Death The scientific facts to help us understand it better

Richard Béliveau, 1953-

Book - 2012

A comprehensive examination of that inevitable and universal human experience. To better our understanding of death--and so perhaps fear it less--the book explains the biological processes and the different causes of death, and examines the human perceptions of death throughout history and across cultures.

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Subjects
Published
Buffalo, N.Y. ; Richmond Hill, Ont. : Firefly Books 2012.
Language
English
French
Item Description
Originally published in French under title: La mort.
Physical Description
264 p. : ill. (chiefly col.) ; 22 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references (p. 257) and index.
ISBN
9781554079964
1554079969
Main Author
Richard Béliveau, 1953- (-)
Other Authors
Denis Gingras (-)
Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Don't let fear of death quench the joy of living, biochemist Béliveau and oncologist Gingras (both of the University of Quebec) counsel. In this abundantly illustrated examination, the scientists hope to prove that "understanding the processes that lead to death helps us� to understand that death really is the only logical ending to existence." They explore the brain, the role of neurotransmitters, and what happens in a coma; religion; the belief in the promise of resurrection; grotesque forms of afterlife such as zombies; and aging, explaining how humans can slow down, though not suspend, the aging process. The authors investigate the many ways that humans die, including chronic disease and cancer; infections, both bacterial and viral; and poisons. Throughout, vibrant color images, charts, and sidebars highlight scientific details traditions such as embalming and the impact of death on different cultures. Béliveau and Gingras make death interesting with details on the puffer fish, beautiful micrographs such as the blod clot, and a brief study of the scent of death, trackable by bloodhounds. This volume encompasses far more, approaching a "coffee table book," however incongruous this might seem given the topic, and will interest a wide audience. Color illus. (Sept.) [Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

Review by PW Annex Reviews

Don't let fear of death quench the joy of living, biochemist Béliveau and oncologist Gingras (both of the University of Quebec) counsel. In this abundantly illustrated examination, the scientists hope to prove that "understanding the processes that lead to death helps us� to understand that death really is the only logical ending to existence." They explore the brain, the role of neurotransmitters, and what happens in a coma; religion; the belief in the promise of resurrection; grotesque forms of afterlife such as zombies; and aging, explaining how humans can slow down, though not suspend, the aging process. The authors investigate the many ways that humans die, including chronic disease and cancer; infections, both bacterial and viral; and poisons. Throughout, vibrant color images, charts, and sidebars highlight scientific details traditions such as embalming and the impact of death on different cultures. Béliveau and Gingras make death interesting with details on the puffer fish, beautiful micrographs such as the blod clot, and a brief study of the scent of death, trackable by bloodhounds. This volume encompasses far more, approaching a "coffee table book," however incongruous this might seem given the topic, and will interest a wide audience. Color illus. (Sept.) [Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

Review by Publisher Summary 1

An illustrated exploration of death looks at the biological processes and the different causes of death and examines how human beings have perceived death thoughout history and across cultures.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Our love of life makes the inevitability of death very difficult to accept. Death is a comprehensive examination of that inevitable and universal human experience. To better our understanding of death--and so perhaps fear it less--the book explains the biological processes and the different causes of death, and examines the human perceptions of death throughout history and across cultures. Death is abundantly illustrated with masterpieces of art, paintings and sculptures and their representations of death, as well as abundant diagrams that explain the science of death. It methodically explores the biological limits of life, the rituals of death and describes the events surrounding the loss of life, using the most current research and medical analyses. Chapters cover diverse topics associated with death. They include: Consciousness and the soul How the body dies Terminal illness and dying slowly Methods of deathPoisons, deadly animals and plants Flu pandemics, the new viruses Unsanitary conditions and deadly diseases Murder and execution Euthanasia and ethics Creatures from beyond the grave Violent and dramatic deaths Cheating death. Death is sprinkled generously with humor and the wisdom of the great thinkers. Reflecting on our philosophical, scientific and spiritual understanding of death, it speaks to our visceral fears and allows us to better appreciate life.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Our love of life makes the inevitability of death very difficult to accept. Death is a comprehensive examination of that inevitable and universal human experience.