For the nonscientist, an exceptionally readable—that is, both entertaining and enlightening—presentation of what is now known about how psychological and emotional states influence physical health and are in turn affected by it. A professor of behavioral biology in England, Martin deftly steers a clear path between what he calls the “Cavaliers of mind-body interactions,” who uncritically accept the notion that the mind is the source of most bodily ills, and the “Roundhead sceptics,” who dismiss the mind-body connection as pseudoscience, labeling that may have more resonance for his countrymen than for American readers. He presents evidence to show that what goes on in people’s minds really does affect their chances of becoming ill or dying, and he examines just how mind and body interact. The mind, he explains, can influence health indirectly by making us believe we are ill and by altering the way we behave, and more directly, by influencing our immune system’s defenses. He also relates what research is beginning to uncover about what the immune system can do to the mind. Specifically, Martin looks at the mind-body connection in two major killers, heart disease and cancer, examining the roles played by psychological stress, personality type, and social relationships. He dismisses the motion that cancer can be cured by positive thinking or by guided mental imagery, calling these techniques “latter-day miracle cures” promoted by “New Age gurus.” To illustrate his points, Martin cleverly draws on fictional characters, from Dr. Pangloss in Voltaire’s Candide and Willy Loman in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman to Basil Fawlty of television’s Fawlty Towers. In his closing chapter, Martin describes how evolutionary medicine, which applies Darwinian theory to the problems of medicine, asking “How did this develop?”instead of “How does this work?”, offers a new perspective on the complex connections between mind, body, and disease. A clear-headed survey of a muddy field.

Pub Date: Aug. 29, 1998

ISBN: 0-312-18664-9

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1998

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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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This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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