Pink Ribbon Blues – The New York Times Book Review

The New York Times published a book review by Abigail Zuger, M.D., a board-certified internist and infectious disease specialist, who examines what she calls two “Breast Cancer Tales”–the “Inspirational” (Promise Me by Nancy Brinker) and the “Actual” (Pink Ribbon Blues by Gayle Sulik). The review will appear in print on October 26, 2010 on page D5 of the national edition.

“The inspirational and the actual, the wish-it-were and the how-it-is: don’t read one of these books without the other.”

In Promise Me the story of two sisters, Nancy Brinker and Susan Komen, provides much of the inspiration for what has become the mainstream pink ribbon culture.

“Shortly after Ms. Komen died of breast cancer in 1980, Ms. Brinker began a fund-raising effort that has grown into a multimillion-dollar operation, encompassing races all over the world, hundreds of corporate sponsorships and that inevitable pink ribbon.”..Ms. Brinker details every step she has taken in the intervening years to fulfill her promise to the dying Suzy to “make things better.” The book wanders through personal setbacks (like her own mastectomy for early-stage cancer) and corporate triumphs (like “Pinking the Pyramids” with Egypt’s first breast cancer race). She also tells the stories of many breast cancer she-ros, most of them young and very heroic…This is surely how illness should read: triumphant, assertive, can-do.”

In Pink Ribbon Blues “Ms. Sulik’s complicated uncertainties are a real downer by comparison.” If Promise Me is the inspirational, Pink Ribbon Blues is the actual. Zuger comments that Pink Ribbon Blues:

“Treads an interesting middle ground between the academic and the journalistic as [Sulik] analyzes giant hunks of information and opinion, and also interviews patients to illustrate her points…It is the social scientists who get to contemplate the full panorama of human reaction to disease by studying the fallout from a single one: all the shades of anguish and anger, the posturing, the politics and the cartloads of wishful thinking, all wrapped up in a big pink ribbon…The disease now constitutes such a huge profit center for so many industries…[and] the multiplying scientific uncertainties of the disease are often at odds with the consumer movement’s talking points.”

Read the full review here.

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“Pink Ribbon Blues”

Paperback includes a new Introduction on fundraising controversies and a color insert with images of, and reactions to, the pinking of breast cancer (2012).


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* GAYLE IN THE MEDIA *

"Seeing clearly through the pink haze" Toronto Sun

*Sad face*: Being happy does not help you live longer" New Scientist

How should we address breast cancer when norms continually change? The Guardian

Your Fun 'No Bra Day' Photos Are Overshadowing Terminal Breast Cancer Patients Broadly

Backlash against “pinkwashing” of breast cancer awareness campaigns BMJ

Breast Cancer to Rise 50 Percent by 2030? Hey, Not So Fast! Health News Review

Breast Cancer: The Flaws in the Cause iafrica.com

How to Make the Biggest Impact With Your Breast Cancer Donations Money

The Very Pink, Very Controversial Business of Breast Cancer Awareness Racked

NFL, Pink Ribbons Not Enough to Win over Women CNN

3 Questions We Need to Answer for Breast Cancer Awareness Month Chronicle of Philanthropy

The problem with National Breast Cancer Awareness Month Women's Health Magazine

Pink Ribbon Envy: Living with an Uncool Cancer The Nib

A Year After Bombings, Some Say 'Boston Strong' Has Gone Overboard NPR, All Things Considered

Canadian Mammogram Study KCRW, NPR Affiliate

Time to Debunk the Mammography Myth CNN

Breast Cancer: Awareness, Activism & Pinkwashing NPR Charlotte

Buying Pink Al Jazeera's The Stream Watch »

The Pink Backlash Orlando Sentinel

Why Jolie's Test Costs So Much CNN

Preventative Mastectomies: Disease and Deception BlogTalkRadio

Angelina Jolie and the 'Breast Cancer Gene' KCRW

Our Feel-Good War on Breast Cancer The New York Times Magazine.

The Story Behind the Pink Ribbon Campaign Sisters Talk Radio

WISH Interview Women's International Summit for Health

Making Cancer About The Patient, Not The Body Part CBS Pittsburgh

Sexy breast cancer campaigns anger many patients USA Today

The perils of pink The Daily

Komen pink campaign creates breast-cancer blues for some Dallas Morning News

A yellow flag for the NFL's pink New York Daily

Gayle Sulik named #7 in SharecareNow’s Top 10 Online Influencers in Breast Cancer

Breast cancer cancer causes so easily derailed Philly Inquirer

Komen Charity Under Microscope for Funding, Science Reuters

The Fight Against Cancer - And Abortion? Salon.com

Susan G. Komen For the Cure defunds Planned Parenthood. In Deep with Angie Coiro

Amid Breast Cancer Month, Is there Pink Fatigue? NPR's All Things Considered

How is Breast Cancer Culture Undermining Women's Health? America’s Radio News Network

Pink Ribbon Culture and Breast Cancer The Kojo Nnamdi Show

The Big Business of Breast Cancer
Marie Claire

Does Breast Cancer Awareness Month Crowd Out Other Diseases? Slate

Pink Inc. Has Many Starting to See Red The Sacramento Bee

Get Your Pink Off Ottawa Citizen

Komen Pink Ribbons Raise Green and Questions USA Today

** MORE MEDIA LINKS **
** MORE RADIO INTERVIEWS **