A thin piece that too often reads like a press release.



Television journalist Balfour (Pretty Girl in Crimson Rose (8), 2003) paints a laudatory portrait of the nursing profession, briefly sketches a public hospital in perpetual financial crisis, and looks grimly at the society it serves.

The author garnered his material through observations, casual conversations and interviews with staff at the Regional Medical Center in Memphis, Tennessee. (Their words were evidently tape-recorded, for quoted conversations make up a large portion of the text.) Balfour focuses on the life, careers and, most of all, the daily work of nurses in an assortment of areas: AIDS, neonatal, and burn units; anesthesia; trauma; OR; and obstetrics. He covers nurses who fly with emergency helicopters, the hospital’s chief nursing officer, and the vice president of patient services. All his featured nurses are female, but he makes it clear that the profession is attracting men in increasing numbers. Salaries for those with advanced training, such as nurse practitioners and nurse anesthetists, are quite good, in some instances around $100,000 a year, and even for those without special expertise, money does not seem to be an issue. Balfour’s nurses appear more concerned about being spread too thin and not having the resources to do their jobs well. Conversations with administrators reveal that every year there is a budget crisis, and every year brings threats of closure for the hospital, whose patients are mostly uninsured, unemployed and uneducated. “Self-pay,” he learns, generally means “no-pay,” raising the question of whose responsibility it is to pay for those who cannot. During Balfour’s year at the hospital, he became a familiar figure to the nurses, who openly shared with him their feelings about patients under their care. Expressing genuine concern for their charges’ physical well-being combined with impatience over their behaviors and dismay at their attitudes, nurses’ comments trace a dreary landscape of the inner city served by the hospital. By contrast, the author’s depiction of the nurses is unfailingly glowing.

A thin piece that too often reads like a press release.

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2005

ISBN: 1-58542-281-9

Page Count: 224

Publisher: TarcherPerigee

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 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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From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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