A relentless, meticulous, and highly persuasive exposÇ by a journalist who spent nine years investigating the medical research establishment's failure to take seriously chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Although still frequently trivialized as a yuppie complaint or simply unrecognized, CFS is an infectious disease that can devastate the immune system, attack the brain, and leave its victims physically and emotionally overwhelmed, and it is now many times more widespread than polio was in the early 1950s. Johnson interviewed hundreds of people: CFS patients, physicians treating them, and researchers throughout the country. Scientists at the Centers for Disease Control were generally responsive to her inquiries, she reports; those at the National Institutes of Health were not. Her enormous cast of characters features Dan Peterson and Paul Cheney, physicians at Incline Village, Nev., whose concern about the outbreak in their community eventually led to a hasty CDC investigation; Jon Kaplan and Gary Holmes, CDC epidemiologists cynical about the reality of an illness that did not fit any disease model they were familiar with; Elaine DeFreitas of the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia, whose finding of a new retrovirus in CFS patients could not be replicated by CDC virologists; and Stephen Straus, chief investigator for CFS at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who has dismissed CFS as a psychiatric disorder for which patients are partly to blame. In a chronology that runs from 1984 to 1994, Johnson crams in fact after telling fact, building up a dismaying picture of a rigid and haughty biomedical research establishment unwilling or unable to respond to the challenge of a multifaceted disease for which, despite recent reports of a possible new treatment, a causative agent has yet to be found. A compelling, well-documented account, certain to be compared to Randy Shilts's And the Band Played On. (Author tour)

Pub Date: March 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-517-70353-X

Page Count: 832

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 1995

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This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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