Praise for Pink Ribbon Blues

It’s about time! We’ve been needing this book – a smart, critical, thoughtful analysis of pink ribbon culture and the damage it is doing. Thank you Gayle Sulik! – Barbara Katz Rothman PhD, City University of NY, author of  Laboring On with Wendy Simonds

Books like “Pink Ribbon Blues” encourage all of us to examine the facts anew. – Barron Lerner MD, Columbia University Medical Center, author of The Breast Cancer Wars: Hope, Fear and the Pursuit of a Cure in Twentieth-Century America, The New York Times

You may never think pink again about breast cancer after reading Sulik’s sobering and lucid critique of what she calls “pink culture. Sulik’s call to “take a road less pink” demands to be heard.Publisher’s Weekly

Pink Ribbon Blues is an ESSENTIAL read on the commercialization of breast cancer through pink ribbon culture. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. – Peggy Orenstein, author of Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture

Breast Cancer Awareness Month has become a distracting sideshow, a situation that sociologist Gayle A. Sulik explores in compelling depth in her new book, Pink Ribbon Blues. Sulik is especially sharp in decrying the shining face that the pink world puts on breast cancer. The women featured in stories and ads embody the triumph of the human spirit, they fight fight fight, they’re always transformed by the experience and they rarely have recurrences, even though, in the real world, some 30 percent of women do.” – Katherine Russell Rich, author of The Red Devil and Dreaming in Hindi, Slate

Pink Ribbon Blues is the Frommer’s travel guide to the country of breast cancer. Gayle Sulik takes us behind the pink curtain to a peculiar culture where sentimentality takes the place of scientific evidence, personal transcendence fills in for political action, and lofty platitudes replace actionable goals. – Sandra Steinbrager, author of Living Downstream: An Ecologist’s Personal Investigation of Cancer and the Environment, Having Faith: An Ecologist’s Journey to Motherhood, and Raising Elijah: Protecting Children in an Age of Environmental Crisis

We hope for a German edition of this major book. Gayle Sulik takes us behind the façade of pink ribbon culture and describes how we are now bombarded with “pink” products without calling into question whether we are on the right track. The popular images of millions of women with smiling faces and pink paraphernalia do not reflect the illness experiences of millions of others who do not fit into the pink box. – Gudrun Kemper, Breast Cancer Action Germany

In this eye-opening story about the ubiquitous pink ribbon, medical sociologist Sulik reveals the dark side of the “breast cancer awareness” movement. She argues that breast cancer has become a “brand,” complete with its own logo and self-serving corporations. In the end, this well-reported book (Sulik interviewed hundreds of sources) will make readers think twice before they shell out extra bucks for a pink mixer. – Booklist

In this provocative and eye-opening critique, medical sociologist Gayle Sulik, Ph.D., makes the case that breast cancer culture is increasingly frivolous and commercialized—with patients paying the price. – Better Homes and Gardens

In this thoughtful, eye-opening and searing examination of the pinking of breast cancer, Sulik shows how pink culture lurches from selflessness to selfishness, giving new meaning to the ferocity of survivors and she-roes. – Devra Davis PhD MPH, Founder, Environmental Health Trust, National Book Award Finalist, author of Disconnect: The Truth about Cell Phone Radiation and Your Health and The Secret History of the War on Cancer, Visiting Professor, Georgetown University

BRAVO!!!!! In Pink Ribbon Blues, Gayle Sulik has brought sociological, feminist and media theory together for a deep and broad analysis of the consumer world of breast cancer. She has complimented all of that with a deeply humane and personal engagement with the women who are living with breast cancer in a world where the pink ribbon culture constantly needs disruption and questioning. – Janet Gray Phd, Vassar College, Board Member, Breast Cancer Fund

Provocative. Pink ribbon culture is geared more toward encouraging people to feel good about the cause than to acknowledge the often difficult and un-pretty realities of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. – Library Journal

In Pink Ribbon Blues, Sulik treads an interesting middle ground between the academic and the journalistic as she analyzes giant hunks of information and also interviews patients. It is the social scientists who get to contemplate the full panorama of human reaction to disease by studying the fallout from a single one: all the shades of anguish and anger, the posturing, the politics and the cartloads of wishful thinking, all wrapped up in a big pink ribbon. – Abigail Zuger MD, Associate Editor of Journal Watch, author of Strong Shadows: Scenes from an Inner City AIDS Clinic, The New York Times

