THE NAZI WAR ON CANCER

A fascinating look at German contributions to the study of cancer. Nazi doctors are known for the cruel human experiments they conducted on concentration camp inmates, their euthanasia program, and their willing participation in the selection process at the death camps. Proctor (History of Science/Pennsylvania State Univ.) detailed some of this hideous behavior a decade ago in Racial Hygiene (1988). Here, he makes a major contribution to our knowledge of the other side of Nazi medicine, the study of disease. Proctor’s account is well-researched and richly illustrated, and he delineates carefully documented facts in fluid prose. But the book is marred by an unclear argument exemplified by its deceiving title. Its actual subject is German research surrounding the cause, prevention, and cure of cancer, not just under the Nazis, but from the late 19th century through the early Cold War period. This includes the leading role German scientists played in diagnosing and fighting occupational hazards that caused cancer, in particular the proof they marshaled in the 1940s that smoking cigarettes caused lung cancer. Efforts to improve health through bans on smoking and alcohol were encouraged in the more racially and hygienically conscious circles of the Nazi hierarchy, especially the SS. Yet war shortages and stress led many Germans at home and at the front to booze it up and fill their lungs with smoke; Proctor never explains sufficiently why a health-obsessed totalitarian regime so seemingly effective in policing its citizenry allowed its Volk to indulge in liquor and cigarettes. He only vaguely touches on the complex nature of life under Nazism (explored by many scholars during the past two decades) and ventures onto shaky ground when discussing the relation of medical researchers to the greater society. Despite its shortcomings, an important, instructive book that expands our knowledge of the role medical researchers played in Hitler’s Germany. (39 b&w illustrations)

Pub Date: May 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-691-00196-0

Page Count: 365

Publisher: Princeton Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1999

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

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

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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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

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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