THE HEALTH CENTURY by Edward Shorter

THE HEALTH CENTURY

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

An optimistic, laudatory look at the major medical advances of the last hundred years. Shorter (Bedside Manners, 1985; etc.) paints the grim picture of the late 1800's: ""doctors could diagnose disease but not cure it. . ."" He then looks at where we have come from there, using the story of penicillin as a case in point, and goes on to describe the development of vaccines; our increased understanding of molecular science (and hence DNA, immunology, and AIDS); psychiatry, from psychoanalysis to biological psychiatry; and looks at cancer, heart disease, and some new technologies. This companion volume to the PBS TV series tends to the glib conclusion: ""We today know enough about AIDS to feel sure that some kind of therapy or vaccine is not far away."" Shorter is a real cheerleader: ""In the battle against this latest terrible epidemic, these men and women in the Public Health Service are keeping alive the traditions of the microbe hunters."" Not a critical history by any means, then--more a congratulatory summary.

Pub Date: Sept. 18th, 1987
Publisher: Doubleday