Nine Pints: A Journey Through the Money, Medicine, and Mysteries of Blood

Metropolitan: Holt. Oct. 2018. 368p. notes. index. ISBN 9781627796378. $30; ebk. ISBN 9781627796385. SCI
OrangeReviewStarBe prepared to get angry. Not at this book or author George (The Big Necessity), who does an excellent job with the topic, but with the economic and social injustices surrounding blood; injustices that have a particularly high impact on women. Chapters on AIDS in South Africa and how it disproportionately affects young girls and menstruation taboos in Nepal are discouraging, but what is truly rage inducing is the evidence of how little research time and money goes to "women's issues" such as menstruation and PMS, especially in comparison to funds spent on erectile dysfunction. Other chapters focus on comparatively mild topics including blood donation and leeches. There are some disheartening statistics about how poor people are often exploited for their blood and how big pharma profits from freely given (or paid) donations. Regrettably, there is no call to action, though it does end on a hopeful note.
VERDICT Recommended for nonexperts curious about their own bodies and blood as commodity in the world economy.

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