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"Do you want to live a long, healthy, and prosperous life?

Don’t smoke. Exercise. Eat right.

But also take good care of your interpersonal relationships and the way you deal with life’s inevitable upsets and traumas....

These things, I believe, are also a matter of life and death." -- Heart: A History 

Sandeep Jauhur

7:30 p.m. Monday, February 3, 2020
Page Hall, 135 Western Ave., University at Albany Downtown Campus. See map
Free and open to the public.
An informal talk will take place 4:15 p.m. that same day in the Multi-Purpose Room, Campus Center West Auditorium, University at Albany Uptown Campus. 

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.


Heart: A History, by Sandeep Jauhur

Cosponsored by UAlbany’s RNA Institute and School of Public Health, UAlbany’s Women in Science and Health network (WISH), and the Hudson Valley RNA Club.

He also confronts the limits of medical technology, arguing that future progress will depend more on how we choose to live than on the devices we invent. Affecting, engaging, and beautifully written, Heart: A History takes the full measure of the only organ that can move itself.

Heart has been praised as “gripping…(and) strange and captivating” by The New York Times, “fascinating” by The Washington Post, “poignant and chattily erudite” by The Wall Street Journal, and “elegiac” by The American Scholar. It was named a best book of 2018 by the Mail on Sunday, Science Friday, Zocalo Public Square, and the Los Angeles Public Library, and was the PBS NewsHour/New York Times book club pick for January 2019.


Other works 

Jauhar's first book, Intern: A Doctor’s Initiation, was a national bestseller and optioned by NBC for a dramatic television series.

His second book, Doctored: The Disillusionment of an American Physician, released in August 2014, was a New York Times bestseller and was named a New York Post Best Book of 2014.

Sandeep Jauhar, credit Maryanne Russell

Photo by Maryanne Russell  

About the author

A practicing cardiologist, Sandeep Jauhar, MD, PhD, is the director of the Heart Failure Program at Long Island Jewish Medical Center. He is also a a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times and has appeared frequently on National Public Radio, CNN, and MSNBC to discuss issues related to medicine, and his essays have also been published in The Wall Street Journal, Time, and Slate.

Follow him on Twitter: @sjauharFacebook and Instagram

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