HEALTH IN THE HEADLINES

THE STORIES BEHIND THE STORIES

Is health-risk reporting hazardous to your health? Quite possibly, according to former journalist Klaidman, now a research fellow at Georgetown, who here casts a critical eye on how the news media have handled various health-risk issues. Following a general discussion of health-risk assessment for the lay reader, Klaidman devotes a chapter to each of seven hazards: the pesticide EDB, radon, nuclear power, global warming, AIDS, cholesterol, and smoking (why he chose these particular stories is not revealed). Among Klaidman's concerns are how and to what degree public policy is influenced by the news media, how journalism's zest for controversy polarizes complex issues, and how the media are manipulated by interested parties to achieve their goals. Klaidman does a workmanlike job of analyzing how each story developed and how its handling influenced public thinking and public policy. He closes each chapter with an assessment of the news media's performance, and end-of-chapter notes document his research on the coverage of each story. The final chapter sums up Klaidman's findings and offers the unsurprising conclusion that there is room for improvement in the reporting of health-risk stories. For the public, he prescribes a dose of healthy skepticism, cautioning readers/viewers to be aware of the tendency of the media to exaggerate risks to make a story more dramatic, to be alert to the economic and political motivations of those making claims and counterclaims, not to place trust in any single news source, and not to expect clear- cut answers to complex scientific questions. Perhaps to avoid an excess of journalistic zeal, Klaidman has produced a well-researched, but somewhat bland, collection of case studies that offer a glimpse behind the scenes and some advice on how to read between the lines.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1991

ISBN: 0-19-505298-6

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1991

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

SLEEPERS

An extraordinary true tale of torment, retribution, and loyalty that's irresistibly readable in spite of its intrusively melodramatic prose. Starting out with calculated, movie-ready anecdotes about his boyhood gang, Carcaterra's memoir takes a hairpin turn into horror and then changes tack once more to relate grippingly what must be one of the most outrageous confidence schemes ever perpetrated. Growing up in New York's Hell's Kitchen in the 1960s, former New York Daily News reporter Carcaterra (A Safe Place, 1993) had three close friends with whom he played stickball, bedeviled nuns, and ran errands for the neighborhood Mob boss. All this is recalled through a dripping mist of nostalgia; the streetcorner banter is as stilted and coy as a late Bowery Boys film. But a third of the way in, the story suddenly takes off: In 1967 the four friends seriously injured a man when they more or less unintentionally rolled a hot-dog cart down the steps of a subway entrance. The boys, aged 11 to 14, were packed off to an upstate New York reformatory so brutal it makes Sing Sing sound like Sunnybrook Farm. The guards continually raped and beat them, at one point tossing all of them into solitary confinement, where rats gnawed at their wounds and the menu consisted of oatmeal soaked in urine. Two of Carcaterra's friends were dehumanized by their year upstate, eventually becoming prominent gangsters. In 1980, they happened upon the former guard who had been their principal torturer and shot him dead. The book's stunning denouement concerns the successful plot devised by the author and his third friend, now a Manhattan assistant DA, to free the two killers and to exact revenge against the remaining ex-guards who had scarred their lives so irrevocably. Carcaterra has run a moral and emotional gauntlet, and the resulting book, despite its flaws, is disturbing and hard to forget. (Film rights to Propaganda; author tour)

Pub Date: July 10, 1995

ISBN: 0-345-39606-5

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1995

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

MOMOFUKU MILK BAR

With this detailed, versatile cookbook, readers can finally make Momofuku Milk Bar’s inventive, decadent desserts at home, or see what they’ve been missing.

In this successor to the Momofuku cookbook, Momofuku Milk Bar’s pastry chef hands over the keys to the restaurant group’s snack-food–based treats, which have had people lining up outside the door of the Manhattan bakery since it opened. The James Beard Award–nominated Tosi spares no detail, providing origin stories for her popular cookies, pies and ice-cream flavors. The recipes are meticulously outlined, with added tips on how to experiment with their format. After “understanding how we laid out this cookbook…you will be one of us,” writes the author. Still, it’s a bit more sophisticated than the typical Betty Crocker fare. In addition to a healthy stock of pretzels, cornflakes and, of course, milk powder, some recipes require readers to have feuilletine and citric acid handy, to perfect the art of quenelling. Acolytes should invest in a scale, thanks to Tosi’s preference of grams (“freedom measurements,” as the friendlier cups and spoons are called, are provided, but heavily frowned upon)—though it’s hard to be too pretentious when one of your main ingredients is Fruity Pebbles. A refreshing, youthful cookbook that will have readers happily indulging in a rising pastry-chef star’s widely appealing treats.    

 

Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-307-72049-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Clarkson Potter

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more