THE FIGHT FOR LIFE by Paul de Kruif
Kirkus Star


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The best book he has done since Microbe Hunters, and hurt not at all for reading interest by the fact that it is unashamedly a campaign for better understanding on the part of the general public of some of the current progress in the science of health and medicine and of the reasons back of the limited spread of this knowledge. De Kruif is a crusader, in the best sense of the word. He takes up the fight goes heart and soul into an analysis of his subject, and then, with all the ardor of a fiery spirit, carries the banner to his wide public. And he does it so dramatically, with such fervor, with such an appreciation of the human side as well as the scientific side, that he sweeps his readers with him. In this new book he concentrates on specific human ills, -- maternal mortality, infantile paralysis, tuberculosis, syphilis. He launches his campaign with the story of how pellagra has met virtual defeat -- and at small cost, to prove that the slack between scientific discovery and application on masse can be taken up. To be sure, it took floods to set the stage -- but the end was achieved, and pellagra is on the wane. The maternity center in Chicago has proved that death in child birth can be prevented by weapons within every doctor's reach, -- self-sacrifice and personal attention over the necessary period of time. It does not demand elaborate equipment, expensive surroundings, surgical action, for the zeal of these doctors has performed miracles in germ infested hovels of Chicago's worst slums. A chemical has been discovered that looks as though infantile paralysis could be forestalled. Public education is the main prop needed to spread the new gospel of wiping out syphilis and tuberculosis. And what is the barrier? Economy -- in the wrong direction. It's an exciting and a stirring book. There's enough news to carry it to the forefront -- and it is the sort of book it is a privilege to sell. Go to it!

Pub Date: April 28th, 1938
Publisher: Harcourt, Brace