by Roy Macbeth Pitkin, MD


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WHOM THE GODS LOVE DIE YOUNG: A Modern Medical Perspective on Illness that Caused the Early Death of Famous People

     This is a book about the history of medicine, specifically how certain diseases have evolved over time with respect to their understanding, frequency, diagnosis, treatment, and outcome.  It uses the life and death of well-known historical figures who died before 40 to introduce a discussion of the diseases of which they died.  Following a brief biographical summary, the health, illness, and death of each subject is described, and this is followed with a modern analysis of the disease, butressed by up-to-date statistics. 

    In the initial chapter, important concepts about vital statistics, death rates, and causes of death are defined and discussed.  Then there follow ten chapters, one devoted to each subject and each disease.


Table of Contents


  1. Introduction
  2. Robert Burns and Rheumatic Heart Disease
  3. George Gordon, Lord Byron and Malaria
  4. The Princess Charlotte of Wales and Death in Childbirth
  5. Charlotte Brönte and Excessive Vomiting of Pregnancy
  6. Stephen Crane and Tuberculosis
  7. Rudolph Valentino and Peptic Ulcer
  8. Lou Gehrig and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  9. Jean Harlow and Chronic Kidney Disease
  10. Eva Perón and Cancer of the Cervix
  11. Mario Lanza and Ischemic Heart Disease

Learn more about the author at http://home.earthlink.net/~r.pitkin/