Too Much of a Good Thing

How Four Key Survival Traits Are Now Killing Us


By Lee Goldman

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$34.00 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around December 8, 2015. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

The dean of Columbia University’s medical school explains why our bodies are out of sync with today’s environment and how we can correct this to save our health.

Over the past 200 years, human life-expectancy has approximately doubled. Yet we face soaring worldwide rates of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, mental illness, heart disease, and stroke. In his fascinating new book, Dr. Lee Goldman presents a radical explanation: The key protective traits that once ensured our species’ survival are now the leading global causes of illness and death.

Our capacity to store food, for example, lures us into overeating, and a clotting system designed to protect us from bleeding to death now directly contributes to heart attacks and strokes. A deeply compelling narrative that puts a new spin on evolutionary biology, Too Much of a Good Thing also provides a roadmap for getting back in sync with the modern world.


  • "In this highly original and profound book, Lee Goldman describes how the same physical traits that evolved to ensure our survival are now working against us. For anyone interested in their own and their family's well-being, Too Much of a Good Thing is a must read!"—Eric Kandel, Winner of the 2000 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, University Professor, Department of Neuroscience, Columbia University, author of The Age of Insight and In Search of Memory
  • "A fascinating look at the health problems that plague us, illuminating why they happen and what to do about them."
    Jerome Groopman, M.D., Pamela Hartzband, M.D., Harvard Medical School, Authors of Your Medical Mind: How to Decide What is Right For You
  • "This book, written from a deeply expert yet broad medical viewpoint, sets current medical challenges into their larger contexts of our human history and biological pre-history, to provide a crisply related and refreshingly clear-eyed perspective on much that ails us these days. And throughout the book, I also enjoyed the fascinating snippets on topics ranging from platelets to percentages of paleolithic food components to polyandry to presidential obesity."
    Elizabeth Blackburn, Winner of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
  • "Lee Goldman is a pioneer in medicine in the best sense of the word: his 'Goldman Criteria' and 'Goldman Index' are in the vernacular of daily practice. As an educator and writer, he has influenced many: as just one example his visionary ideas created the first hospitalist movement in America. In this provocative and elegant book, Goldman examines the very survival traits that have brought our species this far. It could be that these traits are now killing us-the arguments, insights and solutions offered here are profound. It is a book that I think only someone with the stature and perspective of Lee Goldman could write. It's an important book for our times."
    Abraham Verghese, author of Cutting for Stone
  • "An interesting explanation for our current medical woes....Goldman presents a convincing case for the power of our genetics and explains why conquering these inclinations is so difficult."—Candace Smith, Booklist
  • "Goldman goes beyond diet issues to talk about survival mechanisms that worked well for thousands of generations but have now turned against human health."—Nancy Szokan, Washington Post

On Sale
Dec 8, 2015
Page Count
352 pages
Little Brown Spark

Lee Goldman

About the Author

Dr. Lee Goldman is dean of the medical school at Columbia University. An internationally renowned cardiologist, he developed the Goldman Criteria (a set of guidelines for healthcare professionals to determine which patients with chest pain require hospital admission) and the Goldman Index (which predicts which patients will have heart problems after surgery). He’s the author of more than 480 medical articles and also the lead editor of Goldman-Cecil Medicine, the oldest continuously published medical textbook in the U.S.

Learn more about this author