Aroused: The History of Hormones and How They Control Just About Everything
The author of the book AROUSED, Randi Hutter Epstein, M.D., M.P.H., is very well versed in her subject. Her style is engaging. She has sparse prose and writes with a wry sense of humor, balancing historical facts and poignant tales of real people. This story of the discovery of hormones lurches from one medical charlatan to another, each touting the latest hormone as a sure cure for diminutive stature, loss of libido, menopausal hot flashes, obesity, mixed-up sex signals, cuddling, or other physiological issues. A substance, isolated by hard work, shows some effect in lab animals, then a proponent is off and capitalizing on it until the treatment is shown to cause cancer, heart disease, stroke, and/or a number of other ills. Eventually, it is either remarketed or just dropped. What is surprising is that this process is continuous from the early 1900s with cadaver pituitary gland extractions up to the synthetic testosterone and oxytocin of today. The book title, Aroused, not only refers to the effect of hormones on the body but also the desperate hope ignited in people expecting all life’s ills to be fixed with a little splash of chemical. I very much recommend this book as a warning; the latest fads are often shown to be worse than the problem. The book does explain current thinking on hormones. It also cautions that “current” knowledge often changes.
After editing at City Book Review for a few years, I took up the duties of editorial assistant, which include assigning books for review, posting reviews to our various sites, and nagging reviewers for things. In my non-nagging time, I’m a gamer, artist, writer, and notorious black thumb/bane of plants. My answer to every book-related question: read Octavia Butler.
|Author||Randi Hutter Epstein|
|Page Count||336 pages|
|Publisher||W. W. Norton & Company|
|Amazon||Buy this Book|
|Category||Science & Nature|