Interviews with Scholars of Medicine about their New Book


  • Natalie Kimball, An Open Secret: The History of Unwanted Pregnancy and Abortion in Modern Bolivia (Rutgers UP, 2020)

    Natalie Kimball, "An Open Secret: The History of Unwanted Pregnancy and Abortion in Modern Bolivia" (Rutgers UP, 2020)

    23/06/2020 Duración: 01h11min

    Natalie Kimball is the author of An Open Secret: The History of Unwanted Pregnancy and Abortion in Modern Bolivia, out this year from Rutgers University Press. An Open Secret argues that, despite stigma and continued legal prohibitions, practices and attitudes surrounding abortion have changed in urban Bolivia since the 1950s. Kimball shows how women have pushed for and enacted changes in policy and services relating to unwanted pregnancy and abortion in Bolivia. In particular, they argue that since the 1980s, women have opened space for themselves to be able to terminate pregnancies with more options and more safety, even as abortion remains illegal. In order to tell this story, Kimball conducted over 100 interviews with women and maternal health practitioners in both La Paz and El Alto, and their stories offer a history not only of policy change, but of transformations in official and unofficial attitudes. An Open Secret tells these stories while remaining attuned to the specific contexts of urban Bolivia,

  • B. L. Johnson and M. M. Quinlan, You’re Doing it Wrong! Mothering, Media and Medical Expertise (Rutgers UP, 2019)

    B. L. Johnson and M. M. Quinlan, "You’re Doing it Wrong! Mothering, Media and Medical Expertise" (Rutgers UP, 2019)

    19/06/2020 Duración: 01h22min

    New mothers face a barrage of confounding decisions during the life-cycle of early motherhood which includes... Should they change their diet or mindset to conceive? Exercise while pregnant? Should they opt for a home birth or head for a hospital? Whatever they “choose,” they will be sure to find plenty of medical expertise from health practitioners to social media “influencers” telling them that they’re making a series of mistakes. As intersectional feminists with two small children each, Bethany L. Johnson and Margaret M. Quinlan draw from their own experiences as well as stories from a range of caretakers throughout. You’re Doing it Wrong! Mothering, Media and Medical Expertise (Rutgers University Press, 2019) investigates the storied history of mothering advice in the media, from the newspapers, magazines, doctors’ records and personal papers of the nineteenth-century to today’s websites, Facebook groups, and Instagram feeds. Johnson and Quinlan find surprising parallels between today’s mothering experts

  • Elisheva A. Perelman, American Evangelists and Tuberculosis in Modern Japan (Hong Kong UP, 2020)

    Elisheva A. Perelman, "American Evangelists and Tuberculosis in Modern Japan" (Hong Kong UP, 2020)

    12/06/2020 Duración: 01h32min

    Elisheva A. Perelman's new book American Evangelists and Tuberculosis in Modern Japan (Hong Kong University Press, 2020) examines the consequences of Japan’s decision not to tackle the tuberculosis epidemic that ravaged the country during the last quarter of the nineteenth century and the first quarter of the twentieth. TB was a plague of epic proportions in industrializing Japan, particularly affecting young women workers in the new textile factories. These marginalized laborers, many from rural villages, were not a priority for Japan’s first modern administrations, who focused their energies elsewhere and left the welfare of tuberculosis patients to the private sector. The opening left by this choice was filled by American evangelicals, who saw an opportunity to advance their missionary work in Japan. Perelman identifies a kind of twinned moral entrepreneurship, arguing that a tacit agreement was hammered out between the two sides, with the government accepting the evangelical groups’ assistance with this p

  • Nandini Patwardhan, Radical Spirits: India’s First Woman Doctor and Her American Champions (Story Artisan Press, 2020)

    Nandini Patwardhan, "Radical Spirits: India’s First Woman Doctor and Her American Champions" (Story Artisan Press, 2020)

    12/06/2020 Duración: 01h06min

    In 1883, a young woman named Anandi Joshi set out from her native India to the United States to study medicine. To do so, as Nandini Patwardhan describes in her book Radical Spirits: India’s First Woman Doctor and Her American Champions (Story Artisan Press, 2020) required overcoming numerous hurdles, which she did thanks to the support of family and friends on two continents. One of them, as Patwardhan explains, was her husband Gopal, who often moved with his young wife to various posts throughout India so as to obtain an education for her. The death of their son soon after childbirth fueled Anandi’s desire to study medicine, while the couple’s relationships with American missionaries led to an invitation to stay in America. Though Anandi faced numerous problems adapting to life in America and her husband’s oftentimes antagonistic nature added to her stress, through her hard labors and the aid of her friends Anandi succeeded in obtaining her medical degree, only to die tragically soon after her celebrated re

