Book cover of Genetics in the Madhouse: The Unknown History of Human Heredity by Theodore M. Porter
Biological Sciences

Genetics in the Madhouse: The Unknown History of Human Heredity

The untold story of how hereditary data in mental hospitals gave rise to the science of human heredity

In the early 1800s, a century before there was any concept of the gene, physicians in insane asylums began to record causes of madness in their admission books. Almost from the beginning, they pointed to heredity as the most important of these causes. […Learn More]

Book cover of Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones
Health and Psychology

Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic

From a small town in Mexico to the boardrooms of Big Pharma to main streets nationwide, an explosive and shocking account of addiction in the heartland of America.

In 1929, in the blue-collar city of Portsmouth, Ohio, a company built a swimming pool the size of a football field; named Dreamland, it became the vital center of the community. Now, addiction has devastated Portsmouth, as it has hundreds of small rural towns and suburbs across America–addiction like no other the country has ever faced. How that happened is the riveting story of Dreamland. […Learn More]

Book cover of Pipe Dreams: The Urgent Global Quest to Transform the Toilet by Chelsea Wald
Biological Sciences

Pipe Dreams: The Urgent Global Quest to Transform the Toilet

Most of us do not give much thought to the centerpiece of our bathrooms, but the toilet is an unexpected paradox. On the one hand, it is a modern miracle: a ubiquitous fixture in a vast sanitation system that has helped add decades to the human life span by reducing disease. On the other hand, the toilet is also a tragic failure: less than half of the world’s population can access a toilet that safely manages body waste, including many right here in the United States. And it is inefficient, squandering clean water as well as the nutrients, energy, and information contained in the stuff we flush away. […Learn More]

Book cover of Let the Record Show: A Political History of ACT UP New York, 1987-1993 by Sarah Schulman
Biography & Autobiography

Let the Record Show: A Political History of ACT UP New York, 1987-1993

Twenty years in the making, Sarah Schulman’s Let the Record Show is the most comprehensive political history ever assembled of ACT UP and American AIDS activism

In just six years, ACT UP, New York, a broad and unlikely coalition of activists from all races, genders, sexualities, and backgrounds, changed the world. Armed with rancor, desperation, intelligence, and creativity, it took on the AIDS crisis with an indefatigable, ingenious, and multifaceted attack on the corporations, institutions, governments, and individuals who stood in the way of AIDS treatment for all. […Learn More]

Book cover of Pandemic: Tracking Contagions, From Cholera To Ebola And Beyond by Sonia Shah
Biological Sciences

Pandemic: Tracking Contagions, From Cholera To Ebola And Beyond 

Prizewinning science journalist Sonia Shah presents a startling examination of the pandemics that have ravaged humanity—and shows us how history can prepare us to confront the most serious acute global health emergency of our time.

Over the past fifty years, more than three hundred infectious diseases have either emerged or reemerged, appearing in places where they’ve never before been seen. […Learn More]

Book cover of The Least of Us: True Tales of America and Hope in the Time of Fentanyl and Meth by Sam Quiones
Health and Psychology

The Least of Us: True Tales of America and Hope in the Time of Fentanyl and Meth

From the New York Times bestselling author of Dreamland, a searing follow-up that explores the terrifying next stages of the opioid epidemic and the quiet yet ardent stories of community repair.

Sam Quinones traveled from Mexico to main streets across the U.S. to create Dreamland, a groundbreaking portrait of the opioid epidemic that awakened the nation. As the nation struggled to put back the pieces, Quinones was among the first to see the dangers that lay ahead: synthetic drugs and a new generation of kingpins whose product could be made in Magic Bullet blenders. In fentanyl, traffickers landed a painkiller a hundred times more powerful than morphine. […Learn More]

Business & Money

Soul Full of Coal Dust: A Fight for Breath and Justice in Appalachia

In a devastating and urgent work of investigative journalism, Pulitzer Prize winner Chris Hamby uncovers the tragic resurgence of black lung disease in Appalachia, its Big Coal cover-up, and the resilient mining communities who refuse to back down. Decades ago, a grassroots uprising forced Congress to enact long-overdue legislation designed to virtually eradicate black lung disease and provide fair compensation to coal miners stricken with the illness. Today, however, both promises remain unfulfilled. Levels of disease have surged, the old scourge has taken an aggressive new form, and ailing miners and widows have been left behind by a dizzying legal system, denied even modest payments and medical care. […Learn More]

Book cover of The First Shots: The Epic Rivalries and Heroic Science Behind the Race to the Coronavirus Vaccine by Brendan Borrell
Biological Sciences

The First Shots: The Epic Rivalries and Heroic Science Behind the Race to the Coronavirus Vaccine

The full inside story of the high-stakes, global race for the lifesaving vaccine to end the pandemic

Heroic science. Chaotic politics. Billionaire entrepreneurs. Award-winning journalist Brendan Borrell brings the defining story of our times alive through compulsively readable, first-time reporting on the players leading the fight against a vicious virus. The First Shots, soon to be the subject of an HBO limited series with superstar director and producer Adam McKay (Succession, Vice, The Big Short), draws on exclusive, high-level access to weave together the intense vaccine-race conflicts among hard-driving, heroic scientists and the epic rivalries among Washington power players that shaped 18 months of fear, resolve, and triumph. […Learn More]

Book Cover of Dopamine Nation: Finding Balance in the Age of Indulgence by Anna Lembke
Health and Psychology

Dopamine Nation: Finding Balance in the Age of Indulgence

This book is about pleasure. It’s also about pain. Most important, it’s about how to find the delicate balance between the two, and why now more than ever finding balance is essential. We’re living in a time of unprecedented access to high-reward, high-dopamine stimuli: drugs, food, news, gambling, shopping, gaming, texting, sexting, Facebooking, Instagramming, YouTubing, tweeting… The increased numbers, variety, and potency is staggering. The smartphone is the modern-day hypodermic needle, delivering digital dopamine 24/7 for a wired generation. As such we’ve all become vulnerable to compulsive overconsumption. […Learn More]