Although the author goes overboard in arguing against the use of any psychiatric medications, this guide nonetheless raises worthwhile, challenging questions about inappropriate and excessive medicating. It also offers sound, careful—and hard to come by—guidelines on how to safely discontinue the various meds. Psychiatrist Breggin (Toxic Psychiatry, 1991, etc.) and Cohen, a social work professor at the University of Montreal, feel strongly that psychiatric medication is overprescribed and misused, partly as a result of marketing efforts by pharmaceutical companies. The basic question they pose is “What are our ultimate resources in life—the places and persons to whom we turn for help, direction, and inspiration?” Faith, connection with others, creative outlets, enjoyment of nature, and physical activity are among the available appropriate resources to encourage personal growth. But instead, the authors argue, more and more people are relying on “a psychoactive or mind-altering substance.” Since we have an extremely limited understanding of brain function, they further point out, we have only a vague notion of how these medications work. And in the authors’ experience, suppressing feelings and estranging patients from their own emotions seriously hinders therapy. Brogan and Cohen alert readers to the long list of side effects of such drugs, and set out stringent recommendations for discontinuing them (too rapid a withdrawal can cause very serious medical problems). Overall, these are thought-provoking, generally well-based arguments, coupled with valuable advice.
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").
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)