  • Jonathan Gelber, Tiger Woods’s Back and Tommy John’s Elbow (Skyhorse, 2019)

    Jonathan Gelber, "Tiger Woods’s Back and Tommy John’s Elbow" (Skyhorse, 2019)

    10/06/2020 Duración: 37min

    Today we are joined by Dr Jonathan Gelber, author of the book Tiger Woods’s Back and Tommy John’s Elbow: Injuries and Tragedies That Transformed Careers, Sports and Society (Skyhorse Publishing, 2019). Gelber is an orthopedic surgeon with the Olmstead Medical Center in Rochester, Minnesota. A long time athlete, Gelber examines several athletes through the prism of the “Cobra Effect, ”a phenomenon that occurs when an attempted solution to a problem results in an unintended consequence. And sometimes, that solution might even make the original problem worse. Drawing on his vast medical background, Gelber looks at athletes such as Len Bias, Hank Gathers, Magic Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Sr., Lyle Alzado and more. And, of course, Tiger Woods and Tommy John. The situation of every athlete Gelber examines, he asserts, usually has two effects: the obvious one, and a secondary outcome that was unexpected. The flawed evangelism of Alzado, who used steroids and later had brain cancer, or the death of Bias, which resulted

  • Tamara Venit-Shelton, Herbs and Roots: A History of Chinese Doctors in the American Medical Marketplace (Yale UP, 2019)

    Tamara Venit-Shelton, "Herbs and Roots: A History of Chinese Doctors in the American Medical Marketplace" (Yale UP, 2019)

    08/06/2020 Duración: 01h12min

    The modern popularity of acupuncture and herbal medicine belies the long history of Chinese medicine in the U.S. In Herbs and Roots: A History of Chinese Doctors in the American Medical Marketplace (Yale University Press, 2019), Tamara Venit-Shelton (Claremont McKenna College) examines the historical contexts that shaped perceptions of traditional Chinese medicine from the colonial period to the present. Venit-Shelton draws from court records, material culture, census records, oral interviews, and newspapers to uncover the multi-faceted roles that Chinese herbalists played in both Chinese and non-Chinese communities during the “long Progressive Era.” Through self-Orientalizing presentations, these health practitioners enterprisingly navigated, accommodated, and resisted waves of rising xenophobia and medical regulation. After a period of struggle between the 1930s and 1970s when depression and war disrupted supply chains, Chinese medicine made a roaring comeback even as increasing numbers of Chinese Americans

  • Jay Timothy Dolmage, Disabled Upon Arrival: Eugenics, Immigration, and the Construction of Race (OSU Press, 2018)

    Jay Timothy Dolmage, "Disabled Upon Arrival: Eugenics, Immigration, and the Construction of Race" (OSU Press, 2018)

    08/06/2020 Duración: 01h10min

    On this episode of the New Books Network, Lee Pierce (s/t) interviews Jay Timothy Dolmage of the University of Waterloo on the new book Disabled Upon Arrival: Eugenics, Immigration, and the Construction of Race and Disability (Ohio State University Press, 2018), a compelling examination of the spaces, technologies, and discourses of immigration restriction during the peak period of North American immigration in the early twentieth century. In North America, immigration has never been about immigration. That was true in the early twentieth century when anti-immigrant rhetoric led to draconian crackdowns on the movement of bodies, and it is true today as new measures seek to construct migrants as dangerous and undesirable. Through careful archival research and consideration of the larger ideologies of racialization and xenophobia, Disabled Upon Arrival links anti-immigration rhetoric to eugenics—the flawed “science” of controlling human population based on racist and ableist ideas about bodily values. Dolmage c

  • Casey Schwartz, Attention: A Love Story (Pantheon, 2020)

    Casey Schwartz, "Attention: A Love Story" (Pantheon, 2020)

    04/06/2020 Duración: 42min

    Combining expert storytelling with genuine self-scrutiny, Casey Schwartz details the decade she spend taking Adderall to help her pay attention (or so she thought) and then considers the role of attention in defining our lives as it has been understood by thinkers such as William James, David Foster Wallace, and Simone Weil. From our craving for distraction to our craving for a cure, from Silicon Valley consultants and psychedelic researchers to the findings of trauma expert Dr. Gabor Maté, Schwartz takes us on an eye-opening tour of the modern landscape of attention. Blending memoir, biography, and original reporting, Schwarz examines her attempts to preserve her authentic life and decide what is most important in it. Attention: A Love Story (Pantheon, 2020) will resonate with readers who want to determine their own minds, away from the siren call of their screens. Lucas Richert is an associate professor in the School of Pharmacy at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He studies intoxicating substances and

