Crusade to Heal America: The Remarkable Life of Mary Lasker

Crusade to Heal America: The Remarkable Life of Mary Lasker

by Judith L. Pearson
Crusade to Heal America: The Remarkable Life of Mary Lasker

Crusade to Heal America: The Remarkable Life of Mary Lasker

by Judith L. Pearson


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For fans of Women in White Coats and The Woman They Could Not Silence comes the never-before-told story of a woman who moved mountains for medical research and human health

Lasker, very often the only woman in the room, comes to life—her smarts, power, money, discipline and work ethic producing some of the most important achievements in funding for medical research of the 20th century.” —Julia SweigNew York Times bestselling author of Lady Bird Johnson

Mary Woodard Lasker had a singular goal: saving lives by increasing medical research. Together with her husband, advertising genius  Albert, they created the Lasker Foundation, bestowing the Lasker Awards. Known as the  “American Nobels,” these became the most prestigious research awards in America. The Laskers’ next step was transforming the sleepy  and ineffectual American Society for the Control of Cancer, reinventing it as the American Cancer Society in 1944. 

But the real increase in medical research funding occurred when Mary discovered a  revolutionary source: the federal government. “I’m just a catalytic agent,” she would insist, while she tirelessly lobbied Congress and presidents  alike. She played a major role in expanding  the National Institutes of Health from a single entity to the largest research facility in the world. A feminist who used her femininity wisely, Mary’s ultimate victory was bringing together two political adversaries to help launch the original cancer moonshot: the 1971 National Cancer Act. 

This deeply researched biography paints the portrait of a woman who was savvy, steely, and deliberate. Mary Lasker courageously positioned  herself at the crossroads of politics, science, and medicine. At a time when women in research laboratories and the halls of Congress were anomalies, she smashed stereotypes in the fashion of Jeannette Rankin, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Shirley Chisholm. As eloquently described in this absorbing history, the country’s march to conquer humanity’s most feared maladies was well-fueled by its fearless and feisty crusader, Mary Lasker.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9798887701561
Publisher: Mayo Clinic Press
Publication date: 09/19/2023
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 500,752
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Judith Pearson is the award-winning author of three previous books: The Wolves at the Door, Belly of the Beast, and From Shadows to Life, which won the 2022 Nautilus Gold Award. A graduate of Michigan State University, Pearson and her husband divide their days between mountains and beaches.
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