The Secret History of the War on Cancer

By Devra Davis, PhD, MPH
Read by Pam Ward

19.18 Hours 11/17/2009 unabridged
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The war on cancer set out to find, treat, and cure a disease—but it has left untouched many of the things known to cause cancer, including tobacco, the workplace, radiation, and the global environment. Evidence of how these things affect our chances of getting cancer has been either overlooked or suppressed. And this has been no accident. The war on cancer is run by the leaders of industries that make cancer-causing products and that occasionally profit from treating the disease. This is the gripping story of a major public health effort diverted and distorted for private gain. Filled with compelling personalities and never-before-revealed information, this book by Dr. Davis, acclaimed author and scientist, shows how we began fighting the wrong war, with the wrong weapons, against the wrong enemies—a legacy that persists today.

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Summary

Summary

The war on cancer set out to find, treat, and cure a disease—but it has left untouched many of the things known to cause cancer, including tobacco, the workplace, radiation, and the global environment. Evidence of how these things affect our chances of getting cancer has been either overlooked or suppressed. And this has been no accident. The war on cancer is run by the leaders of industries that make cancer-causing products and that occasionally profit from treating the disease. This is the gripping story of a major public health effort diverted and distorted for private gain.

Filled with compelling personalities and never-before-revealed information, this book by Dr. Davis, acclaimed author and scientist, shows how we began fighting the wrong war, with the wrong weapons, against the wrong enemies—a legacy that persists today.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“[Davis] illuminates the underbelly of medical research…The best watchdogs are often the most obsessive, using shock and alarm as a prelude to discussion…Devra Davis is a natural for this role.” Washington Post
“This searing book from a University of Pittsburgh epidemiologist lays out thirty-five years of medical greed and cowardice that left millions of Americans vulnerable to environmental and occupational cancer deaths. Countless political books attempt to influence the electorate, but this one stands out from the pack, demonstrating why money changes everything.” Cleveland Plain Dealer, “Best 20 Books of 2007”
“Joining this increasingly fractious debate with devastating force, Devra Davis, director of the Center for Environmental Oncology at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, claims that the war ‘has been fighting many of the wrong battles with the wrong weapons and the wrong leaders.’ She calculates that these ‘fundamental misdirections’ have thrown away well over a million American lives. Her aim in The Secret History of the War on Cancer is to deliver nothing less than a ‘reckoning’ of this terrible toll.” New York Review of Books
“In her devastating, twenty-years-in-the-making exposé…Devra Davis…shows how cancer researchers, bankrolled by petrochemical and pharmaceutical companies, among others, collude in ‘the science of doubt promotion’…Davis diagnoses two of the most lethal diseases of modern society: secrecy and self-interest. This book is a dramatic plea for a cure.” O, The Oprah Magazine
“A wake-up call for all those who have accepted the poisons of our age of plenty without a blink.” Discover
“A well-documented, prosecutorial account of the dark side of cancer-control politics.” Nature
“In writing about the history of the war on cancer, epidemiologist Devra Davis explains why such secrecy surrounds the subject…Narrator Pam Ward brings a bright light to a dark topic. Her enthusiasm never wavers; furthermore, she dominates the formidable vocabulary of scientific terms and uses subtle techniques to portray conversations and quotes. For such a lengthy discussion, Ward finds just the right speed to keep listeners’ attention and yet preserve comprehension.” AudioFile
“Davis writes with passion, driven by the conviction that premature deaths among her family members resulted from exposure to industrial toxins…A powerful call to action.” Library Journal
“Fascinating reading…[Davis] immortalizes the many poor people in small towns next to waste dumps or downstream from hugely polluted rivers who died from cancer or whose children suffered birth defects. In almost every case, the offending corporation lied, denied, delayed or bought-off complaints, recruiting the best legal talent and, sad to say, even highly respected scientists.” Kirkus Reviews
“Kudos to Davis for stepping up to the plate.” Booklist (starred review)

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Devra Davis PhD, MPH

Devra Davis, PhD, MPH, is a professor of epidemiology and directs the Center for Environmental Oncology at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. She is a member of the team awarded the Nobel Peace Prize of 2007. She is the author of the acclaimed When Smoke Ran like Water, finalist for the National Book Award. She lives in Washington, DC, and Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction
Runtime: 19.18
Audience: Adult
Language: English