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Why We Get Sick

Why We Get Sick

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Written by Randolph M. NesseAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Randolph M. Nesse and George C. WilliamsAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by George C. Williams

  • Format: Trade Paperback, 304 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage
  • On Sale: January 30, 1996
  • Price: $16.00
  • ISBN: 978-0-679-74674-4 (0-679-74674-9)
Also available as an eBook.
about this book

Why We Get Sick outlines a new theory of--and approach to--disease based on recent paradigm-shattering breakthroughs in evolutionary theory. This is the new world of Darwinian medicine, and in their book, Nesse, a Darwinian physician, and Williams, an evolutionary biologist, apply the principles of evolutionary biology to answer the great questions of medicine: if Darwinism is about passing the fittest genes on to the next generation, why have the genes that age and sicken us survived? Deftly summarizing the latest research on disorders ranging from allergies to Alzheimer's, and from cancer to Huntington's chorea, Why We Get Sick answers these questions and more. It is a book that will revolutionize our attitudes toward illness and will intrigue and instruct lay persons and medical practitioners alike.

"By bringing the evolutionary vision systematically into one of the last unconquered provinces, Nesse and Williams have devised not only means for the improvement of medicine but fundamental new insights into the human condition."
--Edward O. Wilson, Harvard University

"When physicians look at allergy, cancer, even mental diseases, through Darwinian eyes they see and, Nesse and Williams say, will increasingly see medical problems in a new and thought-provoking light. Why We Get Sick deserves pondering by both physicians and [students]."

"In moving the focus from 'how' to 'why' questions, Nesse and Williams introduce readers to a new way of thinking about illness, one that promises to be of increasing interest as...our culture turns toward evolutionary explanations for human predicaments."
--Peter D. Kramer, author of Listening to Prozac