Dr. Sandeep Jauhar might just be the most qualified author to write a book titled Heart: A History.
For centuries, the human heart seemed beyond our understanding: an inscrutable shuddering mass that was somehow the driver of emotion and the seat of the soul.
As the cardiologist and bestselling author Sandeep Jauhar shows in Heart: A History, it was only recently that we demolished age-old taboos and devised the transformative procedures that have changed the way we live.
Deftly alternating between key historical episodes and his own work, Jauhar tells the colorful and little-known story of the doctors who risked their careers and the patients who risked their lives to know and heal our most vital organ.
He introduces us to Daniel Hale Williams, the African American doctor who performed the world’s first open heart surgery in Gilded Age Chicago. We meet C. Walton Lillehei, who connected a patient’s circulatory system to a healthy donor’s, paving the way for the heart-lung machine. And we encounter Wilson Greatbatch, who saved millions by inventing the pacemaker—by accident. Jauhar braids these tales of discovery, hubris, and sorrow with moving accounts of his family’s history of heart ailments and the patients he’s treated over many years.