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WINNING THE WAR ON CANCER

THE EPIC JOURNEY TOWARDS A NATURAL CURE

A dramatic account of a controversial natural cancer treatment.

A lawyer recounts her attempts to promote a natural cure for cancer in this debut medical memoir.

Beljanski’s parents, Mirko and Monique, were French cancer researchers who discovered two plant extracts with the power to eliminate cancerous stem cells while causing no harm to healthy cells. (If the stem cells are not killed, “the tumor will soon grow back.”) Although these findings were not widely known, the author’s parents had a highly successful treatment rate. Their most famous patient was none other than the long-serving French President François Mitterrand. But, according to Beljanski, the use of the extracts on Mitterrand exposed her parents to the ire of the French medical and political establishment: “Anything natural that works better than synthetic drugs is perceived as a frontal attack on the entire economy of pharmaceutical companies….The products, the man who conceived them, and all the know-how surrounding them must be destroyed.” Soldiers were dispatched to Mirko’s lab to arrest the couple and seize whatever research they could find. Across the sea in New York, Beljanski, an attorney who had never taken an active role in her parents’ work, became immediately drawn into the case, not simply to free them but to ensure that the people who had become reliant on the treatment they had engineered could continue to receive it. Following her father’s death in 1998, she created the Beljanski Foundation to promote and advance his research. The author has been trying to bring attention to the potentially cancer-obliterating powers of plant extracts ever since, though she has found that the medical establishment is no less powerful or self-interested today than it was when it sent those soldiers to Mirko’s lab. Beljanski writes in an energetic prose that lends much tension and drama to her narrative: “I hurried to open the door when I heard a knock, and if I was unnerved by the words spoken to me by Gérard the day before at the cemetery, it was nothing compared to what I felt when I opened the door.” Indeed, the great success of the book is as a nonfiction thriller, with the Beljanski research as a Holy Grail at the center. In this way, the volume is an entertaining read, particularly given the high stakes of the research and the ongoing destruction wrought by cancer. The idea that the cure might be found in something as simple as plant extracts is highly attractive, and those already interested in natural medicine should be sympathetic to the author’s cause. But it’s difficult to take Beljanski completely seriously given the conspiratorial bent of her narrative. (She all but alleges that the French government was attempting to draw out the investigation into her father for the purpose of exhausting and killing him: “When the defendant dies, the prosecutor no longer has to prove his case.”) There is also the indisputably promotional nature of the book to consider (the author is a conference speaker). It’s a compelling yarn nonetheless, and it does grant a window into the intriguing, competitive, and moneyed world of cancer research.

A dramatic account of a controversial natural cancer treatment.

Pub Date: June 5, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-68350-724-6

Page Count: 254

Publisher: Morgan James Publishing

Review Posted Online: Aug. 22, 2018

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NIGHT

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

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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INTO THE WILD

A wonderful page-turner written with humility, immediacy, and great style. Nothing came cheap and easy to McCandless, nor...

The excruciating story of a young man on a quest for knowledge and experience, a search that eventually cooked his goose, told with the flair of a seasoned investigative reporter by Outside magazine contributing editor Krakauer (Eiger Dreams, 1990). 

Chris McCandless loved the road, the unadorned life, the Tolstoyan call to asceticism. After graduating college, he took off on another of his long destinationless journeys, this time cutting all contact with his family and changing his name to Alex Supertramp. He was a gent of strong opinions, and he shared them with those he met: "You must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life''; "be nomadic.'' Ultimately, in 1992, his terms got him into mortal trouble when he ran up against something—the Alaskan wild—that didn't give a hoot about Supertramp's worldview; his decomposed corpse was found 16 weeks after he entered the bush. Many people felt McCandless was just a hubris-laden jerk with a death wish (he had discarded his map before going into the wild and brought no food but a bag of rice). Krakauer thought not. Admitting an interest that bordered on obsession, he dug deep into McCandless's life. He found a willful, reckless, moody boyhood; an ugly little secret that sundered the relationship between father and son; a moral absolutism that agitated the young man's soul and drove him to extremes; but he was no more a nutcase than other pilgrims. Writing in supple, electric prose, Krakauer tries to make sense of McCandless (while scrupulously avoiding off-the-rack psychoanalysis): his risky behavior and the rites associated with it, his asceticism, his love of wide open spaces, the flights of his soul.

A wonderful page-turner written with humility, immediacy, and great style. Nothing came cheap and easy to McCandless, nor will it to readers of Krakauer's narrative. (4 maps) (First printing of 35,000; author tour)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-679-42850-X

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Villard

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1995

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