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    1. The Immortal Life of Henrietta
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    1. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
    by Rebecca Skloot
    Hardcover
    list price: $26.00 -- our price: $14.29
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1400052173
    Publisher: Crown
    Sales Rank: 11
    Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells—taken without her knowledge—became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first “immortal” human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. If you could pile all HeLa cells ever grown onto a scale, they’d weigh more than 50 million metric tons—as much as a hundred Empire State Buildings. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb’s effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions.

    Yet Henrietta Lacks remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave.

    Now Rebecca Skloot takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the “colored” ward of Johns Hopkins Hospital in the 1950s to stark white laboratories with freezers full of HeLa cells; from Henrietta’s small, dying hometown of Clover, Virginia—a land of wooden slave quarters, faith healings, and voodoo—to East Baltimore today, where her children and grandchildren live and struggle with the legacy of her cells.

    Henrietta’s family did not learn of her “immortality” until more than twenty years after her death, when scientists investigating HeLa began using her husband and children in research without informed consent. And though the cells had launched a multimillion-dollar industry that sells human biological materials, her family never saw any of the profits. As Rebecca Skloot so brilliantly shows, the story of the Lacks family—past and present—is inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of.

    Over the decade it took to uncover this story, Rebecca became enmeshed in the lives of the Lacks family—especially Henrietta’s daughter Deborah, who was devastated to learn about her mother’s cells. She was consumed with questions: Had scientists cloned her mother? Did it hurt her when researchers infected her cells with viruses and shot them into space? What happened to her sister, Elsie, who died in a mental institution at the age of fifteen? And if her mother was so important to medicine, why couldn’t her children afford health insurance? 
              
    Intimate in feeling, astonishing in scope, and impossible to put down, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks captures the beauty and drama of scientific discovery, as well as its human consequences.
    ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Thank you for this beautiful tribute to Henrietta Lacks, February 5, 2010
    Wow. This book should be required reading for scientists and students of life. The true story of Henrietta Lacks and her family has finally been told, beautifully, in this book. The book encompasses science, ethics, and the story of a family who was terribly wronged in the pursuit of scientific research. I could gush about this book for pages but I'll try first to hit the main points of why this book is so remarkable in list form for the sake of brevity:


    1. The author clearly developed a strong relationship with the Lacks family, which was absolutely critical to ensuring the story was told accurately and with the respect to Henrietta Lacks that was so deeply deserved.

    2. The storytelling is amazingly moving despite the need to convey a lot of scientific information. It reads like fiction.

    3. Ms. Skloot's research into the science is impeccable.

    4. The book is FAIR. It presents the unvarnished truth, obtained DIRECTLY from as many prinicpal people involved in the story as is humanly possible. It would have been easier to simplify the story into heroes vs. villians, but Ms. Skloot deftly handles all sides of the story.


    For some detail: I have worked with HeLa cells in the past, but did not know even the barest information about the story of Henrietta Lacks until a few years ago. It simply was not common knowledge, until a few less ethical folks released her name and medical records to the public. This obviously should not have been done without the express permission of the Lacks family, which Ms. Skloot obtained. In the past, others have not been as ethical. The book covers Ms. Lacks' early life, how her cells came to be harvested, and what happened to both the cells and her family afterward.

    The contributions of HeLa cells to science are absolutely staggering and cannot be over-stated. The sections where the science was described were clear and accurate. With the story of Ms. Lacks' family interwoven, this book was fairly close to perfect. I found myself moved to tears several times because of the fate of the Lacks family and Henrietta's daughter's indomitable spirit. I do not think anyone but Ms. Skloot could have written this book. She worked with the family for over a decade in order to get the story right. This was critical, as the family had been wronged too many times in the past.

    Thank you for this astounding work of art. I will be donating to the Henrietta Lacks foundation in honor of the entire family, and I hope many others will read the book and be similarly moved.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Captivating, engrossing, fascinating, heartbreaking, englightening...ALL in one stellar book!, January 16, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    This is hand's down one of the best books I've read in years and I wish I could give it more stars. It is going to be difficult to capture exactly what makes this book so outstanding and so captivating, but I'm going to give it my best shot.

    First of all I want to say I am STUNNED that this is the author's first book. She has poured ten years of her heart, soul, mind and her life in general in this book. What she has given birth to in that long period of labor is worthy of her sacrifice and honors Henrietta Lacks and her family.

