New Release Books by Howard Markel

Howard Markel is the author of Quarantine! (2022), The Secret of Life: Rosalind Franklin, James Watson, Francis Crick, and the Discovery of DNA's Double Helix (2021), Literatim (2020), The Kelloggs (2017) and other 5 books.

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Quarantine!

release date: Mar 01, 2022
Quarantine!
At a time of renewed anti-immigrant sentiment and newly emerging infectious diseases, Quarantine! provides a historical context for considering some of the significant problems that face American society today.

The Secret of Life: Rosalind Franklin, James Watson, Francis Crick, and the Discovery of DNA's Double Helix

release date: Sep 21, 2021
The Secret of Life: Rosalind Franklin, James Watson, Francis Crick, and the Discovery of DNA's Double Helix
An authoritative history of the race to unravel DNA’s structure, by one of our most prominent medical historians. James Watson and Francis Crick’s 1953 discovery of the double helix structure of DNA is the foundation of virtually every advance in our modern understanding of genetics and molecular biology. But how did Watson and Crick do it—and why were they the ones who succeeded? In truth, the discovery of DNA’s structure is the story of five towering minds in pursuit of the advancement of science, and for almost all of them, the prospect of fame and immortality: Watson, Crick, Rosalind Franklin, Maurice Wilkins, and Linus Pauling. Each was fascinating and brilliant, with strong personalities that often clashed. Howard Markel skillfully re-creates the intense intellectual journey, and fraught personal relationships, that ultimately led to a spectacular breakthrough. But it is Rosalind Franklin—fiercely determined, relentless, and an outsider at Cambridge and the University of London in the 1950s, as the lone Jewish woman among young male scientists—who becomes a focal point for Markel. The Secret of Life is a story of genius and perseverance, but also a saga of cronyism, misogyny, anti-Semitism, and misconduct. Drawing on voluminous archival research, including interviews with James Watson and with Franklin’s sister, Jenifer Glynn, Markel provides a fascinating look at how science is done, how reputations are undone, and how history is written, and revised. A vibrant evocation of Cambridge in the 1950s, Markel also provides colorful depictions of Watson and Crick—their competitiveness, idiosyncrasies, and youthful immaturity—and compelling portraits of Wilkins, Pauling, and most cogently, Rosalind Franklin. The Secret of Life is a lively and sweeping narrative of this landmark discovery, one that finally gives the woman at the center of this drama her due.

Literatim

release date: Jan 01, 2020
Literatim
"In 1959, shortly before his death and while reflecting over his roller-coaster career as a Hollywood film director, Preston Sturges (who I write about more fully later in this book) remarked, "the only amazing thing about my career...is that I ever had one at all." (1) The same might be said about my career as a physician and historian of medicine. As a young boy, some of my best companions were the characters I met on the pages of novels, stories, theatrical scripts, and screenplays. Fascinated by human stories, contradictions, both moral and physical, and worlds so vastly different from my middle-class, suburban Detroit upbringing, I was inspired to I try my hand at writing some of my own tales. In my teens, I was an active participant in my high school''s theatre program (thankfully, in an era when taxpayers still supported the arts as a critical part of the public school curriculum) and wrote a series of incredibly bad plays. Soon enough, I was confronted by the decidedly difficult time I had in coming up with believable plots, a serious handicap for any budding fabulist."--

