The Man Who Touched His Own Heart (Hardcover)
True Tales of Science, Surgery, and Mystery
Little, Brown and Company, 9780316225793, 384pp.
Publication Date: February 3, 2015
Other Editions of This Title:
Digital Audiobook (2/2/2015)
The Man Who Touched His Own Heart tells the raucous, gory, mesmerizing story of the heart, from the first "explorers" who dug up cadavers and plumbed their hearts' chambers, through the first heart surgeries -- which had to be completed in three minutes before death arrived -- to heart transplants and the latest medical efforts to prolong our hearts' lives, almost defying nature in the process.
Thought of as the seat of our soul, then as a mysteriously animated object, the heart is still more a mystery than it is understood. Why do most animals only get one billion beats? (And how did modern humans get to over two billion, effectively letting us live out two lives?) Why are sufferers of gingivitis more likely to have heart attacks? Why do we often undergo expensive procedures when cheaper ones are just as effective? What do Da Vinci, Mary Shelley, and contemporary Egyptian archaeologists have in common? And what does it really feel like to touch your own heart, or to have someone else's beating inside your chest? Rob Dunn's fascinating history of our hearts brings us deep inside the science, history, and stories of the four chambers we depend on most.
About the Author
Praise For The Man Who Touched His Own Heart: True Tales of Science, Surgery, and Mystery…
"Dunn's books are always lively, informative, and full of fascinations, but The Man Who Touched His Own Heart is especially so, because he goes straight to the little-known history, medicine, and heart of our most symbolic organ."—Diane Ackerman, author of The Human Age
"A perfect mix of science, history and biology, The Man Who Touched His Own Heart is a delightful page-turner that reminds us of all that we have learned by standing on the shoulders of giants. Dunn recognizes the importance of historical and comparative perspectives -- historical in terms of our intellectual ancestors, and more broadly in terms of our evolutionary history."—Charles Nunn, Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology and Global Health at Duke University and author
"The Man Who Touched His Own Heart is a captivating journey through the history of the human heart. Author Rob Dunn weaves a fascinating tale of the science and humanism that underlie how mankind has worked to understand and control our most vital organ."—Aaron Baggish, Associate Director of the Cardiovascular Performance Program at the Massachusetts Gen
"An encounter with Rob Dunn can change the way you look at the world. Dunn is a modern day explorer who fearlessly and humbly ventures into the unknown. In his latest book, The Man Who Touched His Own Heart, Dunn brings his scientific curiosity, humanity, and uncanny eye for a good story to what many have called "the seat of our souls." In Dunn's telling, the human heart is an entrée to understand our basic biology, our connections to other animals on our planet and, even, one of the greatest scientific frontiers."—Neil H. Shubin, Senior Advisor to the President and Robert R. Bensley Distinguished Service Professo
The Man Who Touched His Own Heart has "page-turning detail that at times reads more like a novel than nonfiction."—Leslie Barker, Dallas Morning News
A "fascinating book on the mysteries of the human heart.... Rob Dunn's The Man Who Touched His Own Heart shows that the organ's complexities extend beyond the science."—Sam Kean, Wall Street Journal