Fascinating Documentary and Biography: Emperor of All Maladies

emperor  I realize most of you are exceptionally busy with school and family life, so you don’t really have a chance to do much pleasure reading or have the time to watch a long documentary. However, if you do, I would like to suggest Cancer: Emperor of All Maladies, a documentary based on the book The Emperor of All Maladies: a Biography of Cancer. It is a fascinating look at cancer, its history, and its treatment during the 20th century.

The documentary is a three part series; each part is just under two hours long. It is a bit of a time commitment, but it is also riveting. The series originally aired last spring, but PBS has made the series freely available online. Part 1 is titled Magic Bullets. Part 2 is The Blind Men and the Elephant. Part 3 is Finding the Achilles Heel. A synopsis of each episode can be found at the link above.

Cancer: Emperor of All Maladies is based on the book The Emperor of All Maladies: a Biography of Cancer by Mukherjee, Siddhartha… which we just happen to have in the McNichols Library. A synopsis of the book taken from the catalog record: “A magnificently written “biography” of cancer–from its origins to the epic battle to cure, control, and conquer it. A combination of medical history, cutting-edge science, and narrative journalism that transforms the listener’s understanding of cancer and much of the world around them. The author provides a glimpse into the future of cancer treatments and offers a bold new perspective on the way doctors, scientists, philosophers, and lay people have observed and understood the human body for millennia.”

Happy reading!