    Other reviews have given the outline of this amazing story. What I want to stress is that Ms. Skloot has navigated the difficult terrain of respecting Mrs. Lacks and her family, while still telling their story in a very intimate, thorough, factual manner. What readers may not know is that the Lacks family isn't just a "subject" that the author researched. This is a real family with real heartaches and real challenges whose lives she entered into for a very long season. The Lacks' family has truly benefitted from the author's involvement in their life and that is something I am very appreciative of. I believe that Ms. Skloot was able to give Henrietta's daughter, Deborah, a real sense of healing, deliverance, peace and identity that she had been searching for her whole life...that story alone would have made the book for me.

    It would have been very easy for the author to come across as condescending or patronizing or possibly as being exploitive as she wrote about a family that is poor and uneducated. Instead the story is infused with compassion and patience as she not only takes the family along with her on a journey to understand their current situation and the ancestor whose life was so rich in legacy but poor in compensation; she educates the family in the process. I get the sense that the author grew to genuinely love Henrietta and her family. I am in awe of this level of commitment.

    The author has managed to explain the complex scientific information in a way that anyone can comprehend and be fascinated by. The author's telling of the science alone and the journey of Henrietta's immortal cells (HeLa) would have made the book a worthy read in itself. Ms. Skloot and Henrietta captured me from page one all the way to the final page of the book. I read it in one pass and I didn't want it to end.

    The author manages to beautifully tell multiple stories and develops each of those stories so well that you can't help but be consumed by the book. This is the story of Henrietta. It is the story of her sweet and determined daughter, Deborah. It is the story of the extended Lacks family and their history. It is a story of race/poverty/ignorance and people who take advantage of that unfortunate trifecta. It is a story about science and ethics. It is a story that should make each of us reflect on the sacrifices made by individual humans and animals that have allowed us to benefit so much from "modern" medicine. It is a story about hope and perseverance. It is a story about love and healing.

    I cannot imagine a single person I know who wouldn't love this book and benefit from reading it. I will be purchasing the final copy of the book and am looking forward to reading the book again.

    I am counting the days til Ms. Skloot writes another book and can't wait to attend one of her upcoming lectures. A fan is born!

    5-0 out of 5 stars 2010 Non-Fiction Award Winner?, January 8, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    As I recall this book was categorized as CANCER, I believe it might be more aptly described as science based non-fiction. In the last two decades I've seen occasional news items alluding to human cells taken from a black woman in the 1950's that have been replicated millions of times. The cells are referred to as HeLa and on the face of it I wouldn't have thought there was much of a story behind the extraction of these cells and their use by the biomed industry. However, this book dispells that rather naive assumption completely and puts a name and a face, a family, and a story behind the contents of many petri dishes and slides. THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS explains how the cells were obtained, replicated, distributed, and used without informed consent of the owner and family by John Hopkins and how they benefitted mankind w/o compensation to the family. Author Skloot tells the story of a family victimized by socioeconomic conditions and racism that can't get fundamental things like health coverage while these cells make a lot of money for the health establishment. It is a disturbing read that will stay with the reader long after the book is finished. It may also make the reader take a long hard look at the need for standardized health care in our society among many other things.
    The one thing that I found fascinating about this book is how Skloot managed to take a generally dry topic that might have been addressed in a scientific textbook and humanized it on a very personal level by developing a close relationship with Henrietta's family. The input received from the family took this book to a higher level and made it a very personsl story. From my perspective, it was very hard not to get involved with the Lacks family and not feel their sense of betrayal and loss.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely superb, January 17, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    Equal parts history, psychological drama, expose and character study, Rebecca Skloot's gripping debut is a deeply affecting tour de force that effortlessly bridges the gap between science and the mainstream.

    Her subject is the multilayered drama behind one of the most important--and in many ways, problematic--advances of modern medicine. Captivated by the story of Henrietta Lacks, a poor African-American woman whose cervical cancer cells (dubbed HeLa) were the first immortalized cells grown in culture and became ubiquitous in laboratories around the world, Skloot set out to learn more about the person whose unwitting "donation" of the cells transformed biomedical research in the last century. Her research ultimately spanned a decade and found her navigating (and to some extent, mediating) more than 50 years of rage over the white scientific establishment's cavalier mistreatment and exploitation of the poor, especially African Americans.

    Skloot deftly weaves together an account of Lacks's short life (she died at age 31) and torturous death from an extremely aggressive form of cancer; the parallel narrative concerning her cells; and the sometimes harrowing, sometimes amusing chronicle of Skloots's own interactions with Lacks's surviving (and initially hostile and uncooperative) family members. Moving comfortably back and forth in time, the richly textured story that emerges brings into stark relief the human cost of scientific progress and leaves the reader grappling with many unanswered questions about the ethics of the scientific endeavor, past and present. While the goals of biomedical research may be noble, how they are achieved is not always honorable, particularly where commercialization of new technologies is at stake. Skloot offers a clear-eyed perspective, highlighting the brutal irony of a family whose matriarch was a pivotal figure in everything from the development of Jonas Salk's polio vaccine to AIDS research to cancer drugs, yet cannot afford the very medical care their mother's cells helped facilitate, with predictable consequences.

