Survival of the Sickest

Survival of the Sickest

A Medical Maverick Discovers Why We Need Disease

By Sharon Moalem; Jonathan Prince

William Morrow, Hardcover, 9780060889654, 288pp.

Publication Date: February 1, 2007


Read it.

You're already living it.

Was diabetes evolution's response to the last Ice Age? Did a deadly genetic disease help our ancestors survive the bubonic plagues of Europe? Will a visit to the tanning salon help lower your cholesterol? Why do we age? Why are some people immune to HIV? Can your genes be turned on -- or off?

Joining the ranks of modern myth busters, Dr. Sharon Moalem turns our current understanding of illness on its head and challenges us to fundamentally change the way we think about our bodies, our health, and our relationship to just about every other living thing on earth, from plants and animals to insects and bacteria.

Through a fresh and engaging examination of our evolutionary history, Dr. Moalem reveals how many of the conditions that are diseases today actually gave our ancestors a leg up in the survival sweepstakes. When the option is a long life with a disease or a short one without it, evolution opts for disease almost every time.

Everything from the climate our ancestors lived in to the crops they planted and ate to their beverage of choice can be seen in our genetic inheritance. But Survival of the Sickest doesn't stop there. It goes on to demonstrate just how little modern medicine really understands about human health, and offers a new way of thinking that can help all of us live longer, healthier lives.

Survival of the Sickest is filled with fascinating insights and cutting-edge research, presented in a way that is both accessible and utterly absorbing. This is a book about the interconnectedness of all life on earth -- and, especially, what that means for us.

Praise For Survival of the Sickest

“[It] will challenge everything you thought you knew about disease. Fascinating!”
-Memet Oz, co-author of YOU: The Owners Manuel

“A lively and enthusiastic treatise”
-Kirkus Reviews

MED History does not always receive a great deal of attention...this book shows exactly why it shouldn’t be ignored.
-Library Journal

“[a] fascinating new book...[Moalem] has a way of turning complicated biology into captivating stories.”
-Body + Soul

“fascinating, enlightening and reader-friendly...This is one not-to-be-missed fantastic journey across the evolutionary landscape of humankind.
-Rocky Mountain News

“CSI meets Freakonomics meets Bill Nye the Science Guy.”
-Edmonton Journal (Alberta)