Interesting as medical history, not so much as medical literature.



The rivalry between mainstream medicine and homeopathy, focusing on the quixotic endeavors of Royal Copeland, its standard-bearer in the US.

If modern homeopathy works as its advocates claim, it’s the medical magic bullet. Most of the controversial alternative therapy’s remedies are very inexpensive and so dilute that side-effects are negligible and overdose is impossible. But although the discipline has existed for more than two centuries, as Robins (The Girl Who Died Twice, 1995, etc.), states, “Very few of the remedies have gone through extensive clinical studies, and scientific proof is only a distant possibility.” There are arguably benefits of homeopathic practice, but some of its core tenets, especially “potentization,” are alarmingly dubious. A major portion here details the efforts of the American Medical Association (AMA) to hold the American Institute of Homeopathy (AIH) to clinical standards of efficacy, and covers the AMA’s efforts to discourage the practice of homeopathy, often putting homeopathic physicians in the category of “cultists.” The AMA was largely successful. By the turn of the 20th century, there were 20 homeopathic medical colleges in the US, but by 1930s they had all closed down or converted to conventional medicine. In many ways, homeopathy's cause is a mythical one and Copeland's story is a noble but futile one. Yet this is not the compelling, colorful narrative that could be expected in a work featuring a turn-of-the-century alternative physician who also served as a US senator from New York. This most often reads like a very long encyclopedia entry. In her bid to provide an even-handed deliberation, the author lays out the bare facts, often resembling a long encyclopedia entry, of Copeland's undertaking without editorial comment or even dramatic structure, yet her position is clear: Maybe homeopathy could prove its worth. Or maybe not.

Interesting as medical history, not so much as medical literature.

Pub Date: Feb. 17, 2005

ISBN: 0-375-41090-2

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2004

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



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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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)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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