THE LIMITS OF MEDICINE

HOW SCIENCE SHAPES OUR HOPE FOR THE CURE

Deft questioning of our basic assumptions about health, disease, and medicine. Golub, director of the Pacific Center for Ethics and Applied Biology, asserts that throughout most of human history little changed in the way health and sickness were regarded. From 500 bc to about ad 1850, people believed that health depended on the body's being in balance—and the general level of health was pretty dreadful, with sickness and early death being omnipresent. In the 19th century, however, science began to reframe thinking about health and disease. Indeed, Golub claims that the major contributions science has made to our lives are in changing our view of ourselves, how medicine is practiced, and what we expect from medicine. Through myth-shattering stories about standard heroes and praise for some lesser-known figures, Golub recounts how the authority of science was brought to medicine by Pasteur, Lister, and others whose work contributed to the soaring popular faith in scientific medicine. Once diseases were seen as having specific causes, the course was clear: determine the cause and then develop a vaccine to prevent the disease or a chemical to cure it. This concept of specificity still prevails, according to Golub. But it does not serve us well in an era of complex chronic diseases and the degenerative conditions of old age. Golub cautions against reliance on costly high-tech solutions, especially gene therapy, warning that the complexity of biology calls for more innovative and integrative approaches. Finally, he urges serious rethinking of what we want from medicine and argues that we should view aging and dying as an integral part of life rather than as the Great Enemy of medicine. Highly enjoyable as a brief and opinionated history of medicine, but more valuable as a provocative essay on the direction in which science and technology are moving medicine today. (15 line drawings, not seen)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1994

ISBN: 0-8129-2141-0

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Times/Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 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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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

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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