Natural Causes: An Epidemic of Wellness, the Certainty of Dying, and Killing Ourselves to Live Longer

Natural Causes: An Epidemic of Wellness, the Certainty of Dying, and Killing Ourselves to Live Longer

Bestselling author of Nickel and Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich explores how we are killing ourselves to live longer, not better.

A razor-sharp polemic which offers an entirely new understanding of our bodies, ourselves, and our place in the universe, Natural Causes describes how we over-prepare and worry way too much about what is inevitable. One by one, Ehrenreich topples the shibboleths that guide our attempts to live a long, healthy life — from the importance of preventive medical screenings to the concepts of wellness and mindfulness, from dietary fads to fitness culture.

But Natural Causes goes deeper — into the fundamental unreliability of our bodies and even our "mind-bodies," to use the fashionable term. Starting with the mysterious and seldom-acknowledged tendency of our own immune cells to promote deadly cancers, Ehrenreich looks into the cellular basis of aging, and shows how little control we actually have over it. We tend to believe we have agency over our bodies, our minds, and even over the manner of our deaths. But the latest science shows that the microscopic subunits of our bodies make their own "decisions," and not always in our favor.

We may buy expensive anti-aging products or cosmetic surgery, get preventive screenings and eat more kale, or throw ourselves into meditation and spirituality. But all these things offer only the illusion of control. How to live well, even joyously, while

Title:Natural Causes: An Epidemic of Wellness, the Certainty of Dying, and Killing Ourselves to Live Longer
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9781478961260
Format Type:

About Barbara Ehrenreich

Barbara Ehrenreich is an American journalist and the bestselling author of sixteen previous books, including the bestsellers


    Natural Causes: An Epidemic of Wellness, the Certainty of Dying, and Killing Ourselves to Live Longer Reviews

  • Diane S ?

    Informative and Illuminating. This author has a doctorate in cellular immunology, so one can expect quite a bit on the role of the different cells within our bodies. Some of this was quite dense but I...

  • Leah Lucci

    (heads-up: this book is coming out April 10th. I read it early in exchange for an honest review.)If Natural Causes were an essay, it would open with a thesis statement like: "Health trends are faddish...

  • Trevor

    One of my favourite jokes involves a person saying that they want to die like their grandfather, peacefully and in his sleep, not screaming and terrified like the passengers in the car he was driving....

  • Krista

    We can, or think we can, understand the causes of disease in cellular and chemical terms, so we should be able to avoid it by following the rules laid down by medical science: avoiding tobacco, exerc...

  • Michael Perkins

    From other reading and research, I was already familiar with most of what was in chapters 1 through 7 and chapters 10-12. Ironically, it was the biology chapters 8-9 and the discussion of microphages ...

  • Jeanette

    I pondered nearly an entire day deciding if I was going to give this book a 2 star or a 3 star. 2.5 stars rounded up for the core of the accuracy to her overall "outlook" upon aging and death in the U...

  • Ivonne Rovira

    Author Barbara Ehrenreich has produced some fabulous, must-read books: Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America and Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermin...

  • Rebecca

    (2.5) A decade ago, Barbara Ehrenreich discovered a startling paradox through a Scientific American article: the immune system assists the growth and spread of tumors, including in breast cancer, whic...

  • Michelle

    Barbara Ehrenreich, a renowned investigative journalist, political and social critic, author of 23 books has written Natural Causes: An Epidemic of Wellness, the Certainty of Dying and Killing Ourselv...

  • David Wineberg

    The Reductionist is INWith too much time on our hands, we are obsessed with ourselves. Barbara Ehrenreich visits the catalog of diets, wellness, mindfulness, religion, movements, medicine and idiotic ...