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A NEW DEAL FOR CANCER

LESSONS FROM A 50 YEAR WAR

Of considerable interest to professionals working in the many fields associated with cancer care.

A probing collection of essays on the medicine and money involved in the war on cancer.

One of Richard Nixon’s many failed promises was that cancer would be conquered as surely as illegal drugs would be. That didn’t come to pass—though, as Yale Law School health policy specialist Gluck and oncologist Fuchs point out, the death rates from cancer have fallen by 29% in the last 30 years. “Efforts in cancer prevention, most notably reduction in the use of tobacco products, account for much of the mortality reductions,” they write, “though recent advances in cancer therapeutics are now also contributing.” What will it take to bring the rate down even further? Contributors, including geneticists, public health and public policy specialists, physicians, cancer researchers, and pharmaceutical engineers, examine the many moving parts of the effort. One answer is more money, since cancer care is outpacing other medical costs. Care costs are better managed in physician-driven practices rather than corporate-driven ones. Even so, a kind of mentality is at play that, writes Siddhartha Mukherjee, is forming a “cancer institution” or totalizing cancer world in which the passage into illness is more emphasized than the passage into wellness. “I fear that we now possess one-way passports into the realm of illness,” he concludes. Other contributors examine developments in evidence-based screening, argue for the need for a “national cancer care databank,” and forecast improvements in imaging technology that will aid in earlier detection of tumor growth. Provocatively, one call is for mandatory HPV vaccination. The response to Covid-19 provides a model for cancer care and pharmaceutical development, although it will work only with increased federal funding, requirements for better reporting, and enhanced coordination among states.

Of considerable interest to professionals working in the many fields associated with cancer care.

Pub Date: Nov. 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5417-0061-1

Page Count: 416

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: Oct. 12, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2021

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ELON MUSK

Alternately admiring and critical, unvarnished, and a closely detailed account of a troubled innovator.

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A warts-and-all portrait of the famed techno-entrepreneur—and the warts are nearly beyond counting.

To call Elon Musk (b. 1971) “mercurial” is to undervalue the term; to call him a genius is incorrect. Instead, Musk has a gift for leveraging the genius of others in order to make things work. When they don’t, writes eminent biographer Isaacson, it’s because the notoriously headstrong Musk is so sure of himself that he charges ahead against the advice of others: “He does not like to share power.” In this sharp-edged biography, the author likens Musk to an earlier biographical subject, Steve Jobs. Given Musk’s recent political turn, born of the me-first libertarianism of the very rich, however, Henry Ford also comes to mind. What emerges clearly is that Musk, who may or may not have Asperger’s syndrome (“Empathy did not come naturally”), has nurtured several obsessions for years, apart from a passion for the letter X as both a brand and personal name. He firmly believes that “all requirements should be treated as recommendations”; that it is his destiny to make humankind a multi-planetary civilization through innovations in space travel; that government is generally an impediment and that “the thought police are gaining power”; and that “a maniacal sense of urgency” should guide his businesses. That need for speed has led to undeniable successes in beating schedules and competitors, but it has also wrought disaster: One of the most telling anecdotes in the book concerns Musk’s “demon mode” order to relocate thousands of Twitter servers from Sacramento to Portland at breakneck speed, which trashed big parts of the system for months. To judge by Isaacson’s account, that may have been by design, for Musk’s idea of creative destruction seems to mean mostly chaos.

Alternately admiring and critical, unvarnished, and a closely detailed account of a troubled innovator.

Pub Date: Sept. 12, 2023

ISBN: 9781982181284

Page Count: 688

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Sept. 12, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2023

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F*CK IT, I'LL START TOMORROW

The lessons to draw are obvious: Smoke more dope, eat less meat. Like-minded readers will dig it.

The chef, rapper, and TV host serves up a blustery memoir with lashings of self-help.

“I’ve always had a sick confidence,” writes Bronson, ne Ariyan Arslani. The confidence, he adds, comes from numerous sources: being a New Yorker, and more specifically a New Yorker from Queens; being “short and fucking husky” and still game for a standoff on the basketball court; having strength, stamina, and seemingly no fear. All these things serve him well in the rough-and-tumble youth he describes, all stickball and steroids. Yet another confidence-builder: In the big city, you’ve got to sink or swim. “No one is just accepted—you have to fucking show that you’re able to roll,” he writes. In a narrative steeped in language that would make Lenny Bruce blush, Bronson recounts his sentimental education, schooled by immigrant Italian and Albanian family members and the mean streets, building habits good and bad. The virtue of those habits will depend on your take on modern mores. Bronson writes, for example, of “getting my dick pierced” down in the West Village, then grabbing a pizza and smoking weed. “I always smoke weed freely, always have and always will,” he writes. “I’ll just light a blunt anywhere.” Though he’s gone through the classic experiences of the latter-day stoner, flunking out and getting arrested numerous times, Bronson is a hard charger who’s not afraid to face nearly any challenge—especially, given his physique and genes, the necessity of losing weight: “If you’re husky, you’re always dieting in your mind,” he writes. Though vulgar and boastful, Bronson serves up a model that has plenty of good points, including his growing interest in nature, creativity, and the desire to “leave a legacy for everybody.”

The lessons to draw are obvious: Smoke more dope, eat less meat. Like-minded readers will dig it.

Pub Date: April 20, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4197-4478-5

Page Count: 184

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: May 5, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2021

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