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Book review: The Matter of the Heart

The fascinating stories of the people who made heart surgery possible

The Matter of the Heart: A History of the Heart in Eleven Operations by Thomas Morris

Thomas Morris is not a heart specialist, but as a former producer for BBC Radio, he succeeds where many such experts have failed in distilling the complexity of this organ into a highly readable and fascinating narrative. Using the framework of 11 operations, he gallops (forgive the pun) through balloon angioplasty to bypass grafts and blue babies to bionic surgeons—exploring the history of cardiac maladies and their surgical management in 350 easy-to-read pages and capturing the majesty and pace of more than 80 years of scientific innovation. Boasting in excess of 1100 references, the degree to which this book has been researched is breathtaking.

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