James-Brent Styan, Jonathan Ball Publishers, R240
What makes this biography of Christiaan Barnard so interesting is that it demonstrates how Barnard’s work fits into the worldwide scientific community, then and now. This includes interesting trivia; such as Barnard was not the first to attempt a heart transplant. It was Tom Hardy, an American, who put a chimpanzee’s heart into a 68-year-old man (he died 90 minutes later). But the most alarming take away is Styan’s insight to how access to heart operations for South Africa’s underprivileged is rapidly declining. This is despite the fact that, “in South Africa, heart disease is the leading cause of death among children under the age of 5”.