  • Brian Greene, Until the End of Time: Mind, Matter, and Our Search for Meaning in an Evolving Universe (Random House, 2020)

    Brian Greene, "Until the End of Time: Mind, Matter, and Our Search for Meaning in an Evolving Universe" (Random House, 2020)

    02/06/2020 Duración: 02h37s

    Brian Greene is a Professor of Mathematics and Physics at Columbia University in the City of New York, where he is the Director of the Institute for Strings, Cosmology, and Astroparticle Physics, and co-founder and chair of the World Science Festival. He is well known for his TV mini-series about string theory and the nature of reality, including the Elegant Universe, which tied in with his best-selling 2000 book of the same name. In this episode, we talk about his latest popular book Until the End of Time: Mind, Matter, and Our Search for Meaning in an Evolving Universe (Random House, 2020) Until the End of Time gives the reader a theory of everything, both in the sense of a “state of the academic union”, covering cosmology and evolution, consciousness and computation, and art and religion, and in the sense of showing us a way to apprehend the often existentially challenging subject matter. Greene uses evocative autobiographical vignettes in the book to personalize his famously lucid and accessible explanati

  • Donald Stevens, Mexico in the Time of Cholera (U New Mexico Press, 2019)

    Donald Stevens, "Mexico in the Time of Cholera" (U New Mexico Press, 2019)

    02/06/2020 Duración: 40min

    Donald F. Stevens offers us a portrait of early republican life in his new book, Mexico in the Time of Cholera, published in 2019 by the University of New Mexico Press. Although Stevens uses the 1833 Cholera epidemic that devastated independent Mexico as his his point of departure, this is not primarily a medical history. Beginning with the suggestion of a contemporary observer that the epidemic put Mexicans on their best, or at least most religiously fervent behavior, Stevens asks how we might be able to measure everyday piety during a time of transition and crisis. His answer comes from following archival trails within parish records, novels, and memoirs and offers readers a glimpse of intimate urban life. In so doing, his book brings to life the day to day practices of Mexicans from birth and naming practices to death and burial norms and shows a country coming to terms with its independence. Students and scholars alike will enjoy following vibrant historical figures like fifteen-year-old Concha, navigatin

  • Anthony Valerio, Semmelweis: The Womens Doctor (Zantedeschi Books, 2019)

    Anthony Valerio, "Semmelweis: The Women's Doctor" (Zantedeschi Books, 2019)

    01/06/2020 Duración: 01h54s

    Though his advice has saved the lives of millions of people, the name Ignaz Semmelweis is not one commonly known today. In his book Anthony Valerio’s Semmelweis: The Women's Doctor (Zantedeschi Books, 2019). Valerio details the many struggles Semmelweis faced in winning acceptance for his advice on antiseptic procedures. The son of a Buda spice merchant, Semmelweis started his studies in law before a chance attendance at a medical lecture sparked his interest in becoming a doctor. After earning his degree he decided to specialize in obstetrics, a choice that soon brought him to confront the problem of childbed fever. Deducing that exposure to cadavers was a factor, Semmelweis devised a regimen of hand washing that dramatically reduced the morality rate at the maternity clinic where he worked. Though Semmelweis’s treatment was simple, his ideas faced considerable resistance from leading figures in the Western medical community, with the stress from his campaigns to promote his ideas contributing to the institu

  • B. Earp and J. Savulescu, Love Drugs: The Chemical Future of Relationships (Stanford UP, 2020) )

    B. Earp and J. Savulescu, "Love Drugs: The Chemical Future of Relationships" (Stanford UP, 2020) )

    11/05/2020 Duración: 01h11min

    Consider a couple with an infant (or two) whose lives have become so harried and difficult the marriage is falling apart. Would it be ethical for them to take oxytocin to help them renew their emotional bonds, or would this be an unethical evasion of the hard work that keeping a marriage going requires? What if someone has sexual desires that they consider immoral – should they be able to take a drug to suppress those desires, or alternatively can society force them to? Debates about the ethics of using drugs for enhancement rather than treatment usually focus on the individual, such as doping in sports. In Love Drugs: The Chemical Future of Relationships (Stanford University Press, 2020), Brian Earp and Julian Savulescu consider the case for using drugs to alter our love relationships. Earp, who is Associate Director of the Yale-Hastings Program in Ethics and and Health Policy at Yale University, and Savulescu, the Uehiro Chair in Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford, note that drugs that alter sexua

