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PAIN & PREJUDICE

HOW THE MEDICAL SYSTEM IGNORES WOMEN―AND WHAT WE CAN DO ABOUT IT

An informative study of cisgender female care in medicine, from hysteria to Covid-19, with a focus on chronic pain.

An exploration of how “women’s pain is all too often dismissed, their illnesses misdiagnosed or ignored."

Jackson, an associate news editor at the Guardian, breezily translates decades of medical research, interviews, and statistics into a book that challenges what we think we know about women’s health and pain. The author, who suffers from endometriosis, expands on her earlier journalism on the condition, writing of the startling misconceptions surrounding cisgender women’s treatment in the medical system. Jackson locates the foundation of modern medicine’s dismissal and misdiagnoses of countless women by detailing the history of hysteria and its insidious consequences for women. For example, she highlights how most people would be surprised to learn that “in 2004, 7.4 million women over 60 years of age died of cardiovascular disease compared with 6.3 million men.” This misconception—that heart disease afflicts the male population more than the female population—is one of many Jackson corrects throughout the book. She adroitly synthesizes complex medical studies and interviews with medical professionals, patients, and researchers. One conclusion is that medical professionals’ current lack of consensus on the best treatments for women with chronic diseases is due to the paucity of clinical trials and dedicated funding for research into how these diseases specifically affect cisgender female patients—or female rodents in trials. Jackson is most effective when she brings together disparate sources and findings to reach digestible conclusions. The author’s personal tale of her struggle with endometriosis creates an engaging familiarity with readers, but her occasionally derisive tone toward men, lumped together as an undifferentiated group, could alienate an otherwise receptive audience. Nonetheless, Jackson is effective in her presentation of pertinent, often surprising information that could help many women stay healthy and find quality, personalized health care.

An informative study of cisgender female care in medicine, from hysteria to Covid-19, with a focus on chronic pain.

Pub Date: March 8, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-77164-716-8

Page Count: 392

Publisher: Greystone Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 6, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2021

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WHAT THIS COMEDIAN SAID WILL SHOCK YOU

Maher calls out idiocy wherever he sees it, with a comedic delivery that veers between a stiletto and a sledgehammer.

The comedian argues that the arts of moderation and common sense must be reinvigorated.

Some people are born snarky, some become snarky, and some have snarkiness thrust upon them. Judging from this book, Maher—host of HBO’s Real Time program and author of The New New Rules and When You Ride Alone, You Ride With bin Laden—is all three. As a comedian, he has a great deal of leeway to make fun of people in politics, and he often delivers hilarious swipes with a deadpan face. The author describes himself as a traditional liberal, with a disdain for Republicans (especially the MAGA variety) and a belief in free speech and personal freedom. He claims that he has stayed much the same for more than 20 years, while the left, he argues, has marched toward intolerance. He sees an addiction to extremism on both sides of the aisle, which fosters the belief that anyone who disagrees with you must be an enemy to be destroyed. However, Maher has always displayed his own streaks of extremism, and his scorched-earth takedowns eventually become problematic. The author has something nasty to say about everyone, it seems, and the sarcastic tone starts after more than 300 pages. As has been the case throughout his career, Maher is best taken in small doses. The book is worth reading for the author’s often spot-on skewering of inept politicians and celebrities, but it might be advisable to occasionally dip into it rather than read the whole thing in one sitting. Some parts of the text are hilarious, but others are merely insulting. Maher is undeniably talented, but some restraint would have produced a better book.

Maher calls out idiocy wherever he sees it, with a comedic delivery that veers between a stiletto and a sledgehammer.

Pub Date: May 21, 2024

ISBN: 9781668051351

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 5, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2024

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WHAT WENT WRONG WITH CAPITALISM

Sure to generate debate, and of special interest to adherents of free market capitalism.

A book-length assertion that capitalism’s woes can be traced to government interventionism.

Sharma, an investments manager, financial journalist, and author of The 10 Rules of Successful Nations, The Rise and Fall of Nations, and other books, opens with the case of his native India. The author argues that it should be in a better position in the global marketplace, possessing an entrepreneurial culture and endless human capital. The culprit was “India’s lingering attachment to a state that overpromises and under-delivers,” one that privileged social welfare over infrastructure development. Much the same is true in the U.S., where today “President Joe Biden is promising to fix the crises of capitalism by enlarging a government that never shrank.” Refreshingly, Sharma places just as much blame on Ronald Reagan for the swollen state that introduced distortions into the market. Moreover, “flaws that economists blame on ‘market failures,’ including wealth inequality and inordinate corporate power, often flow more from government excesses.” One distortion is the government’s bloated debt, as it continues to fund itself by borrowing in order to pay for “the perennial deficit.” As any household budget manager would tell you, debt is ultimately unsustainable. Wealth concentration is another outcome of government tinkering that has, whether by design or not, concentrated wealth into the hands of a very small number of people, “a critical symptom of capitalism gone wrong, both inefficient and grossly unfair.” Perhaps surprisingly, Sharma notes that in quasi-socialist economies such as the Scandinavian nations, such interventions are fewer and shallower, while autocratic command economies are doomed to fail. “[T]oday every large developed country is a full-fledged democracy,” he writes, and the more freedom the better—but that freedom, he argues, is undermined by the U.S. government, which has accrued “the widest budget deficit in the developed world.”

Sure to generate debate, and of special interest to adherents of free market capitalism.

Pub Date: June 11, 2024

ISBN: 9781668008263

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 22, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2024

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