THE FOOLS OF TIME by William E. Barrett


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For a man who has dealt with the imponderables of outer space and the intangibles of extra-sensory perception, this projection into the future of a serum that halts and reverses the ravages of age seems -- to say the least -- unexpected. The story is told through the experiences of a top editor of a Denver newspaper, to whom the facts have been brought by the scientist originally responsible. That this scientist has resisted publicity and exploitation and demanded freedom- and backing- for his real goal of cancer research makes things very difficult for the government, faced with highly dramatic claims to initial discovery on the part of the Soviet. The story gathers momentum when there is a leak; T.V. puts on a six-part show with selected individuals serving as guinea pigs; professional disapproval -- uncertainty as to outcome- charges of sterility becoming impotency- all of these factors make the whole subject a matter of major concern. But underlying the story is the double-barreled ethical issue:- what are the rights of control of the individual scientist confronted by a government dilemma; what are the responsibilities of the communication world in protecting man from himself? Barrett has posed some challenging questions. The impact of his central theme is, this reader feels, weakened by the injection of the human relation issues between father and son, father and daughter, divorced from the serum and its problems.

Pub Date: May 3rd, 1963
Publisher: Doubleday