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The bestselling author of Intern and Doctored tells the story of the thing that makes us tick For centuries, the human heart seemed beyond our understanding: an inscrutable shuddering mass that was somehow the driver of emotion and the seat of the soul. As the cardiologist and bestselling author Sandeep Jauhar shows in Heart: A History, it was only recently that we demolished age-old taboos and devised the transformative procedures that have changed the way we live. Deftly alternating between key historical episodes and his own work, Jauhar tells the colorful and little-known story of the doctors who risked their careers and the patients who risked their lives to know and heal our most vital organ. He introduces us to Daniel Hale Williams, the African American doctor who performed the world’s first open heart surgery in Gilded Age Chicago. We meet C. Walton Lillehei, who connected a patient’s circulatory system to a healthy donor’s, paving the way for the heart-lung machine. And we encounter Wilson Greatbatch, who saved millions by inventing the pacemaker—by accident. Jauhar deftly braids these tales of discovery, hubris, and sorrow with moving accounts of his family’s history of heart ailments and the patients he’s treated over many years. He also confronts the limits of medical technology, arguing that future progress will depend more on how we choose to live than on the devices we invent. Affecting, engaging, and beautifully written, Heart: A History takes the full measure of the only organ that can move itself.
The spark of life, fount of emotion, house of the soul – the heart lies at the centre of every facet of our existence. It’s so bound up in our deepest feelings that it can even suffer such distress from emotional trauma as to physically change shape. Practising cardiologist Sandeep Jauhar beautifully weaves his own experiences with the defining discoveries of the past to tell the story of our most vital organ. We see Daniel Hale Williams perform the first open heart surgery and Wilson Greatbatch invent the pacemaker – by accident. Amid gripping scenes from the operating theatre, Jauhar tells the moving tale of his family’s own history of heart problems and, looking to the future, he outlines why the way we choose to live will be more important than any device we invent.
'Jauhar weaves his own personal and family story into his history of the heart...very effectively... This gives a certain dramatic tension to the book, as it tells the fascinating and rather wonderful history of cardiology.' -Henry Marsh, New Statesman A Mail on Sunday Book of the Year The heart lies at the centre of every facet of our existence. It's so bound up with our deepest feelings that emotional trauma causes it to change shape. Practising cardiologist Sandeep Jauhar beautifully weaves his own experiences with the defining discoveries of the past to tell the story of our most vital organ. He looks at some of the pioneers who risked their careers and their patients' lives to better understand the heart. People like Daniel Hale Williams, who performed the world's first documented heart surgery, and Wilson Greatbatch, who accidentally invented the pacemaker. Amid gripping scenes from the operating theatre, Jauhar interweaves stories about the patients he's treated with the moving tale of his family's own history of heart problems, from his grandfather's sudden death in India - an event that sparked his life-long obsession - to the ominous signs of how he himself might die. He also confronts the limits of medical technology and argues that future progress will be determined more by how we choose to live rather than by any device we invent.
Pediatric cardiology is celebrating in the 1990s the 50th anniversary of the beginnings of the age of therapy. This informal `history' describes how the discipline grew from the era of pathologic anatomy to the dawn of therapy, the beginnings of closed heart surgery between 1939 and 1945. That dawn ushered in a remarkable half century of change and growth, leading from clinicophysiologic correlations through the start of open heart surgery in the 1950s. The text celebrates some of the achievements of this vivid and heroic age, and describes how, in the mid 1970s, new surgical and medical approaches, including prostaglandins and Doppler echocardiography, led to successful cardiac treatment in infancy, the `infant era'. Interventional cardiology and the study of childhood arrhythmias began. Now, in the 1990s, a new era emphasising molecular biology and cardiac development is growing from the tools and concepts of the past. The four eras have focused on pathologic anatomy, clinicophysiologic correlations and surgery, heart problems in infancy, and now the developing heart. In each era there have been advances in the four domains of pediatric cardiology, the heart before birth, the normal heart, heart disease and defects, and preventive cardiology. Growth in knowledge has been both episodic and dramatic, yet not a picture of unalloyed achievement. The later chapters discuss some of the problems beginning to be recognised in the new and current `developmental era'. The pioneers of pediatric cardiology, both men and women, are more than eponyms, for each used in new and original ways the tools and concepts available in their era. The interaction of tools and concepts is a theme in this book. Just as the tool of the stethoscope was vital in delineating the clinical profile of ventricular septal defect and patent ductus, the fluoroscope played a role in developing the concept of the Blalock Taussig shunt. Pioneers also include patients and their families, and the book includes some discussion of what little is known of childhood and of the child with heart disease in the four different eras. This is a brief overview of the growth of knowledge of children's hearts from before William Harvey until our own time, and includes references to histories of cardiac surgery and to collections of classic cardiac papers. By its emphasis on the child as the central historic figure, and on the interaction of tools and concepts in the growth of knowledge, the text provides a celebratory approach to the 50th anniversary of modern pediatric cardiology.
‘Jauhar weaves his own personal and family story into his history of the heart…very effectively… This gives a certain dramatic tension to the book, as it tells the fascinating and rather wonderful history of cardiology.’ –Henry Marsh, New Statesman A Mail on Sunday Book of the Year The heart lies at the centre of life. For cardiologist Sandeep Jauhar it is an obsession. In this fascinating history he interweaves gripping scenes from the operating theatre with the moving tale of his family’s history of heart problems – from the death of his grandfather to the ominous signs of how he himself might die. Jauhar looks at the pioneers who risked patients’ lives and their own careers, and confronts the limits of medical technology, arguing that how we live is more important than any device or drug we may invent. Heart is the all-encompassing story of the engine of life.
'Thrilling... The “dizzying” story of heart surgery is every bit as important as that of the nuclear, computer or rocket ages. And now it has been given the history it deserves' James McConnachie, Sunday Times For thousands of years the human heart remained the deepest of mysteries; both home to the soul and an organ too complex to touch, let alone operate on. Then, in the late nineteenth century, medics began going where no one had dared go before. In eleven landmark operations, Thomas Morris tells us stories of triumph, reckless bravery, swaggering arrogance, jealousy and rivalry, and incredible ingenuity, from the trail-blazing ‘blue baby’ procedure to the first human heart transplant. The Matter of the Heart gives us a view over the surgeon’s shoulder, showing us the heart’s inner workings and failings. It describes both a human story and a history of risk-taking that has ultimately saved millions of lives.
Philip Soutar died at Ypres in 1917. Before becoming a soldier, Soutar's life revolved around his farm at Whakatane, where he lived with his Maori wife Kathleen Pine in an 'as-you-please marriage, uncelebrated by a clergyman'. Matters of the Heart introduces us to couples like Philip and Kathleen to unravel the long history of interracial relationships in New Zealand. That history runs from whalers and traders marrying into Maori families in the early nineteenth century through to the growth of interracial marriages in the later twentieth. It stretches from common law marriages and Maori customary marriages to formal arrangements recognised by church and state. And that history runs the gamut of official reactions—from condemnation of interracial immorality or racial treason to celebration of New Zealand's unique intermarriage patterns as a sign of us being 'one people' with the 'best race relations in the world'. In the history of intimate relations between Maori and Pakeha, public policy and private life were woven together. Matters of the Heart reveals much about how Maori and Pakeha have lived together in this country and our changing attitudes to race, marriage and intimacy.

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