The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer is a spectacular success. A history of cancer, cancer treatment, the public policy response to cancer, it is truly comprehensive in range. Mukherjee is an oncologist, and he combines both his knowledge with his poignant familiarity in treating patients. It is this combination that makes the book so satisfying, both spiritually and psychologically. I now know more about both the disease of cancer as well as the experience of the disease than I ever is thought possible. The book is not for the squeamish, the section on mastectomy surgery was especially difficult, but other than that I would urge anyone to read this.