    The LA Times book review section named Skloot one of its four "Faces to Watch in 2010," an honor that, based on "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" is well-deserved.

    Five stars--it was hard to put down this compelling, admirable and eminently readable book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A fantastic effort about the life of a forgotten woman, March 14, 2010
    Henrietta Lacks was born to an impoverished family of in rural Virginia in 1920. Her family worked on the same tobacco fields that their slave ancestors did during the preceding century, and after her mother died she grew up in her grandfather's dilapidated log cabin that served as slave quarters. She left school after the sixth grade to pick tobacco for ten cents per day on the farms of local whites. Henrietta had her first child with her first cousin Day at age 14, and they eventually married and moved to a small town outside of Baltimore during World War II so that Day could work at Bethlehem Steel for less than 80 cents an hour.

    In early 1951, Henrietta went to the gynecology clinic at Johns Hopkins Hospital after feeling a "knot" in her womb. After she was taken to a "Colored" examination room, the gynecologist on duty found a firm mass on her cervix that seemed cancerous, but was unlike anything he had ever seen. He sent a slice of the mass for analysis, and Henrietta was soon diagnosed with cervical cancer.

    Henrietta returned to Johns Hopkins a few weeks later, where she underwent treatment for cervical cancer. She was given a generalized consent form that gave permission for her doctors to perform any operative procedures necessary to treat her illness. However, she was not told that one of the staff gynecologists was collecting specimens of clinic patients with cervical cancer for a clinical study, and biopsies of healthy and cancerous cervical tissues were taken from her during her initial procedure. The cancerous cells, which were named HeLa after the first two letters of Henrietta's first and last names, proved to be the first human cells that could be grown indefinitely in a nutrient broth, and the Johns Hopkins researchers were overjoyed at this long awaited success.

    The treatment she received at Hopkins was state of the art, but was unsuccessful, due to the aggressive nature of her primary tumor, and she succumbed to her illness several months later. The researchers wanted to acquire more specimens from her tumor ridden body by performing an autopsy with biopsies. Her husband, after initially denying a request for an autopsy, was misled into agreeing to allow the Hopkins pathologists to perform a limited autopsy, after he was told that the doctors wanted to run tests that might help his children someday.

    The HeLa cell line was provided to scientists and organizations worldwide for minimal cost, as neither the researchers nor Johns Hopkins profited from the first immortal human cell line. However, a number of companies made millions of dollars by mass producing HeLa and selling them at a much higher cost. HeLa was used in numerous important biomedical studies, including the development of the Salk polio vaccine at the University of Pittsburgh in the mid-1950s, cancer and viral research projects, and studies of the effects of weightlessness and space travel on the human body by NASA.

    During this time Henrietta's husband and children were completely unaware that her cells had been harvested for medical research by the Hopkins doctors. By that time most of them were living in poverty in Baltimore, and were unable to afford basic health insurance. Articles about HeLa began to appear in medical journals and in the lay press, but it wasn't until 1973 that the family accidentally learned about the HeLa cell line. The family was contacted by Johns Hopkins, so that their cells could be analyzed and compared to those taken from Henrietta 22 years earlier. Once again they were misled into believing that the purpose of these tests was to determine if any of her children also had cancer, which caused Deborah, Henrietta's oldest surviving daughter, many years of anguish.

    Once Henrietta's name was released in the media, the family was besieged by journalists and others wishing to profit from her story, causing her husband and children to become distrustful and wary.

    Rebecca Skloot became interested in Henrietta Lacks after hearing about the HeLa cell line and its forgotten host as an undergraduate student. She spent many months and countless hours attempting to contact the Lacks family, and she slowly but painfully gained the trust of Deborah and her siblings, after she promised to tell the family's story alongside the history of HeLa.

    The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is a fantastic achievement, given the hurdles that Skloot had to overcome to obtain information from the Lacks family, Johns Hopkins, and the other key actors in this story. In addition to an in-depth history of this ordinary yet quite remarkable family, she provides just the right amount of information about HeLa and what it meant for biomedical research, along with information about informed consent from the 1950s to the present, the effect of race on medical care in the United States and the views of African-Americans toward medical experimentation, and the biology of cancer. The book is meant for a lay audience, but it would be of interest to those with a formal medical background. I found the book to be a bit overly sentimental and personal at times, but this is a very minor criticism of a fabulous book.

