Insightful and honest, McCarthy effectively combines useful information about the latest advances in microbial research with...

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SUPERBUGS

THE RACE TO STOP AN EPIDEMIC

A riveting insider’s look at the race to find a cure for antibiotic-resistant infections, one of the most pressing challenges in modern medicine.

It’s official: Bacteria are outsmarting us. Bacterial strains that are impervious to even the most powerful antibiotics, nicknamed “superbugs,” are increasingly common and frighteningly lethal. Physicians are often left with their hands tied, forced to see patients die from infections that could have easily been treated 10 years ago. In this eye-opening book, McCarthy (The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly: A Physician’s First Year, 2015, etc.)—an assistant professor of medicine at Weill Cornell and a staff physician at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, where he is a member of the ethics committee—breaks down the complex interplay among biomedical researchers, the pharmaceutical industry, the Food and Drug Administration, and clinicians. Unsurprisingly, the most important consideration in this complicated equation is money. Conducting clinical trials to test the efficacy and safety of new antibiotics is expensive, and even when they are approved, the medications may not be hugely profitable for the manufacturer. “A study from the London School of Economics,” writes the author, “estimated that, at discovery, the net present value of a new antibiotic was minus $50 million.” McCarthy, however, is not deterred, and he agreed to lead a cutting-edge clinical trial involving a brand-new, synthetic antibiotic known as dalba. He pulls no punches as he details the tension between institutional bureaucracy and patient care, often becoming emotional as he describes his patients and their stories. He makes it clear that despite the importance of protocol, there is no time to waste. The author’s storytelling is at once urgent and empathetic, a compelling combination that leaves readers feeling informed and optimistic.

Insightful and honest, McCarthy effectively combines useful information about the latest advances in microbial research with accounts of the best aspects of humanity.

Pub Date: May 21, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-7352-1750-8

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Avery

Review Posted Online: March 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019

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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

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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

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