Mary Roach

discusses

Grunt:
The Curious Science of Humans at War

in conversation with DEBORAH BLUM

THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT
There will be a standby line at the door

This event includes a book signing

Date

Jun
8
Wednesday
June 8, 2016
6:00 PM
(Doors at 5:30)

Location

Brattle Theatre
40 Brattle St., Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

SOLD OUT. View our Sold Out Event FAQ.

Harvard Book Store welcomes bestselling author MARY ROACH and Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist DEBORAH BLUM for a discussion of Roach's latest book, Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War—an exploration of the science of keeping human beings intact, awake, sane, uninfected, and uninfested in the bizarre and extreme circumstances of war.

About Grunt

Grunt tackles the science behind some of a soldier's most challenging adversaries—panic, exhaustion, heat, noise—and introduces us to the scientists who seek to conquer them. Mary Roach dodges hostile fire with the U.S. Marine Corps Paintball Team as part of a study on hearing loss and survivability in combat. She visits the fashion design studio of U.S. Army Natick Labs and learns why a zipper is a problem for a sniper. She visits a repurposed movie studio where amputee actors help prepare Marine Corps medics for the shock and gore of combat wounds. At Camp Lemmonier, Djibouti, in east Africa, we learn how diarrhea can be a threat to national security. Roach samples caffeinated meat, sniffs an archival sample of a World War II stink bomb, and stays up all night with the crew tending the missiles on the nuclear submarine USS Tennessee. She answers questions not found in any other book on the military: Why is DARPA interested in ducks? How is a wedding gown like a bomb suit? Why are shrimp more dangerous to sailors than sharks? Take a tour of duty with Roach, and you’ll never see our nation’s defenders in the same way again.

Praise

“A rare literary bird, a best selling science writer . . . Roach avidly and impishly infiltrates the world of military science. . . . Roach is exuberantly and imaginatively informative and irreverently funny, but she is also in awe of the accomplished and committed military people she meets.” —Booklist

“Mary Roach is one of the best in the business of science writing. . . . She takes readers on a tour of the scientists who attempt to conquer the panic, exhaustion, heat, and noise that plague modern soldiers.” —Brooklyn Magazine

“Having investigated sex, death, and preparing for space travel, New York Times best-selling Roach applies her thorough—and thoroughly entertaining—techniques to the sobering subject of keeping soldiers not just alive but alert and healthy of mind and body during warfare.” —Library Journal

“Roach...applies her tenacious reporting and quirky point of view to efforts by scientists to conquer some of the soldier’s worst enemies.” —Seattle Times

Deborah Blum
Deborah Blum

Deborah Blum

Deborah Blum is a Pulitzer Prize–winning American science journalist, columnist, and author of six books, including the 2018 New York Times Notable Book, The Poison Squad, and the New York Times bestseller, The Poisoner’s Handbook (2010).  Her other books include Ghost Hunters (2010), Love at Goon Park (2006), Sex on the Brain (1997) and The Monkey Wars (1994). She is a former president of the National Association of Science Writers, was a member of the governing board of the World Federation of Science Writers, and currently serves on the board of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Blum is co-editor of the book A Field Guide for Science Writers, and in 2015, she was selected as the fourth director of the Knight Science Journalism Program at MIT.

Mary Roach
Mary Roach

Mary Roach

Mary Roach is the New York times best-selling author of five works of nonfiction including Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal, Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void, and Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers. She lives in Oakland, CA.

Photo Credit: Jen Siska 

UPDATE: Tickets for this event are sold out. Please note, we are often able to accommodate additional attendees from a standby line for sold out events. View our Sold Out Event FAQ for more information.

Tickets are non-refundable and non-returnable.

Brattle Theatre
40 Brattle St., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 10 minutes

As you exit the station, cross Mass. Ave. and proceed along Brattle St. Follow Brattle St. as it curves to the right in Brattle Square (follow the sidewalk on the right side of the street). The Brattle will be on the left-hand side of the street. The building is shared with Algiers Cafe and Alden & Harlow Restaurant, and the theatre entrance is on the left side of the building—look for the sidewalk poster case and marquee.

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