10 Mesothelioma and Asbestos Books You Should Read

Mesothelioma and Asbestos Books

At the Mesothelioma Center, we cite several books, pamphlets and resources on our website that were written to help people affected by mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.

Whether you were recently diagnosed or you’re just looking to educate yourself about asbestos and the diseases it causes, these are great resources we frequently use.

In no particular order, the books are:

Defending the Indefensible

The authors, Jock McCulloch and Geoffrey Tweedale, are historians that have written several books about health and mining. With hundreds of sources from studies, journals, letters, and official documents, this book serves as a short history lesson on how asbestos companies defended their use of asbestos and how the industry was challenged by the medical industry, the media, and victims of asbestos-related diseases. This book has a great perspective about the history of the asbestos industry.

100 Questions & Answers about Mesothelioma

Written by Harvey Pass, M.D., Registered Nurse Amy Metula and mesothelioma advocate Susan Vento, this book is one of our most requested mesothelioma books at the Mesothelioma Center. The 100 most common questions about mesothelioma are detailed in a straight-forward question and answer format. This book is very comprehensive and has medical terms in bold with detailed definitions in the side margin to make everything easy to understand.

The Official Patient’s Sourcebook on Malignant Mesothelioma

This book is one of the many Patient Sourcebooks edited by James Parker, M.D., and Philip Parker, M.D. They have researched and detailed a reference manual with essential information relevant to mesothelioma. With a large list of the studies, clinical trials, and a bibliography, this book is a great reference manual.

Fatal Deception

Investigative journalist Michael Bowker writes an exposé about the damage committed by the asbestos industry. He mainly focuses on the controversy that was created in the mines of Libby, Montana, and the aftermath left for the town. This book is filled with interviews, testimony, quotes and images. One of the images is particularly disturbing with two small children playing in a dirt mound that contains asbestos.

White Dust Black Death

Peter Webster takes a look at the problems surrounding the Baryulgil Asbestos Mine that was formerly owned and operated by the James Hardie Corporation. Beginning with a thorough timeline, he offers an Australian’s perspective on the damage to human rights as well as the devastating effects asbestos has to a community.

Surviving Mesothelioma

This is another highly requested book that we provide patients at the Mesothelioma Center. Surviving Mesothelioma is an inspiring story of the chronicles of mesothelioma survivor Judy Glezinski. Her 18 year journey of treatment and optimism tells us how attitude is also another aspect of survival. The book also includes Stephen Jay Gould’s “The Median Isn’t the Message,” an additional strong message of hope and attitude.

They said Months. I Chose Years!

Several survivors have chosen to write books about their experiences. Mesothelioma cancer often comes with a bleak prognosis; however James O’Connor tells how he modeled his treatment methods by combining non-conventional means which he believes led him to a longer life expectancy. He details his diet, supplements and spiritual regimen while emphasizing there is no “one size fits all” treatment plan.

Surviving Mesothelioma and Other Cancers

Since his diagnosis in 1997, Paul Kraus continued to be a mesothelioma advocate and has worked towards helping others. Understanding his cancer motivated him to do whatever was necessary to maintain his health. His book is a patient’s guide based on everything he has learned since his diagnosis. He details knowledge on everything from emotional and spiritual principles to information on therapies, nutrition and ways of coping.

Vermiculite Ore in Bag

Libby, Montana

Andrea Peacock writes about Libby, Montana, home to one of the largest asbestos mines in the United States. When the W.R. Grace Corporation shut down their asbestos operation, they left the town with one of the largest environmental health hazards in the country. There is touching insight from those directly affected by asbestos and their interactions with corporations that processed asbestos.

An Air That Kills

Andrew Schneider and David McCumber blow the lid on one of the largest environmental disasters in American history. It all starts with Schneider’s article in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, A town left to die. Since the article broke, large events circulated around the town of Libby, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the families affected by asbestos. This book unearths the repulsiveness of what greed can do. It also brings an understanding backed with in-depth research about the events that caused the disaster.

What books about asbestos and mesothelioma would you recommend to a friend? Do you have a suggestion for a book or resource we should add to our library?


Ben Leer is an outreach coordinator with The Mesothelioma Center. He works toward increasing education and awareness of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. Part of Ben’s job is to reach out and engage with patients, caregivers and family members on our online communities.

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