The Kelloggs

release date: Aug 08, 2017
The Kelloggs
***2017 National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist for Nonfiction*** "What''s more American than Corn Flakes?" —Bing Crosby From the much admired medical historian (“Markel shows just how compelling the medical history can be”—Andrea Barrett) and author of An Anatomy of Addiction (“Absorbing, vivid”—Sherwin Nuland, The New York Times Book Review, front page)—the story of America’s empire builders: John and Will Kellogg. John Harvey Kellogg was one of America’s most beloved physicians; a best-selling author, lecturer, and health-magazine publisher; founder of the Battle Creek Sanitarium; and patron saint of the pursuit of wellness. His youngest brother, Will, was the founder of the Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Company, which revolutionized the mass production of food and what we eat for breakfast. In The Kelloggs, Howard Markel tells the sweeping saga of these two extraordinary men, whose lifelong competition and enmity toward one another changed America’s notion of health and wellness from the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries, and who helped change the course of American medicine, nutrition, wellness, and diet. The Kelloggs were of Puritan stock, a family that came to the shores of New England in the mid-seventeenth century, that became one of the biggest in the county, and then renounced it all for the religious calling of Ellen Harmon White, a self-proclaimed prophetess, and James White, whose new Seventh-day Adventist theology was based on Christian principles and sound body, mind, and hygiene rules—Ellen called it “health reform.” The Whites groomed the young John Kellogg for a central role in the Seventh-day Adventist Church and sent him to America’s finest Medical College. Kellogg’s main medical focus—and America’s number one malady: indigestion (Walt Whitman described it as “the great American evil”). Markel gives us the life and times of the Kellogg brothers of Battle Creek: Dr. John Harvey Kellogg and his world-famous Battle Creek Sanitarium medical center, spa, and grand hotel attracted thousands actively pursuing health and well-being. Among the guests: Mary Todd Lincoln, Amelia Earhart, Booker T. Washington, Johnny Weissmuller, Dale Carnegie, Sojourner Truth, Henry Ford, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., and George Bernard Shaw. And the presidents he advised: Taft, Harding, Hoover, and Roosevelt, with first lady Eleanor. The brothers Kellogg experimented on malt, wheat, and corn meal, and, tinkering with special ovens and toasting devices, came up with a ready-to-eat, easily digested cereal they called Corn Flakes. As Markel chronicles the Kelloggs’ fascinating, Magnificent Ambersons–like ascent into the pantheon of American industrialists, we see the vast changes in American social mores that took shape in diet, health, medicine, philanthropy, and food manufacturing during seven decades—changing the lives of millions and helping to shape our industrial age.

An Anatomy of Addiction

release date: Jul 03, 2012
An Anatomy of Addiction
The medical historian documents the long-term use of cocaine by psychoanalysis founder Sigmund Freud and surgical pioneer William Halsted, revealing how their addictions played integral roles in their world-changing careers.

When Germs Travel

release date: Jan 21, 2009
When Germs Travel
The struggle against deadly microbes is endless. Diseases that have plagued human beings since ancient times still exist, new maladies make their way into the headlines, we are faced with vaccine shortages, and the threat of germ warfare has reemerged as a worldwide threat. In this riveting account, medical historian Howard Markel takes an eye-opening look at the fragility of the American public health system. He tells the distinctive stories of six epidemics–tuberculosis, bubonic plague, trachoma, typhus, cholera, and AIDS–to show how our chief defense against diseases from outside the United States has been to attempt to deny entry to carriers. He explains why this approach never worked, and makes clear that it is useless in today’s world of bustling international travel and porous borders. Illuminating our foolhardy attempts at isolation and showing that globalization renders us all potential inhabitants of the so-called Hot Zone, Markel makes a compelling case for a globally funded public health program that could stop the spread of epidemics and safeguard the health of everyone on the planet.

The Portable Pediatrician

release date: Jan 01, 2000
The Portable Pediatrician
This new 2nd Edition provides revised and updated information on the latest pediatric procedures being performed in today''s practices. A variety of diagnostic and clinical features of common childhood diseases and conditions are presented in alphabetical format. Recent advances in our understanding of HIV disease, immunizations, and how to interpret the medical literature has been incorporated into the text. Includes 23 new chapters (see above) and expanded information within key chapters (see full table of contents) Written by highly noted experts in the field of pediatrics, Information is sorted out by the inclusion of tables, charts, lists, criteria for diagnosis, and other useful tips and tricks

The Practical Pediatrician

release date: Jan 01, 1996
The Practical Pediatrician
Covers common childhood diseases, behavior problems, nutrition, immunizations, television, discipline, divorce, and first aid

The H.L. Mencken Baby Book

release date: Jan 01, 1990
The H.L. Mencken Baby Book
Includes an account of the circumstances in which Mencken''s book was written and how it launched his lifelong friendship and collaboration with its editor, Theodore Dreiser. The authors also offer contemporary perspectives to highlight what has and has not changed in the care of infants.
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