Summary of The Emperor of All Maladies

A Biography of Cancer

Scribner, more...

Buy the book

The Emperor of All Maladies book summary
This best-selling history of cancer covers medical and political milestones in the quest for a cure.


9 Overall

10 Importance

9 Innovation

8 Style


Columbia University staff physician Siddhartha Mukherjee took ten years to complete this Pulitzer Prize–winning history of the detection and treatment of cancer. His coverage begins in 2500 BC and ends in 2009. His medical credentials and understanding of his subject are hard-earned and reflect a life dedicated to conquering cancer. Mukherjee trusts readers to come along as he describes equally complex medical approaches and politics. Those who persevere will reap the rewards of a deeply compassionate, knowledgeable and comprehensive saga. getAbstract recommends Mukherjee’s heartfelt explanation of this confounding disease to all those who are involved in medicine including investors and scholars, and anyone concerned about cancer.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What major milestones mark the history of cancer,
  • How lung cancer became a societal priority and
  • Why society should emphasize cancer prevention.


The Definition and Nature of Cancer
In 1838, two German biologists posited that cells were the basic building blocks of all life and that cells grew only from existing cells. They found that all tissue growth comes from creating more cells, called “hyperplasia,” or by growing cells larger...
Get the key points from this book in less than 10 minutes. Learn more about our products or log in

About the Author

A staff physician at Columbia University Medical Center, Siddhartha Mukherjee is a former Rhodes Scholar and an assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University.

Comment on this summary

More on this topic

Customers who read this summary also read

More by category