A splendid isolation book coverA Splendid Isolation: Lessons on Happiness from the Kingdom of Bhutan (2014)

In Bhutan, the Land of the Thunder Dragon, Madeline Drexler found a welcoming and generous culture at a strange crossroads. Until 50 years ago, this never-conquered Himalayan kingdom, idealized by the West as Shangri-La, was closed off from the world and virtually medieval. As it moves into the modern, Bhutan has adopted an intriguing policy of Gross National Happiness—aimed at measuring and preserving well-being in far more ways than just production, an approach that turns the metrics of the material into the metrics of the spirit. Yet the shift that Bhutan’s 20th century monarchs warned against—individualism corroding the collective—is starting to take hold. In this lyrical reported essay, based on dozens of conversations across the spectrum of Bhutanese society, happiness is the central character.

A Splendid Isolation was a Finalist in the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

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Emerging Epidemics book cover borderEmerging Epidemics: The Menace of New Infections
(Penguin, 2010)

Emerging Epidemics: The Menace of New Infections (originally published as Secret Agents: The Menace of Emerging Infections) explores today’s most ominous infectious disease threats: pandemic influenza, foodborne illness, antibiotic resistance, West Nile virus and other zoonotic infections, infectious causes of chronic disease, and bioterrorism. In rich and compelling prose that draws on both frontline reporting and historical research, the book describes how the complexities and interconnectedness of the modern world have ushered in new diseases, and why public health cannot afford to let down its guard.

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