Crusade to Heal America: The Remarkable Life of Mary Lasker

Crusade to Heal America: The Remarkable Life of Mary Lasker

by Judith L. Pearson

Narrated by Maria McCann

Unabridged — 12 hours, 37 minutes

Crusade to Heal America: The Remarkable Life of Mary Lasker

Crusade to Heal America: The Remarkable Life of Mary Lasker

by Judith L. Pearson

Narrated by Maria McCann

Unabridged — 12 hours, 37 minutes

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“I am opposed to heart disease and cancer the way one is opposed to sin.” With that as her battle cry, health activist and philanthropist 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.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"It's fortunate that Columbia Universityasked Mary Lasker to record an oral history, providing skilled author Pearson with much of the material for this fascinating portrait of a medical champion deserving more wide-spread recognition."—Booklist

“Pearson illuminates the accomplishments of her subject, a woman who arguably did more than any other individual to improve the health of Americans throughout the 20th century…Pearson uses Lasker’s words to great effect in this artfully crafted biography…Pearson’s clear and concise writing serves the narrative well. Her attention to detail is stunning, with reconstructed conversations so intimate, you might wonder if she was a fly on the wall at Mary’s meetings with President Eisenhower or lunches with Lady Bird Johnson…Offer[s] important insight into the difficulties of making large, meaningful changes via public policy…Today, Americans are much more likely to recover from major illnesses like cancer and heart disease than they were 70 years ago. After reading this eye-opening account of Mary Lasker’s life, you’ll know whom they should thank.”—Washington Independent Review of Books

"Informative, detailed, compelling, insightful, memorable and inspiring, Crusade to Heal America is an extraordinary and impressively well written biography."—Midwest Book Review

“Finally we have in Crusade to Heal America a full-length treatment of the indomitable Mary Lasker, one of the most important advocates for public health dollars devoted to cancer research and heart disease. In Judith Pearson’s able hands, 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 Sweig, New York Times bestselling author of Lady Bird Johnson

“Perhaps no American citizen did more for the country's postwar medical and research infrastructure than the indefatigable Mary Lasker. Crusade to Heal America tells the inspiring true story of how one woman impacted the public health of an entire nation. We owe a debt of gratitude to Mary Lasker, and also to Pearson, for reminding us of her subject's enduring legacy.”—Christopher C. Gorham, author of The Confidante

"This landmark work by Judith Pearson brings alive the amazing Mary Lasker, the tireless crusader whose gentle persuasion and relentless dedication to medical research achieved transcendent success.  It is the ultimate insider's account of how she triumphed in the secret world of the Washington power elite, with Republicans and Democrats alike, as she drove forward toward her goal to save millions of American lives." —Robert J Mrazek, award-winning author of The Indomitable Florence

"Mary Lasker’s indomitable personality leaps off the pages of this book. The story of this resilient 'citizen lobbyist' captures her altruism, dedication and persistence, as it chronicles her life-long campaign to relieve suffering and cure disease. Her call to action, 'If you think research is expensive….try disease' is as true today as ever and should rally us all to take up her crusade to increase funding for medical research and thus move us closer to her goal to 'heal America'." —Claire Pomeroy, president, Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation

"Mary Woodard Lasker was a gem of a citizen activist who transformed the National Institutes of Health into the National Institutes of HOPE, turning it into the diamond in the crown of our nation's programs." —Terry Lierman, Mary Lasker's close friend and Washington, D.C., advisor.

"This excellent narrative brings to life Mary Lasker, citizen petitioner, whose efforts to encourage federal support for medical research laid the foundation for America’s leadership in biomedical research and advances in human health." —Jim Fordyce, nephew of Mary Lasker

"Pearson brings Lasker to vivid life, diving deep into her extraordinary friendships, her arduous journey to reshape how the medical field (and general public) viewed diseases, and her extraordinary love story with her husband Albert. A fascinating biography that whisks the reader from New York high society to medical labs to the White House, Pearson’s book shines a long-overdue light on the brilliant life of a true American hero.” —Public Libraries Online

Product Details

BN ID: 2940159426789
Publisher: Dreamscape Media
Publication date: 09/19/2023
Edition description: Unabridged
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