HEALING LESSONS

A true story of love and personal growth in which a conventional physician’s world is turned upside down when his wife, diagnosed with a deadly cancer, begins exploring alternative medical therapies. Winawer, a gastrointestinal cancer specialist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital in New York, is aided in telling the story of his wife’s fight for life by Taylor, whose A Necessary End (1994) described his own watch over his parents’ final years. When, in early 1992, Winawer’s wife, Andrea, was found to have a stomach cancer that had metastasized to her liver, Winawer found himself in a conflict between what his medical knowledge told him and what his wife needed to hear from him. Realizing that “patients facing lethal disease have to find hope,” and the start of hope is the belief that they can help themselves, he encouraged her to take control of her treatment plan.” Against his colleagues’ advice, he supported her decision to briefly postpone the initial surgery’she was anorexic and wanted to gain some weigh—and her decision to try unconventional hyperthermia treatments before undergoing standard chemotherapy. Without her doctors’ knowledge, he gave her injections of interferon and somatostatin when she decided to try them. During the next three and a half years, as Andrea went in and out of remission, she supplemented her standard medical treatments with relaxation and stress reduction techniques, Chinese herbal medicine, nutritional supplements, exercise, meditation, and prayer. His love for his wife overcoming his reservations, Winawer not only supported her treatment decisions, but researched them for her and helped her carry them out. Convinced that Andrea’s blend of conventional and complementary medical approaches enhanced the quality of her life and probably prolonged it, Winawer is now developing an integrative medicine program at Sloan-Kettering. A heartbreaking story that is not only a tribute to one woman’s fighting spirit but gives testimony to the power of love to open the mind. (Author tour)

Pub Date: May 13, 1998

ISBN: 0-316-94509-9

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1998

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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