A heartwarming account of risk-taking, iconoclastic doctors who achieved extraordinary cardiovascular breakthroughs and of...



A scientific memoir/biography of the significant achievements of heart doctors through the years.

Forrester (Medicine/UCLA) is the former chief of the division of cardiology at Cedars-Sinai and a recipient of a lifetime achievement award from the American College of Cardiology, so he is more than qualified to tell this story. For most of his subsequent career as director of one of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s Centers for Research in Ischemic Heart Disease Center, he has been directly involved in a series of astonishing medical advances. In the early 1990s, he led a team that developed coronary angioscopy, a medical technique for visualizing the interiors of coronary arteries by inserting a flexible catheter directly into the artery. In the 1960s, at the start of his career, the treatment of patients experiencing a heart attack was primitive as compared to today. “More lives were being lost in a single year than in all of World War II,” writes the author. Today, heart disease is surgically treatable and in many instances preventable with the help of diet, exercise, and cholesterol-reducing drugs. Open-heart surgery, the first of the advances he chronicles in the readable, accessible narrative, occurred in 1944. Dwight Harken, at the time a daring battlefield surgeon, performed the first successful open-heart surgery to remove shrapnel. The adaptation of the operation in peacetime involved improved diagnostic tools, including the development of a heart-lung machine. With the new tools and methods, the mortality rate for congenital heart surgery has decreased from 50 percent to 2 percent. Another major milestone, writes Forrester, was the introduction of “coronary artery bypass graft surgery” in 1967. It dramatically reduced angina (pain indicative of a potential heart attack), but as one of his students discovered, it was the suddenness of an occlusion, not gradual blockage, that caused a heart attack. Throughout the book, the author achieves a nice balance of memoir and scientific history.

A heartwarming account of risk-taking, iconoclastic doctors who achieved extraordinary cardiovascular breakthroughs and of the patients who trusted them.

Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-05839-3

Page Count: 400

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: June 1, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2015

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



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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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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