New Books Network

Paul Offit, “Overkill: When Modern Medicine Goes Too Far” (HarperCollins, 2020)
Why Do Unnecessary and Often Counter-Productive Medical Interventions Happen So Often? Today I talked to Paul Offit about his book Overkill: When Modern Medicine Goes Too Far (HarperCollins, 2020) Offit is a professor of pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania and the director of the Vaccine Education Center at the... Read More
Nicole Hassoun, “Global Health Impact: Expanding Access to Essential Medicines” (Oxford UP, 2020)
Every year nine million people are diagnosed with tuberculosis, every day over 13,400 people are infected with AIDs, and every thirty seconds malaria kills a child. For most of the world, critical medications that treat these deadly diseases are scarce, costly, and growing obsolete, as access to first-line drugs remains... Read More
Mary Augusta Brazelton, “Mass Vaccination: Citizens’ Bodies and State Power in Modern China” (Cornell UP, 2019)
While the eradication of smallpox has long been documented, not many know the Chinese roots of this historic achievement. In this revelatory study, Mass Vaccination. Citizens’ Bodies and State Power in Modern China (Cornell University Press), Mary Augusta Brazelton examines the PRC’s public health campaigns of the 1950s to explain... Read More
György Buzsáki, “The Brain from Inside Out” (Oxford UP, 2019)
In The Brain from Inside Out (Oxford University Press, 2019), György Buzsáki contrasts what he terms the ‘outside-in’ and ‘inside-out’ perspectives on neuroscientific theory and research methodology. The ‘outside-in’ approach, which he sees as dominating thinking in the field at present and in most of recent history, conceptualizes the brain as... Read More
Joy Knoblauch, “The Architecture of Good Behavior” (U Pittsburgh Press, 2020)
Inspired by the rise of environmental psychology and increasing support for behavioral research after the Second World War, new initiatives at the federal, state, and local levels looked to influence the human psyche through form, or elicit desired behaviors with environmental incentives, implementing what Joy Knoblauch calls “psychological functionalism.” Recruited... Read More
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