popular understandings of Appalachia spread by such pundits as JD Vance by documenting how women, families, and communities cope with generational systems of oppression. Prescription opioids are associated with rising rates of overdose deaths and hepatitis C and HIV... Read More
Olivia Weisser, “Ill Composed: Sickness, Gender, and Belief in Early Modern England” (Yale UP, 2015)
On this episode of New Books in History, Jana Byars talks with Olivia Weisser, Associate Professor of History at the University of Massachusetts – Boston, to talk about her 2015 Yale University Press release, Ill Composed: Sickness, Gender, and Belief in Early Modern England.  Olivia Weisser can be described as... Read More