DOUBLE VISION

AN EAST-WEST COLLABORATION FOR COPING WITH CANCER

An earnest plea for a holistic model of medicine combining the best of Eastern and Western approaches. Medical sociologist Todd (Suffolk Univ.) recounts how she utilized Eastern therapies to help her 21-year-old son Drew recover from a rare, aggressive form of cancer. These efforts were made with the consent but not the cooperation of his doctors, who are here identified only by initials. Todd states repeatedly that she does not reject Western medicine, and she makes no claim that her son's cancer could have been cured without its high technology. However, she argues strongly that his rapid recovery—not just from cancer but from two surgeries and numerous radiation treatments—was greatly facilitated by alternative therapies. These included a macrobiotic diet, acupuncture, and relaxation and visualization techniques. Professionally well versed in the workings and shortcomings of mainstream medicine, Todd had found it of no help when she suffered severe reactions to environmental toxins. She turned to a macrobiotic diet for relief, and her initial skepticism was soon replaced by considerable faith in the healing power of miso soup. Interwoven with her personal story are chapters on research into Eastern therapies, Western attitudes toward these therapies, the reasons for Western doctors' resistance to them, and the benefits to be gained by combining the humane gentleness of Eastern medicine with the disease-centered aggressiveness of Western medicine. Appendixes provide data on the specifics of Drew's diet; references for information on the theory and practice of macrobiotics; mail-order sources for exotic, hard-to- find foods; addresses of counseling centers; and a reading list. Persuasive in its general message concerning the flaws of Western medicine, although the author gets bogged down trying to dispel macrobiotics' cult image and gives short shrift to other alternative therapies.

Pub Date: Oct. 26, 1994

ISBN: 0-8195-5279-8

Page Count: 208

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1994

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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DEAR MR. HENSHAW

Possibly inspired by the letters Cleary has received as a children's author, this begins with second-grader Leigh Botts' misspelled fan letter to Mr. Henshaw, whose fictitious book itself derives from the old take-off title Forty Ways W. Amuse a Dog. Soon Leigh is in sixth grade and bombarding his still-favorite author with a list of questions to be answered and returned by "next Friday," the day his author report is due. Leigh is disgruntled when Mr. Henshaw's answer comes late, and accompanied by a set of questions for Leigh to answer. He threatens not to, but as "Mom keeps nagging me about your dumb old questions" he finally gets the job done—and through his answers Mr. Henshaw and readers learn that Leigh considers himself "the mediumest boy in school," that his parents have split up, and that he dreams of his truck-driver dad driving him to school "hauling a forty-foot reefer, which would make his outfit add up to eighteen wheels altogether. . . . I guess I wouldn't seem so medium then." Soon Mr. Henshaw recommends keeping a diary (at least partly to get Leigh off his own back) and so the real letters to Mr. Henshaw taper off, with "pretend," unmailed letters (the diary) taking over. . . until Leigh can write "I don't have to pretend to write to Mr. Henshaw anymore. I have learned to say what I think on a piece of paper." Meanwhile Mr. Henshaw offers writing tips, and Leigh, struggling with a story for a school contest, concludes "I think you're right. Maybe I am not ready to write a story." Instead he writes a "true story" about a truck haul with his father in Leigh's real past, and this wins praise from "a real live author" Leigh meets through the school program. Mr. Henshaw has also advised that "a character in a story should solve a problem or change in some way," a standard juvenile-fiction dictum which Cleary herself applies modestly by having Leigh solve his disappearing lunch problem with a burglar-alarmed lunch box—and, more seriously, come to recognize and accept that his father can't be counted on. All of this, in Leigh's simple words, is capably and unobtrusively structured as well as valid and realistic. From the writing tips to the divorced-kid blues, however, it tends to substitute prevailing wisdom for the little jolts of recognition that made the Ramona books so rewarding.

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 1983

ISBN: 143511096X

Page Count: 133

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1983

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