How We Die: Reflections on Life's Final Chapter

Front Cover
Vintage Books, 1995 - Social Science - 278 pages
Attempting to demythologize the process of dying, Nuland explores how we shall die, each of us in a way that will be unique. Through particular stories of dying--of patients, and of his own family--he examines the seven most common roads to death: old age, cancer, AIDS, Alzheimer's, accidents, heart disease, and strokes, revealing the facets of death's multiplicity.

"It's impossible to read How We Die without realizing how earnestly we have avoided this most unavoidable of subjects, how we have protected ourselves by building a cultural wall of myths and lies. I don't know of any writer or scientist who has shown us the face of death as clearly, honestly and compassionately as Sherwin Nuland does here."--James Gleick

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - knightlight777 - LibraryThing

Not the most pleasant of subjects to address, but sooner or later we will all share the common unpleasant experience. Dr. Nuland takes us through a number of interesting and in some aspects stark ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Jeannine504 - LibraryThing

Reflections on Life's Final Chapter - we don't have full reader's rights with the "book" Nuland discusses. Once it's started, it has to be finished. Dr. Nuland shows his breadth of knowledge in his ... Read full review


A Valentineand How It Fails
Three Score and Ten
Doors to Death of the Aged
Alzheimefs Disease
Murder and Serenity
Accidents Suicide and Euthanasia
A Story of AIDS
The Life of a Virus and the Death of a Man
The Malevolence of Cancer
Hope and the Cancer Patient
The Lessons Learned

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1995)

Sherwin B. Nuland, MD, was Clinical Professor of Surgery at Yale University until his retirement in 2009, though he continues to teach Biomedical Ethics and Medical History to Yale undergraduates, and serve the university in various capacities.  He won the National Book Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the Book Critics Circle Award when this book was initially published.  In hardcover and paperback,How We Diewas on theNew York Timesbestseller list for a total of thirty-four weeks, and has been translated into twenty-nine languages.  Dr. Nuland and his family live in Connecticut.

Bibliographic information