When the COVID crisis hit in 2020, the federal government needed far more N95 masks and other protective equipment than it had — so it began awarding contracts to companies promising to provide them, often at a steep mark-up. J. David McSwane, a ProPublica reporter and author of the new book Pandemic, Inc: Chasing the Capitalists and Thieves Who Got Rich While We Got Sick, says a shocking number of those companies had no experience in providing medical equipment.
Medical historian and surgeon Ira Rutkow points to physical evidence that suggests Stone Age people conducted — and survived — brain surgery. We talk about the evolution of surgery from ancient societies to robotic surgery today. His new book is Empire of the Scalpel.
Meghan O'Rourke says long COVID and other chronic illnesses put an unwieldy burden on patients, who have to testify to the reality of their own illness. Her new book, The Invisible Kingdom, chronicles her personal struggle to find diagnoses for her own nerve pain, brain fog, extreme fatigue and other symptoms."When you're at the edge of medical knowledge, the lack of evidence is treated as evidence that the problem is you and your mind," O'Rourke says. "I felt, in a sense, kind of locked away in a room like a 19th-century hysteric."
Psychiatrist ANNA LEMBKE's new book Dopamine Nation is about the neuro transmitter - the chemical messenger released in the brain most involved in processing rewards. It plays a big part in addictions.
In her new book, The Man Who Hated Women, author Amy Sohn writes about Anthony Comstock, an anti-vice crusader who later became a special agent to the U.S. Post office, giving him the power to enforce the law. And she writes about the eight women charged with violating the Comstock Act.