OBOC 2017-18


Each year since 2009, Pitt Public Health invites students, faculty, alumni, and friends to share the experience of reading and discussing our annual selection for the One Book, One Community (OBOC) program. This year's OBOC selection is The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee. 

About the Book

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, and now a documentary from Ken Burns on PBS, The Emperor of All Maladies is a magnificent, profoundly humane “biography” of cancer—from its first documented appearances thousands of years ago through the epic battles in the twentieth century to cure, control, and conquer it to a radical new understanding of its essence.

Physician, researcher, and award-winning science writer Siddhartha Mukherjee examines cancer with a cellular biologist’s precision, a historian’s perspective, and a biographer’s passion. The result is an astonishingly lucid and eloquent chronicle of a disease humans have lived with—and perished from—for more than five thousand years.

The story of cancer is a story of human ingenuity, resilience, and perseverance, but also of hubris, paternalism, and misperception. Mukherjee recounts centuries of discoveries, setbacks, victories, and deaths told through the eyes of his predecessors and peers, training their wits against an infinitely resourceful adversary that, just three decades ago, was thought to be easily vanquished in an all-out “war against cancer.” The book reads like a literary thriller with cancer as the protagonist.

Riveting, urgent, and surprising, The Emperor of All Maladies provides a fascinating glimpse into the future of cancer treatments. It is an illuminating book that provides hope and clarity to those seeking to demystify cancer.

(Excerpted and condensed from Amazon.com)

Maximize Selecting this Year’s Book: From the Dean

Maximize Community Service

Maximize Completed OBOC Events (2017–18)

Maximize Resources

facebook icon obocLike OBOC on Facebook for news, tools, discussions and more. 

What Should We Read Next?

OBOC book stack

Have ideas for our 10th year?

Suggest a book

Read-Along Program

Alumni, families, and friends are invited to sign up below and read along with the school’s students and faculty by participating in the second read-along program. Read The Emperor of All Maladies and participate in live and virtual events and discussions. Read more...

WHERE TO GET THE BOOK

Get 10 percent off at the University Store on Fifth (with Pitt ID). Pitt’s Hillman Library, Health Science’s Library, and the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh may also have copies.

Questions?

With questions about OBOC, or to suggest an event, contact Robin Leaf, educational programs and practicum coordinator.

OBOC and Cancer News

image

Gov. Wolf awards Pitt Public Health $2.5M to study health impacts of fracking 

Gov. Wolf awards Pitt Public Health $2.5M to study health impacts of fracking

TRIBUNE-DEMOCRAT -  Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration has awarded a $2.5 million contract to research the potential health effects of hydraulic fracturing in the state in two epidemiological studies to be conducted over the next two years. EPI's Evelyn Talbott will investigate the relationship between... (12/29/2020)
image

How Police Violence Could Impact the Health of Black Infants 

How Police Violence Could Impact the Health of Black Infants

NPR - George Floyd's killing in Minneapolis placed police violence again in the national limelight with protests erupting. But Black and brown communities say the effect of police violence is felt long after demonstrations die down. In fact, research shows trauma from racism and violence can leave ... (11/17/2020)
image

The U.S. medical system is still haunted by slavery (video) 

The U.S. medical system is still haunted by slavery (video)

VOX - Black women's history matters in medicine. The U.S. is the most dangerous industrialized country in which to give birth, and racial disparities in maternal mortality make it even worse for women of color. And they're seeking your help in understanding the problem.   (11/17/2020)
image

Why are so many Black women still dying in childbirth?  

Why are so many Black women still dying in childbirth?

INDEPENDENT - In the U.K., Black women are five times more likey to die in pregnancy, childbirth, or in the postpartum period, compared to their white counterparts. In the U.S. there are similar racial disparities in its maternal deaths with black and indigenous Americans being two to three times a... (11/12/2020)
image

How the CDC and others are failing Black women during childbirth 

How the CDC and others are failing Black women during childbirth

STAT - The alarming number of deaths of Black women during childbirth and soon afterward once gained little national attention. That changed, partly because of the high-profile deaths of Dr. Sharon Irving and Kira Johnson, and the delayed response to Serena Williams' request for treatment of a post... (11/12/2020)
image

Why are Black women at such high risk of dying from pregnancy complications? 

Why are Black women at such high risk of dying from pregnancy complications?

AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS - Black women are three to four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It's partly why the overall rate of pregnancy-related deaths has climbed over the past two decades, m... (11/12/2020)
image

America is Failing its Black Mothers 

America is Failing its Black Mothers

HARVARD MAGAZINE - Following decades of decline, maternal deaths began to rise in the United States around 1990—a significant departure from the world’s other affluent countries. By 2013, rates had more than doubled. The CDC now estimates that 700 to 900 new and expectant mothers die in the U.S. ea... (11/12/2020)
image

Pitt researchers find Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansions led to earlier detection of cancer 

Pitt researchers find Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansions led to earlier detection of cancer

TRIB LIVE - Findings from a research team led by HPM's Coleman Drake provide evidence that expanding insurance coverage is a potential avenue to improve cancer outcomes. “It’s really about getting people into the normal health care system rather than presenting at the ED (emergency department) or s... (11/12/2020)