Monday, May 7, 2018
Natural Causes: an Epidemic of Wellness, the Certainty of Dying, and Killing Ourselves to Live Longer
A wide-ranging collection of musings on health and aging in America, covering topics such as reproductive care, meditation, extreme workouts, and, my personal favorite, apoptosis, or programmed cell death. Ehrenreich is sharply opinionated - if she weren't, none of us would have heard of her, I reckon - and it's possible that no one will agree with everything she says here. For example, I take issue with her near wholesale condemnation of mindfulness techniques and therapies. There's tons to be learned here for non-scientists like me; Ehrenreich holds a doctorate in cellular immunology and I genuinely enjoyed her discussion of the role of macrophages in cancer growth. Best of all is her journalistic and exceedingly dry wit, as here:
Many of the people who got caught up in the health "craze" of the late twentieth century - people who exercised, watched what they ate, abstained from smoking and heavy drinking - have nevertheless died.