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

READ REVIEW

THE HEART HEALERS

THE MISFITS, MAVERICKS, AND REBELS WHO CREATED THE GREATEST MEDICAL BREAKTHROUGH OF OUR LIVES

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

SEVERAL SHORT SENTENCES ABOUT WRITING

New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more