- Amherst ReadsAmherst Reads
- Featured Book of the Month
- Past Features
- January 2015: Race Horse Men by Katherine Mooney '04
- December 2014: Gruesome Spectacles by Austin Sarat
- November 2014: All I Love and Know by Judith Frank
- October 2014: Catching Lightning in a Bottle: How Merrill Lynch Revolutionized the Financial World by Winthrop H. Smith, Jr. '71
- September 2014: When Paris Went Dark: : The City of Light Under German Occupation, 1940-1944 by Ron Rosbottom
- August 2014: Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands by Chris Bohjalian '82
- July 2014: The Economy of You by Kimberly Palmer '01
- June 2014: Collecting Shakespeare:The Story of Henry and Emily Folger
- May 2014: The Evolution of a Corporate Idealist: When Girl Meets Oil
- April 2014: Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor '91
- March 2014: Portrait of a Novel: Henry James and the Making of an American Masterpiece
- February 2014: Forged: Why Fakes are the Great Art of Our Age
- January 2014: Full Upright and Locked Position by Mark Gerchick '73, P'13
- December 2013: This Indian Country by Fred Hoxie '69
- November 2013: The Partner Track by Helen Wan '95
- October 2013: The Forage House by Tess Taylor '99
- September 2013: Inferno by Dan Brown '86
- August 2013: Six Years by Harlan Coben '84, P'16
- July 2013: The Gods of Heavenly Punishment by Jennifer Cody Epstein '88
- June 2013 - Brothers Emanuel by Ezekiel Emanuel '79
- May 2013 - Cadaver by Jonah Ansell '03
- April 2013 - Masters of Disaster by Chris Lehane '90
- March 2013 - Schroder by Amity Gaige
- February 2013: El Iluminado by Ilan Stavans
- January 2013: Everything Under the Sun by David Suzuki '58
- December 2012: Arcadia by Lauren Groff
- November 2012: The Hidden Europe by Francis Tapon '92
- October 2012: The Price of Inequality by Joseph Stiglitz '64
- September 2012: Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet by Andrew Blum '99
- August 2012: Hitlerland by Andrew Nagorski '69
- July 2012: Dinner: A Love Story by Jenny Rosenstrach '93
- June 2012: Vineyard at the End of the World by Ian Mount '92
- May 2012: God's Jury by Cullen Murphy '74
- April 2012: Big Birthday by Kate Hosford '88
- March 2012: EyeMinded by Kellie Jones '81
- February 2012: 1493 by Charles Mann '76
- December 2011: The Vices by Lawrence Douglas
- November 2011: Don't Cross Your Eyes by Aaron Carroll '94
- October 2011: Come On All You Ghosts by Matthew Zapruder '89
- September 2011: The Pale King by David Foster Wallace '85
- August 2011: Scoundrels in Law by Cait Murphy '83
- July 2011: Terror and Wonder by Blair Kamin '79
- June 2011: What Should I Do? by Professor Alex George
- May 2011: Model Nazi by Professor Catherine Epstein
- April 2011: A Thread of Sky by Deanna Fei '99
- March 2011: Unlikely Allies by Joel Paul '77
- February 2011: Secret Historian by Justin Spring '84
- December 2010: The Best of Foxtrot by Bill Amend '84
- November 2010: Higher Education? by Andrew Hacker '51
- October 2010: Routes of Man by Ted Conover '80
- September 2010: The Facebook Effect by David Kirkpatrick '75
- August 2010: Innocent by Scott Turow '70
- July 2010: Simple Fresh Southern by Matt and Ted Lee '93
- June 2010: Ballet's Magic Kingdom by Professor Stanely Rabinowitz
- May 2010: Ecological Intelligence by Daniel Goleman '68
- April 2010: Andean Express by Adrian Althoff '04
- March 2010: Freefall by Joseph Stiglitz '64
- February 2010: Beautiful Creatures by Margaret Stohl '89
- December 2009: What to Read When by Pam Allyn '84
- November 2009: On Poets and Poetry by William H. Pritchard '53
- October 2009: Julie & Julia by Julie Powell '95
- September 2009: Rules for Old Men Waiting by Peter Pouncey
- August 2009: The End of Overeating by David Kessler '73
- July 2009: The Mirror Effect by Dr. Drew Pinsky '80
- June 2009: Art and Politics of Science by Harold Varmus '61
- May 2009: Hold Tight by Harlan Coben '84
