The Sublime Engine

The Sublime Engine

A Biography of the Human Heart

Book - 2011
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Baker & Taylor
A lyrical history of the human heart draws on scientific, religious, and literary sources to reveal the heart's role in human imagination and culture from the ancient world to today.

McMillan Palgrave

The heart has always captured the human imagination. It is the repository of our deepest religious and
artistic impulses, the organ whose steady functioning is understood, both literally and symbolically, as
the very life force itself. The Sublime Engine explores the profound sense of awe every person feels when they ponder the miracle encased within the ribs.

In this lyrical history, a critically acclaimed novelist and a leading cardiologist—who happen to be brothers— draw upon history, science, religion, popular culture, and literature to illuminate all of the heart's physical and figurative chambers. Divided into six sections, The Sublime Engine by Stephen Amidon and Thomas Amidon, MD traces the heart's sway over the human imagination from the time of the Egyptians and ancient Greece, through the Middle Ages and Renaissance, up to the modern era and beyond. More than just a work of scientific or cultural history, it is a biography of the single most important symbol of our humanity. Erudite, witty, and unexpected, The Sublime Engine makes the heart leap off the page.

& Taylor

A lyrical history of the human heart draws on scientific, religious and literary sources to reveal the heart’s role in human imagination and culture from the ancient world to today. Co-written by the author of Human Capital.

Publisher: [Emmaus, Pa.] : Rodale, c2011
ISBN: 9781605295848
Branch Call Number: 612.17 AMI
Characteristics: xiv, 242 p. ;,23 cm.
Additional Contributors: Amidon, Thomas W.


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Agent13 Jul 27, 2012

This book is a "biography" of something we take for granted: our heart. It was written by two brothers, a novelist and a cardiologist. It traces the history and our beliefs on what, excactly, this miracluous muscle is and does for us. In terms of writing style, it is apparent which brother wrote certain sections. At times, it read like a textbook. And, at others, it becomes an easy read. It includes an entertaining (and true!) chapter that rivals anything that Shelly or Poe could conjure.


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KarenTherese Sep 24, 2018

The heart is brought to life in a uniquely elevated way by author brothers Stephen Amidon and Thomas Amidon MD in this scientific biography of the lifeline of all sentient beings. Beginning with ancient times he depicts a heart attack that fells a character in one of many stories in the book as "lightning in the chest". The reader will travel to and through Ancient Greece, Umbria Italy, London England, Esperalde Germany, and learn how the heart symbol came into existence along with the mystery of the heart of a nun, that continued to beat after her death. The authors then present how heart catheterization came to be and treatments such as balloon angioplasty, and transplantation. They also discuss the newest trends which include gene analysis and the customization of treatments for heart disease that take into consideration the impact of family history. The book closes with stories of two heart patients and their fates which underscore the importance of diet, exercise and managing stress. Similar in tone to Siddhartha Mukherjee's The Emperor of All Maladies, a Biography of Cancer, this book reads as both a scientific study, and a lyrical history. The reader will leave this journey with a renewed respect for their heart and the hearts of all.

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