An accessible read with a title designed to catch the attention of worried mothers and a message that will be vigorously...

WHAT'S MAKING OUR CHILDREN SICK?

HOW INDUSTRIAL FOOD IS CAUSING AN EPIDEMIC OF CHRONIC ILLNESS, AND WHAT PARENTS (AND DOCTORS) CAN DO ABOUT IT

Medical professionals join the debate over the safety of our food supply with the claim that toxic foods are causing hard-to-diagnose chronic health problems in children.

Pediatrician Perro, former director of the pediatric emergency department at New York’s Metropolitan Hospital and attending physician at Oakland Children’s Hospital, and Adams (Vice Chair, Medical Anthropology/Univ. of California, San Francisco; Metrics: What Counts in Global Health, 2016, etc.) team up to document this phenomenon and to argue that the solution is a new model of eco-medicine that promotes the treatment value of healthy food. Genetically modified foods come in for especially close scrutiny. Perro’s practice provides clinical case studies illustrating the many health problems of children—allergies, asthma, rashes, gastrointestinal issues, autoimmune disorders, and cognitive malfunction—that frustrated parents have brought to her attention and that she has successfully treated. The authors also delve into the rise of agrochemical technologies and the current practices of industrial food production, especially with regard to GMO crops. They explore what biomedical sciences are beginning to learn about the connection between pesticides and organ systems, and they question the effectiveness of American Medical Association guidelines for medical practice, which they assert do not reflect scientific information. Physicians, they write, must think beyond the pill. The eco-medicine model calls for a recognition that our internal ecosystems can only be as healthy as our external environmental ecosystems. In their demand for a revolution in our food production system, as well as in our medical approach to chronic disorders, the authors acknowledge the need for scientists, educators, politicians, health professionals, and farmers to become involved, but they single out mothers as powerful agents of change.

An accessible read with a title designed to catch the attention of worried mothers and a message that will be vigorously challenged by a host of agribusiness and pharmaceutical industry spokespeople and segments of the medical profession.

Pub Date: Dec. 6, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-60358-757-0

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Chelsea Green

Review Posted Online: Oct. 10, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2017

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SECRET SEX LIVES

A YEAR ON THE FRINGES OF AMERICAN SEXUALITY

Investigative journalist Spencer expands her own sexual boundaries through the exploration of others’.

“Worn out from all the tragedy” of a decade penning true crime books, Spencer (Wages of Sin, 2010) engagingly steers readers through the wonderful world of contemporary sexuality. The pensive, unmarried Texan considers herself sexually ignorant, doesn’t particularly like to be touched (never has), and comes from a religious family who shunned the idea of crafting a memoir exploring the sex lives of random Americans. Surprisingly, the project transformed her from lonely, sexually timid 50-something into a woman budding with intimate possibilities. Posting a succession of inquisitive online personal ads probing responders’ bedroom activities, Spencer unleashes a battalion of sexed-up soldiers eager to interact and share prurient and often tabooed sex-drenched adventures. Among her profiles are a few hypersexual females, a flirtatious adulterer half her age, horny swingers looking for “more on the side,” a parade of randy bisexuals, phone-sex enthusiasts and a cross-dressing father of two. As Spencer exposes the flesh behind the fantasy, she incrementally reveals aspects of her own personal life, which frequently saves the text from dissolving into a blur of America’s hot and bothered. Eventually, the book becomes a psychological science project, as the author experimented, challenged her beliefs, and arrived at epiphanies far different from her opening declaration that “it’s a lot safer to laugh about sex than have sex.” Both a celebration of sexuality and, for the author, an embracive awakening to it. 

 

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-425-21936-2

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Berkley

Review Posted Online: Aug. 1, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2012

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An ambitiously original but uncorroborated theory.

PSYCHOCONDUCTION

A sweeping new theory that puts forward a way to rejuvenate a damaged brain without using surgical or pharmacological methods. 

Clinical psychologist Litvin (Litvin’s Code, 2011) proposes what he calls a bold “new neuropsychological discovery” about ways in which a chronically underperforming brain may be improved with carefully managed mental exercises. According to the author, the brain processes information via an internal mapping system, in which received data is directed to a “book of addresses.” When the brain malfunctions, he says, it’s largely the result of damaged complex brain cells receiving “incomplete or distorted requests,” which results in the improper distribution of information. However, he asserts that the brain has a kind of organic plasticity that allows it to respond to willfully enacted repairs. Litvin argues that simple cells in the body can be stimulated in a way that either rejuvenates or replace damaged complex cells; this stimulation can overcome what he calls “neuropsychological barriers” and result in the release of a newly “balanced amount of brain chemicals”—a vague formulation that typifies the author’s overall mode of discussion. This is achieved, he says, by activating the brain’s response to various stimuli in quick succession, including tactile, visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and olfactory stimuli. Litvin calls this theory of repair “psychoconduction,” and he includes a detailed series of mental exercises that ask readers to translate simple mathematical equations into various modes of expression; for example, he shows how a visual pattern may be translated into a knocking sound, or a clamping of a hand. Litvin has discussed psychoconduction in a number of other works, but here, he furnishes his most thorough and systematic explanation of it, largely in accessible, nontechnical language. However, this volume also replicates the principal vices of the others: It’s remarkably general, and it doesn’t present any empirical, experimental evidence for its claims. Also, Litvin’s promises regarding the scope of its application are equally unsubstantiated, as well as implausible; he claims, for example, that the exercises can remedy dyslexia, anxiety, attention-deficit disorder, anger issues, and even help people who have hallucinations. It’s never clear how it’s all possible, and the author offers no solid proof. 

An ambitiously original but uncorroborated theory. 

Pub Date: Feb. 13, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4669-1254-0

Page Count: 129

Publisher: Trafford

Review Posted Online: April 17, 2019

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