How We Live
"An anatomy of human life, vividly illustrated. . . . Awe-inspiring [and] sublimely uplifting".
Having won the National Book Award for "How We Die", his best-selling inquiry into the causes and modes of death, Sherwin Nuland now turns his attention to the miraculous resiliency of human life. For this lucid, wonderful, and wonder-filled new book explores the body's mysterious capacity to marshal disparate organs and processes in the interests of survival.
Like its predecessor, "How We Live" is filled with gripping medical case histories: a woman is pulled back from the brink of death from inexplicable internal bleeding; another patient triumphs over breast cancer; the "routine" removal of a polyp triggers a nearly lethal medical crisis. For Nuland, each of these cases serves to illustrate the extraordinary responsiveness and adaptability of the human organism. We learn how the aorta's baroreceptors monitor blood pressure and respond to its minutest fluctuations. We follow the intricate chain of electrochemical command that makes us leap out of the path of a speeding car. We discover why the stomach--which is capable of breaking down everything from porridge to pizza--refrains from digesting itself. Informed by sympathy for human suffering and an erudition that includes poetry and the Talmud as well as the medical canon, "How We Live" is science writing of the rarest kind--lucid, poetic, and genuinely uplifting.
Originally published under the title "The Wisdom of the Body"
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
abdomen acids activity animal aorta artery autonomic autonomic nervous system axons become biological bleeding blood vessels bloodstream body body's brain breast called cancer capillaries cardiac carry cells cellular cerebral cerebral cortex chemical chromosomes clotting coordination cord cortex Cretella digestion disease doctors emergency room enter entire enzymes estrogen feel fibers fluid function genes genetic gland heart homeostasis Hope's hormones hospital human spirit hypothalamus immune impulses inches interstitial fluid intestine kind layer limbic system liver living lymph Marge meiosis membrane messages mind molecules muscle nerve nervous system neurons never nodes nucleotide nurse organs ovum oxygen pain pancreas parasympathetic patient percent peristalsis pituitary plasma pressure produced progesterone proteins response result secretion sense sequence signals skin specific sperm spinal splenic artery stimulates stomach structure substances surgeon surgical survival things thought tiny tion tissue transplant wall word Yale-New Haven Hospital