Under the Radar by Ellen Leopold
Cancer and the Cold War (Critical Issues in Health and Medicine)

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 2 Critic Reviews



At the end of the Second World War, a diagnosis of cancer was a death sentence. Sixty years later, it is considered a chronic disease rather than one that is invariably fatal. Although survival rates have improved, the very word continues to evoke a special terror and guilt, inspiring scientists and politicians to wage war against it.
In Under the Radar, Ellen Leopold shows how nearly every aspect of our understanding and discussion of cancer bears the imprint of its Cold War entanglement. The current biases toward individual rather than corporate responsibility for rising incidence rates, research that promotes treatment rather than prevention, and therapies that can be patented and marketed all reflect a largely hidden history shaped by the Cold War. Even the language we use to describe the disease, such as the guiding metaphor for treatment, fight fire with fire, can be traced back to the middle of the twentieth century.
Writing in a lucid style, Leopold documents the military, governmental, industrial, and medical views of radiation and atomic energy to examine the postwar response to cancer through the prism of the Cold War. She explores the role of radiation in cancer therapies today, using case studies and mammogram screening, in particular, to highlight the surprising parallels. Taking into account a wide array of disciplines, this book challenges our understanding of cancer and how we approach its treatment.

About Ellen Leopold

See more books from this Author
Published November 30, 2008 by Rutgers University Press. 304 pages
Genres: History, Nature & Wildlife, Professional & Technical, Science & Math. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Under the Radar

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

Background: Health journalist Leopold follows up her previous book, A Darker Ribbon: Breast Cancer, Women, and Their Doctors in the Twentieth Century, with this cultural history of cancer from the post-World War II period to the present.

| Read Full Review of Under the Radar: Cancer and t...

Project MUSE

These patients joined other sacrifices to explorations in nuclear technology, including "downwinders" exposed to fallout from nuclear weapons tests in Nevada and the American public exposed to increasingly high and more diverse sources of radiation in their doctors' and dentists' offices.

| Read Full Review of Under the Radar: Cancer and t...

Rate this book!

Add Review