A well-defended, somewhat scientific argument about the power of positive thinking.



A physician unfolds his theory about curing cancer—not by fighting it with hatred but by correcting it with love.

The “war on cancer” is a familiar phrase to many. But what if the solution involves loving your cancer instead of battling it? This is the heart of Rushenas’ (Le Sang-Graal, 2011) work. Readers are the gods of their cells, and the emotions they radiate “will lead to specific changes at the cellular level, for better or for worse.” Using intense personification, the author explains that projecting hatred to cancer cells (or “orphan cells,” as he compassionately calls them) will cause them to violently retaliate whereas sending them unconditional love can restore harmony. So does this mean people can just think their way out of having cancer? Though the whole book seems to head toward this, in the end Rushenas asserts that traditional cancer treatments (chemotherapy, radiotherapy, etc.) are still the answer. But they should be viewed as lovingly correcting the cancer cells, not resentfully destroying them. Just as near-death experiences often give people feelings of sublime love and joy and a desire to change, this cellular near-death experience can have a momentous, positive effect on cancer cells. The author notes, however, that emotional visualization (imagining being healthy) must be coupled with corresponding actions (maintaining a beneficial lifestyle) to be effectual. Rushenas efficiently builds his theory one principle at a time, establishing each idea so that it’s fully understandable, and even quite believable, before moving forward. Unfortunately, the price he pays for clarity and persuasion is verbosity: The topic of cancer doesn’t take center stage until Page 91, and readers must plod through extensive autobiographical details and thick metaphysical musings to get there. As a doctor, Rushenas elevates the discussion of human energy to a new level with his scientific observations, especially concerning cell biology. Readers who are open to pseudoscience (like the Emoto water experiments the author refers to) will be most receptive to Rushenas’ theory, though others will likely still be intrigued by this novel perspective.

A well-defended, somewhat scientific argument about the power of positive thinking.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4834-8734-2

Page Count: 164

Publisher: Lulu

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2018

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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.


A light-speed tour of (mostly) Western poetry, from the 4,000-year-old Gilgamesh to the work of Australian poet Les Murray, who died in 2019.

In the latest entry in the publisher’s Little Histories series, Carey, an emeritus professor at Oxford whose books include What Good Are the Arts? and The Unexpected Professor: An Oxford Life in Books, offers a quick definition of poetry—“relates to language as music relates to noise. It is language made special”—before diving in to poetry’s vast history. In most chapters, the author deals with only a few writers, but as the narrative progresses, he finds himself forced to deal with far more than a handful. In his chapter on 20th-century political poets, for example, he talks about 14 writers in seven pages. Carey displays a determination to inform us about who the best poets were—and what their best poems were. The word “greatest” appears continually; Chaucer was “the greatest medieval English poet,” and Langston Hughes was “the greatest male poet” of the Harlem Renaissance. For readers who need a refresher—or suggestions for the nightstand—Carey provides the best-known names and the most celebrated poems, including Paradise Lost (about which the author has written extensively), “Kubla Khan,” “Ozymandias,” “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads, which “changed the course of English poetry.” Carey explains some poetic technique (Hopkins’ “sprung rhythm”) and pauses occasionally to provide autobiographical tidbits—e.g., John Masefield, who wrote the famous “Sea Fever,” “hated the sea.” We learn, as well, about the sexuality of some poets (Auden was bisexual), and, especially later on, Carey discusses the demons that drove some of them, Robert Lowell and Sylvia Plath among them. Refreshingly, he includes many women in the volume—all the way back to Sappho—and has especially kind words for Marianne Moore and Elizabeth Bishop, who share a chapter.

Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-300-23222-6

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Yale Univ.

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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