- April 2009: Passing Strange by Marni Sandweiss
- March 2009: Skeletons at the Feast by Chris Bohjalian '82
- February 2009: Loneliness as a Way of Life by Tom Dumm
- January 2009: Painter from Shanghai by Jennifer Cody Epstein '88
- December 2008: The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff '01
- November 2008: The Most Famous Man in America by Debby Applegate '89
- October 2008: The Thing Itself by Dick Todd '62
- September 2008: Are We Rome by Cullen Murphy '74
- Search the Catalog
About the Author: Zeke Emanuel '79
Washington, DC and Philadelphia, PA
Place of Birth
Tel Aviv, Israel
MS in Biochemistry, University of Oxford
PhD in Government, Harvard
MD, Harvard Medical School
Why did you choose to come to Amherst?
It was sort of a crazy decision, but there were 2 main reasons. The first was there was a highly regarded student from my high school who was a few years ahead of me (Rick Levy '77) who was at Amherst. And I figured if Amherst was good enough for him, it was good enough for me.
The second reason was when I went on tours of Harvard, Amherst and Yale, I didn't like Harvard, and when I visited Yale in 1974, it was a rainy, dreary day and the buildings hadn't been cleaned. When I visited Amherst, it was an ideal fall weekend. It was the first weekend in October and I went to Memorial Hill. It was just spectacular - the hills were covered in reds, yellows and oranges -it was heaven. I spent the night in DKE with Rick Levy and that night, he and several friends were studying for a chemistry exam. We hung out and I helped them study. It was such a blast, being a high school student interacting with college students on an intellectual level. I loved it.
Favorite (most memorable or most influential) class at Amherst:
Politics, Punishment & Culture
Favorite (most memorable or most influential) professor:
Most influential George Kateb who taught a Keenan seminar on democracy.
Shakespeare with Ben DeMott was spectacular.
I learned so much from Austin Sarat as a teacher - I learned how to teach and engage, using the Socratic method and really interacting with students. He inspired me as a teacher.
Tom Kearns and Jan Dizard were excellent professors.
I loved my physical chem classes too.
I'm currently working on health policy related material about how to improve the delivery system of care, make it more efficient and higher quality. I'm working on a book for the New Year on our complicated American healthcare system, but I'm also working on MOOCs - I am currently teaching two MOOCs: American Healthcare System and One Rationing.
Awards and Prizes
Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences
Hippocrates medical ethicist of the year
Roosevelt University social justice award
American Society of Clinical Oncology policy award
Impossible! I'm re-reading Moby Dick with a friend. I read it in college and it's just amazing, phenomenal. I'm wildly taken with it.
I've read a lot of different authors, but I'm a big Shakespeare fan. Living in DC I get to see at least four Shakespeare productions a year at the Folger library.
Tips for aspiring writers?
I don't consider myself a writer but I do write. What's most important is to revise, revise, revise. I was a terrible writer at Amherst. My writing tutor fired me, and I spent six years working on my writing in graduate school. Writing is a hard craft, and I'm happy to work hard at it. Amherst gave me the skills for lifelong learning to push myself and keep at something and you'll improve. Keep writing!
Tell us a bit about your path to becoming an author
This is my fourth book, but the other three are on medicine and health policy and I've edited five or six other books. Writing is a way of expressing yourself and getting big ideas down. I used to hate writing and now I really enjoy it. Once your ideas are clear, you can connect with your audience. It was hard work though.