More for students of clinical management and reproductive issues than general readers.



Detailed but dry account of malfeasance and witch hunts at the UC/Irvine’s fertility clinic.

The early-1990s controversy reflects the challenges of new technologies like in vitro fertilization, state coauthors Dodge (Public Affairs/Univ. of Colorado, Denver) and Geis (Law/UC Irvine; Crimes of the Century, 1998, etc.). “It is also,” they write, “a story replete with evasions, nastiness, and injustice.” The authors begin in 1995, when traumatized couples came forward to claim that eggs stored at the clinic had been implanted in other women without their permission. Dodge and Geis then backtrack to the clinic’s 1986 hiring of prominent reproductive physician Ricardo Asch, whose accounting and record-keeping were soon questioned by subordinates. Conflicts between doctors and staff led to audits amid an atmosphere of distrust; in 1994, three clinic employees filed formal complaints with multiple fraud-related allegations. By the time the National Institutes of Health intervened, the situation had developed into a PR disaster. The authors convincingly argue, as many in the medical community did at the time, that UCI deliberately directed the scandal toward Asch and two Latin American colleagues, who were publicly tarred as greedy and remote. Asch and José Balmaceda fled to their home countries; Sergio Stone stayed and was seemingly prosecuted for the allegations against all three. Devoting long chapters to each doctor’s case, Dodge and Geis explore the ambiguities, arguing that the physicians were pilloried for behavior that was hardly unique. Alienation of civilian managers and poor record-keeping were common practices in the medical subculture, the authors assert, abetted in this instance by UCI’s lack of oversight until damage control was necessary. Dodge and Geis take a broad view, summarizing the scandal’s every stage and providing legalistic references that fill in the details without generating much suspense. Their tart analysis of the thorny field of contemporary reproductive science, however, is eye-opening and informative.

More for students of clinical management and reproductive issues than general readers.

Pub Date: Oct. 6, 2003

ISBN: 1-55553-585-2

Page Count: 256

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2003

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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 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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