How We Die Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of How We Die

In this 1994 bestseller, a surgeon and Yale professor of medicine describes in detail the primary physiological processes that take us out of this world, from heart attacks and cancer to Alzheimer's and AIDS. But this is not merely a scientific text; Dr. Nuland brings the facts alive with true stories about seeing his grandmother drop dead before his eyes, his very first professional death (a heart attack when he was just a third year med student), and the agonizing deaths of grownup friends and his brother. He draws on illuminating references from history (Dr. David Livingstone) and literature (Montaigne, Tolstoy), and is very honest about the ethical and moral issues that confront families and caregivers. Most moving are his stories of where he failed his own family and patients in the ways other doctors (and families) often do. This is a very human (and humanistic) book that everyone would be wise not only to read but to own a copy and reread.
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The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus

Chapter Analysis of How We Die

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   thoughtful Time/era of story    -   1980's-1999 Life of a profession:    -   doctor Ethnic/Regional/Religion    -   Jew Family, caring for ill    -   Yes because he/she is    -   physically ill Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Job/Profession/Status story    -   Yes Ethnic/regional/gender life    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   doctor Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American)


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   2 () United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast

Writing Style

Amount of dialog    -   little dialog

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Sherwin Nuland Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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