  • Howard Friedman, Ultimate Price: The Value We Place on Life (U California Press, 2020)

    Howard Friedman, "Ultimate Price: The Value We Place on Life" (U California Press, 2020)

    30/04/2020 Duración: 46min

    Howard Friedman's new book Ultimate Price: The Value We Place on Life (University of California Press, 2020) should be required reading for anyone sitting down to watch the evening news. The Covid-19 crisis is, unfortunately, a new broad-based instance in the valuation of human life. And I do mean value: in terms of cash dollars. Ultimate Price covers the ways that companies, courts, nations, and individuals have come to put a price tag on individual existence. While the book was written prior to the current situation, it provides an excellent starting point to understand what we are observing as governments, companies, healthcare providers, and individuals make life-and-death decisions. Daniel Peris is Senior Vice President at Federated Investors in Pittsburgh. Trained as a historian of modern Russia, he is the author most recently of Getting Back to Business: Why Modern Portfolio Theory Fails Investors. You can follow him on Twitter @HistoryInvestor or at Learn more

  • Leslie M. Harris, Slavery and the University: Histories and Legacies (U Georgia Press, 2019)

    Leslie M. Harris, "Slavery and the University: Histories and Legacies" (U Georgia Press, 2019)

    28/04/2020 Duración: 59min

    Slavery and the University: Histories and Legacies (University of Georgia Press, 2019), edited by Leslie M. Harris, James T. Campbell, and Alfred L. Brophy, is the first edited collection of scholarly essays devoted solely to the histories and legacies of this subject on North American campuses and in their Atlantic contexts. Gathering together contributions from scholars, activists, and administrators, the volume combines two broad bodies of work: (1) historically based interdisciplinary research on the presence of slavery at higher education institutions in terms of the development of proslavery and antislavery thought and the use of slave labor; and (2) analysis on the ways in which the legacies of slavery in institutions of higher education continued in the post–Civil War era to the present day. The collection features broadly themed essays on issues of religion, economy, and the regional slave trade of the Caribbean. It also includes case studies of slavery’s influence on specific institutions, such as P

  • Rachel Kauder Nalebuff, Stages: On Dying, Working, and Feeling (Thick Press, 2020)

    Rachel Kauder Nalebuff, "Stages: On Dying, Working, and Feeling" (Thick Press, 2020)

    23/04/2020 Duración: 51min

    Can care be enacted through art? Inside a cathedral, staff members from a nursing home work with an artist to perform a poetic text about caregiving, loss, and taking the time to feel one’s feelings. In the months leading up to the performance, the artist navigates her twenties—and art and life converge in unexpected ways. In Stages: On Dying, Working, and Feeling (Thick Press, 2020), Rachel Kauder Nalebuff has created a stirring work of hybrid nonfiction that takes us behind the scenes of artmaking and caregiving. Melding curiosity, humility, playfulness, and self-deprecation, Stages is an inquiry into the work it takes to sustain a meaningful life. Rachel Kauder Nalebuff is a writer working often in the realms of performance and oral history. She is editor of My Little Red Book (Hachette, 2009), a collection of people’s first period stories, and co-editor of The Feminist Utopia Project (Feminist Press, 2015) with Alexandra Brodsky. She runs a mentor program for seniors with Caitlin Ryan O’Connell and many f

  • Lloyd B. Minor, Discovering Precision Health (Wiley-Blackwell, 2020)

    Lloyd B. Minor, "Discovering Precision Health" (Wiley-Blackwell, 2020)

    22/04/2020 Duración: 58min

    Today's guest is scientist, surgeon, and dean of the Stanford University School of Medicine, Dr. Lloyd B. Minor. Previously he served as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at The Johns Hopkins University. With more than 140 published articles and chapters, Dr. Minor is an expert in balance and inner ear disorders. Our conversation covers innovative progress underway in replacing reactive medicine with precision and prevention. His new book, Discovering Precision Health: Predict, Prevent, and Cure to Advance Health and Well-Being (Wiley-Blackwell, 2020), takes us through this exciting and cutting edge work taking place at Stanford, and in Silicon Valley. Colin Miller and Dr. Keith Mankin host the popular medical podcast, PeerSpectrum. Colin works in the medical device space and Keith is a retired pediatric orthopedic surgeon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

