From Whispers to Shouts - by Elaine Schattner (Hardcover)
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About the BookElaine Schattner reveals a sea change--from before 1900 to the present day--in how ordinary people talk about cancer. From Whispers to Shouts examines public perception of cancer through stories in newspapers and magazines, social media, and popular culture.
It's hard today to remember how recently cancer was a silent killer, a dreaded disease about which people rarely spoke in public. In hospitals and doctors' offices, conversations about malignancy were hushed and hope was limited. In this deeply researched book, Elaine Schattner reveals a sea change--from before 1900 to the present day--in how ordinary people talk about cancer.From Whispers to Shouts examines public perception of cancer through stories in newspapers and magazines, social media, and popular culture. It probes the evolving relationship between journalists and medical specialists and illuminates the role of women and charities that distributed medical information. Schattner traces the origins of patient advocacy and activism from the 1920s onward, highlighting how, while doctors have lost control of messages about cancer, survivors have gained visibility and voice. The book's final section lays out provocative questions facing the cancer community today--including distrust of oncologists, concerns over financial burdens, and disparities in cancer treatments and care. Schattner considers how patients and their loved ones struggle to make decisions amid conflicting information and opinions. She explores the ramifications of so much openness, good and bad, and asks: Has awareness backfired? Instead, Schattner contends, we need greater understanding of cancer's treatability.
Named a favorite read of 2023.-- "Lilith"
A cultural history that considers evolving societal views about cancer - including fear and silence - and their impacts on patients....an enlightening read.-- "Lillith"
From Whispers to Shouts is the first history of cancer to focus primarily on public perceptions of cancer. It is also a cri de coeur for a more upbeat assessment of past and future efforts to control the disease from an author who--as a doctor, patient, journalist and activist--is uniquely positioned to tell this story.--Barron Lerner, author of The Breast Cancer Wars: Hope, Fear, and the Pursuit of a Cure in Twentieth Century America
A powerfully illuminating narrative of how things changed over the last century or so, both thorough and compelling.-- "The Baffler"
An invaluable contribution to our knowledge about cancer.....should be read by anyone who wants to understand more about something that impacts the lives of so many. While cancer has had copious exposure in books, magazines, newspapers, journals, movies, television and in recent years social media, this is the first book to conduct an in-depth examination into how shifts in public perception of cancer have evolved over time.-- "Eating My Words"
In From Whispers to Shouts, oncologist and cancer survivor Elaine Schattner writes a comprehensive and enlightening cultural and political history of cancer care in America while giving us a clear-eyed perspective of the future. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in learning more about cancer, which should be all of us.--Sandeep Jauhar, New York Times best-selling author of Heart: A History
In her innovative and insightful book, physician and cancer survivor Elaine Schattner explores the ways that we tell the story of cancer--and the ways we often fail to tell the real story of this notably complex and treacherous disease. The result is fascinating, enlightening, and, despite its difficult topic, even inspiring.--Deborah Blum, Pulitzer Prize-winning science writer and director of the Knight Science Journalism program, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
About the AuthorElaine Schattner is a journalist, cancer survivor, and physician who worked as a medical oncologist before completing a journalism degree at Columbia University. She is a clinical associate professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College. Her essays have appeared in Slate, the Atlantic, NPR, and elsewhere.