An uneven but good-humored attempt to lighten the task of making health decisions. Harris (Economics/MIT; Medicine/Harvard Medical School) focuses on six issues: heterosexual behavior and AIDS; exercise; weight control; cholesterol; smoking; and breast cancer. His stated aim isn't simply to impart information—although there's plenty of that here—but to encourage a way of thinking, an approach to decision-making. While noting that the risks of everyday living aren't entirely under one's own control (both genetics and luck play a part), he urges confronting choices boldly, reducing risks intelligently, and being persistent. Harris presents six minidramas, some serious, some comic, in which characters face decisions affecting their health: Will Dinah have unprotected sex with Caleb? Will Steve stay in his aerobics class? Will Eve enroll in a weight-loss program? What will Gideon order for lunch? How can Andrew quit smoking? Will Ruth have a preventive mastectomy? The characters are fictitious, but the author, who also practices medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, bases their concerns on his experience with thousands of patients. He examines their circumstances and analyzes their choices, wise and otherwise. It's clear that collecting information is the first step in making a wise health decision, but less clear is just how one determines what to do— or not to do—in the face of confusing messages from the media, advertisers, public-health officials, and the scientific establishment. Although he falls short of his objective of teaching an overall approach, the information Harris imparts about the specific issues he raises will facilitate decision- making in those areas. Altogether, much useful advice about handling some of life's major health risks.

Pub Date: Oct. 27, 1993

ISBN: 0-465-02889-6

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Basic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1993

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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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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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