What We Are Reading Today: Radical

Updated 12 October 2019

What We Are Reading Today: Radical

Author: Kate Pickert

This book from Kate Pickert is a thorough review of large breakthroughs in breast cancer research.
“Breast cancer is emotional,” Pickert writes. “And then she reveals how physicians, pharmaceutical companies and even patient advocacy groups have tapped into those emotions to prevent patients from making informed decisions about screening and treatment,” said Pauline Chen said in a review for The New York Times.
Chen also said that Pickert, a journalism professor at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and a former health care reporter for Time magazine, “was diagnosed with a particularly grim form of breast cancer at the age of 35. Soon thereafter, she set out to write a cultural and scientific history of the disease, using narratives of her own experience to anchor her research. Such a whopping undertaking could have easily turned maudlin, strident or just plain eye-glazing; instead, Pickert has produced a powerful and unflinching page-turner.”
Chen is the author of Final Exam: A Surgeon’s Reflections on Mortality.


What We Are Reading Today: Give and Take by Nitsan Chorev

Updated 13 December 2019

What We Are Reading Today: Give and Take by Nitsan Chorev

Give and Take looks at local drug manufacturing in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, from the early 1980s to the present, to understand the impact of foreign aid on industrial development. 

While foreign aid has been attacked by critics as wasteful, counterproductive, or exploitative, Nitsan Chorev makes a clear case for the effectiveness of what she terms “developmental foreign aid.”

Against the backdrop of Africa’s pursuit of economic self-sufficiency, the battle against AIDS and malaria, and bitter negotiations over affordable drugs, Chorev offers an important corrective to popular views on foreign aid and development, says a review on the Princeton University Press website. 

She shows that when foreign aid has provided markets, monitoring, and mentoring, it has supported the emergence and upgrading of local production. 

Without losing sight of domestic political-economic conditions, historical legacies, and foreign aid’s own internal contradictions, Give and Take presents groundbreaking insights into the conditions under which foreign aid can be effective.