The Books

Crusade to Heal America: The Remarkable Life of Mary Lasker

Booklist calls it, “(A) fascinating portrait of a medical champion deserving more wide-spread recognition.”

The Washington Independent Review of Books says, “Pearson uses Lasker’s words to great effect in this artfully crafted biography … (her) clear and concise writing serves the narrative well.
Her attention to detail is stunning.”

Now it’s your turn!

“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, the most prestigious research awards in America.

Next, the Laskers transformed the sleepy and ineffectual American Society for the Control of Cancer, reimagining it as the American Cancer Society and overseeing a dramatic rise in its donations for the study of cancer. 

But the real increase in medical research occurred when Mary discovered a revolutionary funding source: the federal government. “I’m just a catalytic agent,” she would insist. Yet juxtaposed against her fabulous homes, jaw-dropping jewels, and museum-worthy art collection, Mary’s tireless lobbying before Congress and presidents alike expanded the National Institutes of Health from a single entity to the largest research facility in the world. A feminist who used her femininity wisely, her ultimate victory was bringing together two political adversaries to launch the original cancer moonshot: the 1971 National Cancer Act. Those research dollars turned the tide on survivorship of the disease. 

This engaging and 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, leading the country’s march to conquer humanity’s most feared maladies.

From Shadows to Life: A Biography of the Cancer Survivorship Movement

On December 23, 1971, a beleaguered President Richard Nixon declared war on cancer by signing the National Cancer Act. Research ignited, and the world’s most feared disease was suddenly survivable. Yet millions with a cancer history remained in the shadows: shunned, discriminated against, forgotten.

A group of 23 men and women – all with a personal connection to cancer –  came together in 1986 for a weekend summit with one goal: not to cure the disease, but to destroy its myths. The creation of the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS) that weekend changed everything for American cancer survivors. Their lesson still rings true: in order to improve the future, we must learn from the past.

From this grassroots beginnings, the determination of the NCCS founders and the growing numbers of supporters brought their cause into sharp national focus. They succeeded in banning discrimination, ushered in survivor healthcare reform, and provided researchers with invaluable knowledge about long-term treatment impacts.

A 2022 NAUTILUS GOLD AWARD WINNER, From Shadows to Life: A Biography of the Cancer Survivorship Movement is part medical history, part inspirational biography. It is the story of a social movement that continues to improve life for millions around the world. 

The Wolves at the Door: The True Story of America’s Greatest Female Spy

An evil dogma, a remarkable woman, and courage against all odds.

Virginia Hall left comfortable Baltimore roots to go to work for the a British espionage and sabotage organization. As Hitler was building toward the peak of his power in Europe, Virginia became the architect of the Resistance in central France, helping escaped prisoners of war and American Allied paratroopers get to safety.

The Gestapo considered her so dangerous, they put a price on her head, forcing her to escape over the Pyrenees mountains—and on an artificial leg.

She requested a return to France, disguised as an old peasant woman. She and her team captured 500 German soldiers and killed more than 150, as well as sabotaging Nazi communication and transportation lines.

To the Germans, she was “the lady with a limp.” To the Allies, she was a savior. This is her true story, her ONLY biography to include information from those brave men who were a part of her spy circuit.

Belly of the Beast

A POW's inspiring true story of faith, courage and survival aboard the last "hell ship" of the Imperial Japanese Army.



On December 13, 1944, POW Estel Myers was herded aboard the Japanese prison ship, the Oryoku Maru, with more than 1,600 other American captives. More than 1,100 of them would be dead by journey’s end.

The son of a Kentucky sharecropper and an enlistee in the Navy’s medical corps, Myers arrived in Manilla shortly before the bombings of Pearl Harbor and the other six targets of the Imperial Japanese military. While he and his fellow corpsmen tended to the bloody tide of soldiers pouring into their once peaceful Naval hospital, the Japanese overwhelmed the Pacific islands, capturing 78,000 POWs by April 1942. Myers was one of the first captured. 

After a brutal three-year encampment, Myers and his fellow POWs were forced onto an enemy hell ship bound for Japan. Suffocation, malnutrition, disease, dehydration, infestation, madness, and simple despair claimed the lives of nearly three quarters of those who boarded “the beast.”

Myers survived. 

Timed to be re-released for the 80th anniversary of the 1941 bombings, this compelling account of a rarely recorded event in military history is more than Estel Myers’s true story. It is an homage to the unfailing courage of men at war, an inspiring chronicle of self-sacrifice and endurance, and a tribute to the power of faith, the strength of the soul, and the triumph of the human spirit.

It’s Just Hair

“This can’t be happening to me!”

Yes, bad things do happen to good people.  The 20 essential life lessons in It’s Just Hair will give you the strength and perspective to meet these challenges.  Read them all at once, read them one at a time.   Read them in moments of solitude, read them out loud with others.  Read them as a battle cry, read them in a quiet whisper.  These powerful lessons, delivered with honesty, courage and brilliant humor, are resources you or a loved one will reference time and again.

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