The most thorough and wide-ranging discussion for lay readers about the interplay of the physical and emotional elements of depression and manic-depression. The popular and controversial antidepressant Prozac has made serotonin and other mood-related neurotransmitters in the brain familiar to many. But Whybrow (coauthor, The Hibernation Response, 1988), chairman of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania, shows how these messenger chemicals fit into the larger structure of the brain, and in particular of the limbic alliance, which includes the amygdala and the thalamus, and which governs our emotions. Whybrow defines mood disorders as a disruption of the limbic alliance's homeostasis—its self-regulating power—which in turn disrupts three areas of activity: thinking (such as memory), feeling (which becomes dominated by negativity), and ``housekeeping'' (such as sleeping and eating patterns). Sometimes the highly detailed scientific discussion becomes a little convoluted, a little redundant, and a little too full of gee-whizzing about the wonders of the human brain. But overall his presentation is illuminating, and the case histories demonstrate his sensitivity and skill as a clinician. In particular, the story of John Moorehead, a Jesuit academic with a generally optimistic and intellectually curious nature who suddenly plunged into a profound depression, illustrates the tortured and complex nature of manic-depression. His case also demonstrates one of Whybrow's most emphatic points: that experence, especially human attachment, is as important as biology in causing mood disorders. Thus, while Moorehead had a genetic predisposition to his illness, it flared up only after the breakup of a profound friendship. Whybrow therefore stresses that however effective drugs such as Prozac may be, they must be combined with psychotherapy. Because of its emphasis on complicated neurobiology, this is not the place to begin learning about mood disorders. But for those already familiar with the subject, Whybrow's presentation offers a deeper understanding of, along with a humane and wise approach to, these very troubling illnesses.

Pub Date: March 12, 1997

ISBN: 0-465-04725-4

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Basic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 1997

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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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