Heart: A History

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Heart: A History by Sandeep Jauhar

By Sandeep Jauhar

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The heart lies at the centre of every facet of our existence.

It’s so bound up with our deepest feelings that emotional trauma causes it to change shape. Practising cardiologist Sandeep Jauhar beautifully weaves his own experiences with the defining discoveries of the past to tell the story of our most vital organ.

He looks at some of the pioneers who risked their careers and their patients’ lives to better understand the heart.

People like Daniel Hale Williams, who performed the world’s first documented heart surgery, and Wilson Greatbatch, who accidentally invented the pacemaker. Amid gripping scenes from the operating theatre, Jauhar interweaves stories about the patients he’s treated with the moving tale of his family’s own history of heart problems, from his grandfather’s sudden death in India – an event that sparked his life-long obsession – to the ominous signs of how he himself might die. He also confronts the limits of medical technology and argues that future progress will be determined more by how we choose to live rather than by any device we invent.

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