A slightly scattershot collection, but, as usual for Nuland, more hits than misses.

THE UNCERTAIN ART

THOUGHTS ON A LIFE IN MEDICINE

An assortment of essays by National Book Award winner Nuland (Surgery/Yale; The Art of Aging: A Doctor's Prescription for Well-Being, 2007, etc.).

All but one originally published in the American Scholar, these meditations concern the uncertainty inherent in the art of medicine, the necessity of integrating the humanities into a medical education too focused on technology and research, the boundaries of medical responsibility and the limits of physicians’ authority. The author even dares to predict medical advances that will come in the 21st century. Several pieces address the history of medicine: stories of grave robbers; a survey of ancient and not-so-ancient beliefs about the bowel; an analysis of how medical beliefs are reflected in language (“liver” and “life” have the same root, because that organ was once seen as the seat of life); and an appreciation of Thomas Eakins’s two wildly different but equally perceptive portraits of physicians, The Gross Clinic and The Agnew Clinic. Into these ruminations Nuland inserts personal stories: the happy results of his own weight-training program, his thoughts on the art of writing, his observations of and speculations about the effectiveness of acupuncture as an anesthetic during surgery and a lighthearted trifle on what it is like to hear the words, “Is there a doctor in the house?” The most moving essay, written for this collection, is a warm tribute to a man who was awaiting a heart transplant at the same time that Nuland was planning an article on heart transplantation for the New Yorker. George Leyden agreed to record his thoughts in a daily journal titled “The Musings of a Heart Transplant Candidate,” which he kept from the time the two men met until a week before his death some eight months later. Nuland quotes extensively from this wrenching, revealing journal in his profile of Leyden, whom he came to admire greatly for his honesty and courage.

A slightly scattershot collection, but, as usual for Nuland, more hits than misses.

Pub Date: May 27, 2008

ISBN: 978-1-4000-6478-6

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2008

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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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MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. AND THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON

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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