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Press and Reviews

Reviews of Making Cancer History: Disease and Discovery at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center

"Olson illuminates the struggle to understand and treat cancer in the United States. As a cancer survivor treated at the center, Olson imbues M. D. Anderson's history with humor, passion and humanity." -- Oncology Nursing Forum

"A comprehensive history of a cancer center, cancer therapies, and cancer trends throughout the second half of the twentieth century. A very compelling, thoughtful, and insightful historical examination of cancer treatment in the United States." -- Kirsten Gardner, University of Texas at San Antonio

More Stories About Making Cancer History


Conquest Spring 2009
James Olson, Ph.D., works in the past, but he lives in the present. Originally diagnosed with epitheliod sarcoma in 1981, he came to M. D. Anderson for treatment. Nearly 30 years later, the institution has seen him through 10 recurrences, many rounds of radiation and chemotherapy, and the amputation of his left forearm. Watch the Video: Author James Olson on Making Cancer History

The State Historian of Texas
Steeped with perspective provided by his long and very personal contact with this internationally known cancer center, Dr. Olson has written a well-researched work of professional scholarship that assesses M. D. Anderson within the context of both Texas history and the story of oncology in the United States.

Houston Chronicle - Bayou City History Blog
According to the cancer center and the book's publishers, "Both illustrious and dark moments in the institution's history, many of which mirrored the hotbed issues of America's turbulent political past, unfold for the reader. ...Olson does not shy away from M. D. Anderson's resistance to racial desegregation or how institutional leaders wooed Soviet Union scientists in the midst of the Cold War."

Texas Medical Center News
Surgeons, scientists, nurses, oncologists, administrators and patients, some long gone, all spring to life on the pages of Olson’s book and offer an accounting of their contributions and experiences that led to M. D. Anderson’s evolution into a world-class institution.

Basil & Spice
New book reveals the birth and rise of M. D. Anderson. Pulitzer-nominee James S. Olson brings a uniquely personal view to history.

Bio- Medicine 
Making Cancer History: Disease and Discovery at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center (Johns Hopkins University Press) breaks new ground in the genre. More than a chronological retelling, it combines Texas-sized disputes, medical mystery and discovery, cultural conflict and social change.

Purchase the Book

Price: $35.00
Purchase the Book

Johns Hopkins University Press
ISBN: 13:978-0801890567

© 2015 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center