  • Richard G. Tedeschi, Posttraumatic Growth: Theory, Research and Applications (Routledge, 2018)

    Richard G. Tedeschi, "Posttraumatic Growth: Theory, Research and Applications" (Routledge, 2018)

    21/04/2020 Duración: 01h26s

    During this global pandemic, many of us will experience trauma, which the authors define as a severely stressful life-altering event. A traumatic event is like an earthquake, shattering an individual’s coherent world-view the way an earthquake can shatter the foundations of buildings. A traumatic event is undesirable in the extreme and significant enough to challenge “the basic assumptions about one’s future and how to move toward that future…such as the loss of loved ones, of cherished roles or capabilities, or of fundamental, accepted ways of understanding life.” Posttraumatic Growth: Theory, Research and Applications (Routledge, 2018), Richard G. Tedeschi and his colleagues (Jane Shakespeare-Finch, Kanako Taku and Lawrence G. Calhoun rework and overhaul the seminal 2006 Handbook of Posttraumatic Growth. It provides a wide range of answers to questions concerning knowledge of posttraumatic growth (PTG) theory, its synthesis and contrast with other theories and models, and its applications in diverse setting

  • Baptiste Brossard, Forgetting Items: The Social Experience of Alzheimer’s Disease (Indiana UP, 2019)

    Baptiste Brossard, "Forgetting Items: The Social Experience of Alzheimer’s Disease" (Indiana UP, 2019)

    20/04/2020 Duración: 51min

    Alzheimer's disease has not only profound medical consequences for the individual experiencing it but a life-changing impact on those around them. From the moment a person is suspected to be suffering from Alzheimer's or another form of dementia, the interactions they encounter progressively change. Baptiste Brossard's new book Forgetting Items: The Social Experience of Alzheimer’s Disease (Indiana University Press, 2019) focuses on that social experience of Alzheimer's, delineating the ways disease symptoms manifest and are understood through the interactions between patients and the people around them. Mapping out those interactions takes readers through the offices of geriatricians, into patients' narratives and interviews with caregivers, down the corridors of nursing homes, and into the discourses shaping public policies and media coverage. Revealing the everyday experience of Alzheimer's helps us better understand the depth of its impact and points us toward more knowledgeable, holistic ways to help tre

  • Carlo Caduff, The Pandemic Perhaps: Dramatic Events in a Public Culture of Danger (U California Press, 2015)

    Carlo Caduff, "The Pandemic Perhaps: Dramatic Events in a Public Culture of Danger" (U California Press, 2015)

    16/04/2020 Duración: 49min

    Carlo Caduff’s The Pandemic Perhaps: Dramatic Events in a Public Culture of Danger (University of California Press, 2015) is an ethnographic inquiry into pandemic anxieties in the mid-2000s when such an event was widely anticipated by experts. Examining how experts in the United States framed a catastrophe that has not happened yet, the book trains a lens on the many generative ways in which the absence of a disease made preparedness a permanent project. Drawing on fieldwork among scientists and public health professionals in New York City, the book investigates how experts, government actors and institutions co-produced pandemic prophecies that were made meaningful to communities on the ground through the framework of catastrophe. Centered on the question how to engage a disease such as influenza in anticipation of potential crisis, this monograph analyses the infelicities of failure and the limits of planning. The pandemic - past, present and future – is arguably always with us, even in its absence. In this

  • Sara E. Davies, Containing Contagion: The Politics of Disease Outbreaks in Southeast Asia (Johns Hopkins UP, 2019)

    Sara E. Davies, "Containing Contagion: The Politics of Disease Outbreaks in Southeast Asia" (Johns Hopkins UP, 2019)

    15/04/2020 Duración: 49min

    At the start of 2020 few of us would have recognized the face of the current director general of the World Health Organization. Three months later, and in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic he and other senior WHO officials appear on television and online almost daily, exhorting governments around the world to take urgent measures to stop the spread of the virus, advising them on how to do so, and coordinating efforts. To these exhortations governments in Southeast Asia, like their counterparts elsewhere, have a duty to respond. This duty they owe not only to their citizens and neighbours, but also to the international community of states, via a special regulatory regime that has emerged in part out of experiences fighting recent contagions in East and Southeast Asia. In Containing Contagion: The Politics of Disease Outbreaks in Southeast Asia (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019), Sara E. Davies explains how and why a duty to contain contagion at the source or within borders became central to the contemp

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