BROTHERHOOD

DHARMA, DESTINY, AND THE AMERICAN DREAM

A charmingly conversational tale of devotion—to each other and to the science and art of medicine.

Two brothers, both doctors, reflect on a remarkable journey from their childhood in newly independent India to their success and renown in Obama’s America.

Throughout this dual memoir, the Chopra brothers insist they are two very different people, and they offer some evidence to support this contention. Readers, however, will more likely be struck by their similarities, by the common chords sounded as each takes over in alternating chapters to tell what amounts to a love story: their love of family, of medicine, of their native India and their adopted America. They shared schooling, games and friends as the privileged children of a prominent physician in a land where Western medicine was still new. Both came to America to complete their medical education, and, though they encountered some casual prejudice, both were happily surprised by the egalitarian nature of their training. They tell some interesting, frequently amusing stories about their personal and professional assimilation, and they explain their decisions to stay in the U.S., even as they maintain deep ties to their Indian heritage. Deepak (co-author: Super Brain: Unleashing the Explosive Power of Your Mind to Maximize Health, Happiness, and Spiritual Well-Being, 2012, etc.) revisits his controversial embrace of alternative medicine and his decision to strike out on his own as a “professional outsider.” He describes this as “the fork in the road” separating the siblings, but no great differences emerge from his younger brother’s telling. Indeed, fearful only that his brother will be misunderstood, Sanjiv appears to accept most of Deepak’s insights about the mind–body connection. Certainly, as a dean at Harvard Medical School, Sanjiv (co-author: Leadership by Example: The Ten Key Principles of All Great Leaders, 2012, etc.) is more closely tied to the medical establishment, but he remains intrigued and fully supportive of his brother’s path-breaking career.

A charmingly conversational tale of devotion—to each other and to the science and art of medicine.

Pub Date: May 21, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-544-03210-1

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Amazon/New Harvest

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2013

NIGHT

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS

FROM MEAN STREETS TO WALL STREET

Well-told and admonitory.

Young-rags-to-mature-riches memoir by broker and motivational speaker Gardner.

Born and raised in the Milwaukee ghetto, the author pulled himself up from considerable disadvantage. He was fatherless, and his adored mother wasn’t always around; once, as a child, he spied her at a family funeral accompanied by a prison guard. When beautiful, evanescent Moms was there, Chris also had to deal with Freddie “I ain’t your goddamn daddy!” Triplett, one of the meanest stepfathers in recent literature. Chris did “the dozens” with the homies, boosted a bit and in the course of youthful adventure was raped. His heroes were Miles Davis, James Brown and Muhammad Ali. Meanwhile, at the behest of Moms, he developed a fondness for reading. He joined the Navy and became a medic (preparing badass Marines for proctology), and a proficient lab technician. Moving up in San Francisco, married and then divorced, he sold medical supplies. He was recruited as a trainee at Dean Witter just around the time he became a homeless single father. All his belongings in a shopping cart, Gardner sometimes slept with his young son at the office (apparently undiscovered by the night cleaning crew). The two also frequently bedded down in a public restroom. After Gardner’s talents were finally appreciated by the firm of Bear Stearns, his American Dream became real. He got the cool duds, hot car and fine ladies so coveted from afar back in the day. He even had a meeting with Nelson Mandela. Through it all, he remained a prideful parent. His own no-daddy blues are gone now.

Well-told and admonitory.

Pub Date: June 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-06-074486-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Amistad/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2006

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