In Pursuit Of Memory: The Fight Against Alzheimer’s by Joseph Jebelli

The Blurb On The Back:

”When I was twelve, my grandfather began to act strangely. It started with inexplicable walks. He’d leave the dinner table and we would find him, half an hour later, aimlessly wandering. His smiles were gradually replaced by a fearful, withdrawn expression; he looked increasingly like someone who’d lost something irreplaceable. Before long, he didn’t recognise any of us.”

Alzheimer’s is the great global epidemic of our time, affecting millions worldwide. In 2016, it overtook heart disease as the number one cause of death in England and Wales.

It is also a story as compelling as any detective novel, taking us to nineteenth-century Germany and post-war England, to the jungles of Papua New Guinea and the technological proving grounds of Japan; through America, India, China, Iceland, Sweden and Colombia. Its heroes are expert scientists from around the world – but also the incredibly brave patients and families who have changed the way that those scientists think about the disease. This is a pandemic that has taken us centuries to track down and now we are racing against time to find a cure. 

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Narcocapitalism by Laurent de Sutter

The Blurb On The Back:

What do the invention of anaesthetics in the middle of the nineteenth century, the Nazis’ use of cocaine, and the development of Prozac have in common?  The answer is that they’re all products of the same logic that defines out contemporary era: ‘the age of anaesthesia’.  Laurent de Sutter shows how large aspects of our lives are now characterised by the management of our emotions through drugs, ranging from the everyday use of sleeping pills to hard narcotics.  Chemistry has become so much a part of us that we can’t even see how much it has changed us.

In this era, being a subject doesn’t simply mean being subjected to powers that decide our lives: it means that our very emotions have been outsourced to chemical stimulation.  Yet we don’t understand why the drugs that we take are unable to free us from fatigue and depression, and from the absence of desire that now characterises our psycho-political condition.  We have forgotten what it means to be excited because our only excitement has become drug-induced.  We have to abandon the narcotic stimulation that we’ve come to rely on and find a way back to the collective excitement that is narcocapitalism’s greatest fear. 

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The Pharmaceutical Studies Reader edited by Sergio Sismondo and Jeremy A. Greene

The Blurb On The Back:

The Pharmaceutical Studies Reader is an engaging examination of this new and growing field, bringing together provocative, multidisciplinary articles to look at the interplay of medical science, clinical practice, consumerism, and the healthcare marketplace.  Ranging far beyond the simple discussion of patients, symptoms, and pills, this reader offers important insights into contemporary cultures of health and illness and the social life of pharmaceuticals.

Drawing on anthropological, historical, and sociological research, it delves into the production, circulation, and consumption of pharmaceuticals.  The coverage here is broad and compelling with discussion of topics such as the advent of oral contraceptives, taxonomies of disease, the evolution of prescribing habits, the ethical dimension of pharmaceuticals, clinical trials, and drug production in the age of globalisation.  Placing a strong focus on context, this collection exposes readers to a variety of approaches, ideas, and frameworks and provides them with an appreciation and understanding of the complex roles pharmaceuticals play in society today.  

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Your Life In My Hands: A Junior Doctor’s Story by Rachel Clarke

The Blurb On The Back:

”I am a junior doctor.  It is 4 a.m.  I have run arrest calls, treated life-threatening bleeding, held the hand of a young woman dying of cancer, scuttled down miles of dim corridors wanting to sob with sheer exhaustion, forgotten to eat, forgotten to drink, drawn on every fibre of strength that I possess to keep my patients safe from harm.”

Rachel Clarke’s incredible memoir follows her journey as a junior doctor, offering a glimpse into a life spent between the dissection room and the mortuary, the bedside and the doctors’ mess, exposing stark realities about today’s NHS and what it means to be entrusted with carrying another’s life in your hands.

Rachel was at the forefront of the historic junior doctor strikes in 2016, campaigning against the government and arguing across the press that imposing a contract on young doctors would irrevocably damage the NHS.

This book affects us all.

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Fragile Lives by Stephen Westaby

The Blurb On The Back:

Some patients will live.

Some patients will die.

But while their lives hang by a thread …

The heart surgeon will do everything he can to save them.

The day his grandfather died, Steve Westaby vowed to become a heart surgeon.

Today, as one of the world’s most eminent heart surgeons, Professor Steve Westaby shares the stories of the lives he has fought to save. 

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