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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

On today’s show we’re rebroadcasting some favorite interviews from the past couple of months. Oncologist Siddhartha Mukherjee discusses his deeply personal biography of what he calls “the emperor of all maladies:” cancer. Yvonne Thornton talks about her long road to become the first African American woman board certified in the obstetrical sub-specialty of maternal-fetal medicine. Douglas Starr tells the true crime story that led to the birth of forensic medicine. And Anand Giridharadas gives us an intimate portrait of India’s remaking.

Cancer: A Biography

Although cancer was first documented thousands of years ago in ancient Egypt, it is a disease that has long lingered at the margins of medicine--noticed only when other diseases, like tuberculosis and smallpox, had been largely eradicated. Oncologist Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee attempts to shine a light on this often misunderstoond and terrifying disease in his book: The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer. He recounts centuries of discoveries, setbacks, victories, and deaths, and traces the history of the disease in patients from Persian Queen Atossa to his own leukemia patients in Boston.

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Something to Prove

Today, Dr. Yvonne Thornton is the first African American woman to be board certified in maternal-fetal medicine. But getting to this point wasn't easy. Her latest book, Something to Prove, picks up where her first book, The Ditchdigger's Daughters, left off, and charts Dr. Thornton's ascension to the top of her field as a physician.


The Birth of Modern Forensics

Douglas Starr, codirector of the Center for Science and Medical Journalism, recounts the birth of the field of modern forensics in his book: The Killer of Little Shepherds: A True Crime Story and the Birth of Modern Forensics. It gives an account of serial murderer Joseph Vacher, known as the killer of "little shepherds," and the desperate search by police in France to stop his terrifying killing spree.


India Calling

Anand Giridharadas discusses what it was like to return to the land of his ancestors amid an unlikely economic boom. In India Calling: An intimate Portrait of a Nation's Remaking, Giridharadas profiles the entrepreneurs, radicals, industrialists, and Indian families who are responding to this economic upheaval.

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