Doctor Takes ‘Epic Measures’ to Revolutionize Health Care [REVIEW]

Dr. Christopher Murray

Dr. Christopher Murray uses Big Data to change the way we look at how and why people die around the globe.
(Photo courtesy University of Washington)

Doctors have always looked at ways to treat the health crisis of the day, from the Black Death to cancer to AIDS. What they have not done, however, is study and compare how, why, and where people die on a global scale… at least, until now. In journalist Jeremy N. Smith’s important book, Epic Measures, he introduces us to the man who has tackled this massive project and is gradually changing health care around the planet. 

Jeremy N Smith's Epic Measures

Harper Wave

You don’t have to be a healthcare professional to be impressed with Dr. Christopher Murray, a physician, economist, and professor at the University of Washington. First of all, he’s one of those people who seems capable of doing anything he sets his mind to. He’s charismatic, smart, and a natural-born leader. But he’s also inquisitive, competitive, and difficult. He’s a conundrum to many, and he isn’t afraid to challenge the status quo, which has made him the right person to start the Global Burden of Disease study.

The study takes Murray’s determination to understand the world’s health problems and turns it into a fearless crusade to harness Big Data and ultimately find out not only why people die in every part of the world, but to discern why some populations live better and healthier than others. It’s a radical idea that hasn’t been implemented before, and the results of the project are helping physicians, entrepreneurs and other influential people to shift their focus and transform the way we look at medicine and human longevity.

Although it sounds like it could be a dry tale filled with far too many numbers, it’s really not. With Epic Measures, Smith has captured the essence of a man driven by an idea and presents him on the page as a larger-than-life character that is a cross between Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs and Dr. Jonas Salk. Like those men, Murray is a man who never takes no for an answer, is always ready to prove his point, and is able to make a big picture goal that is difficult to understand somehow obtainable.

Both insightful and inspirational, Epic Measures is a page-turner that reads more like a novel than like the serious non-fiction chronicle that it is. Most importantly, it reveals the tale of a man who is determined to ultimately save lives, collaborates with others on a massive scale, and can influence others to buy into his dream. I wouldn’t be surprised if this book is destined for the big screen, because the story is that fascinating. Yet as meaty a role as it might be to portray Murray, it would definitely be a challenge for any actor to slip on this unforgettable man’s shoes.

If you missed its original hardcover release, get Epic Measures now in paperback. It’s a story that will thrill fans of Richard Preston and Michael Crichton, as it is pulled straight from the headlines and is written with the bravado and mastery that made both authors household favorites. Smith is a deft writer with a compelling voice. I can’t wait to read more of his work in the future.


Jeremy N. Smith

Jeremy N. Smith
(Photo by Crackle Bingham)

Jeremy N. Smith has written for the Atlantic, Discover, and the New York Times, among many other publications, and has been featured by CNN, NPR, and Wired. 

His first book, Growing a Garden City, was one of Booklist’s top ten books on the environment for 2011.

Born and raised in Evanston, Illinois, he is a graduate of Harvard College and the University of Montana. He lives in Missoula, Montana, with his wife and young daughter.

To learn more about Smith and his work, visit his home on the Web at

By Jeremy N. Smith
368 pgs. Harper Wave. $15.99

You may purchase this book at one of these fine online retailers: HarperCollins, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble.

Epic Measures is brought to you in association with TLC Book Tours.

TLC Book Tours Tour Host

Want to know even more? Watch Jeremy N. Smith speak about Epic Measures at Dartmouth’s John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding in the video below.

About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

2 Responses to Doctor Takes ‘Epic Measures’ to Revolutionize Health Care [REVIEW]

  1. This is SO my kind of book!

    Thanks for being a part of the tour.

  2. Jathan Fink says:

    Reblogged this on Jadeworks Entertainment and commented:

    Insightful and inspirational, EPIC MEASURES is a masterful chronicle of one man’s large-scale collaboration to harness Big Data and change the face of health care forever.

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