A doctor and medical historian relies on his experience inside the medical establishment to offer a searing and persuasive exposé of the American health care system.
Magee, who is on the faculty of Presidents College at the University of Hartford, has worked as a doctor, a university medical school administrator, a hospital executive, and head of global medical affairs for Pfizer. About that last position, the author writes, “until I turned away in a kind of revulsion at the manipulation and well-financed maneuvering, I was right there, helping give moral cover and scientific legitimacy to the world’s largest drugmaker, which also happens to be an industry leader in penalty fees paid to the government for regulatory infractions.” Clearly, Magee understands that he has been complicit as an insider, and he issues mea culpas throughout the book. As part of his penance, he blows the whistle on guilty individuals involved with pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, health insurance corporations, the American Medical Association, medical schools, and all levels of U.S. government. Referring to this “network of mutually beneficial relationships” as the Medical Industrial Complex, he convincingly rails against an industry that consistently produces “outcomes that are, in general, truly dismal.” The inferiority of U.S. health care compared to dozens of other nations has been well-documented for several decades, and the author effectively builds on that documentation. He demonstrates how leaders of other nations have consciously decided that quality health care is a basic right for all citizens, in large part because a healthy citizenry is essential to economic well-being. However, decades ago, American leaders decided that quality health care was not a basic right of citizenship; instead, they chose to rely on market capitalism as the health care model, with disastrous results. Magee suggests multiple sensible reforms in the realms of medical education, clinical research, publication of medical trials, marketing by pharmaceutical companies, and politically driven interactions within the MIC.
Readers will hope that Magee’s knowledgeable, urgent indictment, following so many others in recent years, will lead to meaningful reforms.
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)