Sherwin B. Nuland is Clinical Professor of Surgery and a Fellow of the Institution for Social and Policy Studies at Yale. He is the author of How We Die, which won the National Book Award in 1994, and Lost in America. (December 2005)

IN THE REVIEW

Top Doc

Harvey Cushing: A Life in Surgery

by Michael Bliss
Late on a Friday afternoon in May 1984, seventy-five-year-old Betsey Whitney, the last of the three Cushing sisters whose photos had appeared on so many society pages earlier in the century, sat in rapt attention as her father’s many contributions to medical science were described to an audience of about …

Killing Cures

Madhouse: A Tragic Tale of Megalomania and Modern Medicine

by Andrew Scull

The Lobotomist: A Maverick Medical Genius and His Tragic Quest to Rid the World of Mental Illness

by Jack El-Hai
Major steps in scientific progress are sometimes followed closely by outbursts of foolishness. New discoveries have a way of exciting the imagination of the well-meaning and misguided, who see theoretical potentialities in new knowledge that may prove impossible to attain. On occasion, the seemingly imminent is later shown to be …

Getting in Nature’s Way

The Pursuit of Perfection: The Promise and Perils of Medical Enhancement

by Sheila M. Rothman and David J. Rothman
Scientifically advanced nations, most notably the US, seem on the verge of a new situation in which the traditional goals of doctors and others concerned with health care will be radically altered. The changes will be the result of increased understanding of the basic molecular mechanisms shared by all living …

Whoops!

Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science

by Atul Gawande
Among the huge number of men and women practicing medicine during the past century, only a few have been able to write well about their profession for the general reader. Of the most accomplished among them, it can be said that their words are a natural extension of their healing.