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

BROTHERHOOD

DHARMA, DESTINY, AND THE AMERICAN DREAM

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 16, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2013

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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

NIGHT

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

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