Gayle Sulik has taken some brave steps to bring into focus, not only a sacred cow, but the elephant in the room — corporatization reaching even into one of our most well respected charity organizations. If breast cancer is ever to really be conquered, we need to know what Sulik has to say, so that we are reminded not to take things, even warm, fuzzy, pink things, at face value. – Gabriella Wheeler, Book a Day Review

A must-read, Pink Ribbon Blues provides a comprehensive thought-provoking look into the evolution and present status of breast cancer culture in today’s society. Sulik’s voice is one of reason. Her book is evidence based, but at the same time filled with compassion, personal engagement and genuine commitment to bringing about the kind of meaningful dialogue and progress the breast cancer community so desperately needs and deserves. – Nancy Stordahl, blogger, Nancy’s Point, author of Getting Past the Fear: A guide to help you mentally prepare for chemotherapy.

Well-written and extremely well researched, Pink Ribbon Blues demonstrates how pink consumption has transformed breast cancer from a stigmatized disease and individual tragedy to a market-driven industry of survivorship. Using a broad interdisciplinary approach and a range of examples, personal stories, and health statistics, Sulik traces the linkages between the disease and the ‘pink culture’ that has arisen around it. As well as being of interest to those with breast cancer this book would be useful for academic and clinical audiences, in addition to serving as an excellent discussion text for courses in medical sociology and anthropology. – Sukari Ivester PhD, University of California, Sociology of Health and Illness

The title grabs you, the content consumes you, and the conversational tone of this well-researched book absorbs you. For me, the content of this book hits close to home…When diagnosed in 1986, I still did not know anyone with breast cancer. Much of what Sulik describes in this book I have experienced. It was sobering to learn that my personal feeling, about how far afield the symbol of the pink ribbon is from its initial meaning, was in accord with [her] insight…This is a book for all concerned about the breast cancer epidemic. – Joan Sheehan, Vice-President, Capital Region Action Against Breast Cancer

In Pink Ribbon Blues, a book that was updated and re-released, Gayle Sulik criticizes the breast cancer industry and highlights possible institutional fixes and organizations that she believes can help to “recalibrate a system gone awry. Sulik examines advertisements, walks “for the cure” and awareness campaigns, and includes interviews with those affected by the disease. – Maggie Fazeli Fard, The Washington Post

I highly recommend Pink Ribbon Blues to anyone interested in medical issues, the social construction of patienthood, gender, and the body. Given the pink ribbon’s symbolic success, what’s wrong with it? Sulik argues that pink ribbon culture focuses attention on the wrong things and does it in a way that is not really contributing to progress toward preventing and curing cancer. It buries medical controversies, ignores environmental causes of cancer and insurance problems, and does not increase access to treatment for underserved populations. Most of all, she is critical of the collusion of pink ribbon culture with what has become a multibillion-dollar cancer industry. – Judith Lorber PhD, Graduate Center and Brooklyn College, City University of New York, Gender & Society

This book could change the world. Gayle Sulik makes brilliant observations in her book, Pink Ribbon Blues, about the whole breast cancer culture. And it’s about time we started to take notice. If you have any interest in us really making a difference to breast cancer statistics, then please – read this book. – Sarah Horton, author of Being Sarah: A True Story About Choice, Control, and Breast Cancer

Sulik’s book is provocative. Breast cancer is spoken about more than most other diseases. Yet increased dialogue has not come without a price. We encourage anyone who is interested to consider the costs and benefits of increased “awareness” and the incredible amount of action still needed to end this epidemic. Caitlin Chappelle, Breast Cancer Action

If you have a Books to Read list, as I do, please put this one at the top of your list. Pink Ribbon Blues will open your minds, test your beliefs about the facts and fiction surrounding breast cancer, and hopefully open your hearts to embrace a different viewpoint about pink ribbon culture that will help many women (and men) with breast cancer and their families find other realistic choices to deal with their illness. – Ellen Sue Spicer, blogger, Menupause

Sulik’s work has given her stark insights into questions of suffering, compassion, and hope. Pink Ribbon Blues examines how activities of breast cancer awareness groups, while well-intentioned, often undermine efforts to improve cancer treatment. – Timothy Cahill, Director of the Center for the Documentary Arts at the Sage Colleges