From February to the middle of July 1942 a remarkable study was carried out in the Warsaw ghetto, a study of starvation conducted by the Jewish physicians in the two largest hospitals in the ghetto. The results of this study have survived and become a cornerstone of the medical literature on the changes undergone by the human body when not enough food is available. What you are about to read is the story of that study-why it was done, how it was done, who carried it out, what was found, and how it survived. Everything about the study itself is true. Everything about the background of the physicians who took part in the study is as accurate as I could make it. The rest, what motivated them to do the study, how they got the equipment, and how they smuggled the manuscript out is fiction, but is consistent with what little information I had. Thus the story you are about to read is a historical novel in the truest sense. Together the fact and the fiction will give you, the reader, an understanding of an extraordinary scientific event that helped a people define itself during one of the saddest chapters of its existence.