    3-0 out of 5 stars 5 star story, February 17, 2010
    Just so id doesn't sound like I damn this book with faint praise, let me say that this was an excellent story told well (for the most part). I'll save the synopsis for others. Needless to say, Henrietta Lacks' story is just as gripping as the science that was done with her cells. You will most likely enjoy her story (as I did).

    My criticisms:

    The author spends a rather substantial portion of the book describing her own efforts. It didn't add to Henrietta's story and leaving it out would have made for a better, more concise narrative.

    Black people were treated inhumanely to say the least (go look up the Tuskeegee Syphilis Study, for example). At the risk of sounding callous, this is well trod ground and some of it could also have been omitted for the sake of brevity without losing any of the story's impact.

    Lastly, there is an implicit condemnation of the doctors that took her cells (the author does say that this was "common practice" at the time). I can tell you that as a former cancer patient who has been biopsied more times than I care to remember, once a doctor removes something from you, it's gone. They are not going to pay you for it.

    Those criticism aside, this is a worthy read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An astonishing scientific, sociological, racial exploration--and an engrossing work of art, December 28, 2009

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    Rebecca Skloot's story of Henrietta Lacks and her cancerous HeLa cells is both a fascinating history and an engrossing work of art. The book combines sharp science writing with some of the best creative nonfiction techniques and a heartbreaking story. The result is a stunning portrayal of twentieth century medicine, science, race, and class like nothing I've ever read before.

    Skloot skillfully interweaves the saga of a poor young black mother and her children with an elucidation of the almost primitive-seeming medical practices that were once customary, and the culturing and dissemination of the woman's cancer cells (unbeknownst to her or her relatives) around the world. This was a period when even paying patients were seldom if ever asked for consent and frequently experimented on without their knowledge. Skloot brings to life not only Henrietta's tragedy but also her own quest with Henrietta's daughter to find the woman behind the HeLa cells and the incredible accomplishments those cells have made possible. Just about all of us on the planet have benefited, while medical corporations have made billions and Henrietta's children received not one cent.

    A disturbing and even haunting aspect of the situation is that the 'Immortal Life' involved here is not that of Henrietta's cells alone but rather of her cells overcome and transformed by the terribly aggressive cancer that killed her. That is what has lived on and been used in thousands of experiments and inadvertently contaminated other cells lines around the world, replicating so much times that one scientist estimated all the HeLa produced (laid end to end) could circle the earth more than five times.

    As the author states in her opening, the history of Henrietta Lacks, her cells, and the way the medical establishment treated her family raises critical questions about scientific research, ethics, race, and class. It's also a supremely engrossing story and one that taught me more about race in America, medical ethics, science, and what makes writing matter than anything I've read in years. Original in scope and presentation, personal, thought provoking, and even profound, this is the kind of nonfiction that rarely comes along.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Good try, but could have been better, July 31, 2010
    I'm a big fan of science and medical non-fiction, so when I saw the rave reviews for The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, I was excited to read it. It started off strong; I'd give the first half five stars. The oral history of the Lacks family was fascinating, and I loved reading about how the cells got their start in the lab. When the author introduced the adult family (Deborah, et al), I felt a strong sympathy for them and what they'd been through. I was already recommending it to friends, anticipating that the second half would be as good.

    However, once I got to the second half, it went downhill considerably. The writing was fairly tight in the beginning, keeping all of the stories woven together in a comprehensible way, but seemed to unravel as the book went on. When I read the introduction, I didn't understand why Skloot was so defensive about inserting herself into the book (in my experience, medical non-fiction authors do it all the time), but I soon realized why - because by the second half, the book becomes less about HeLa, science, history, and ethics, and instead turns exclusively into a memoir about Skloot's dealings with the family. And at this point, the family became unsympathetic and insufferable. The writing became repetitive, somewhat informal, and ridden with unnecessary details. One reviewer called this book "deftly written" and I'd have to disagree. The second half gets one star.

    The book ended on a strong note, with the Afterward. The Afterward took us back to questions of bioethics. As I was reading it, I wondered why the Afterward was a separate part - couldn't it have been woven into the second half of the book?

    In short, I thought this book was merely ok, but as the reviews show, a lot of people loved it. If you think that you're one of the people who will love it, read it. If you're looking for a book that's just outstanding, look somewhere else.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Is Immortality really worth the price?, January 21, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    Rebecca Skloot has written a book that certainly sounds like it could be science fiction, but in truth it is incredible science. However, it's not only about the science, but more importantly about who is behind it all. She has put a very real face to one of the most important medical research discoveries of our lifetime and given an appropriate name to the HeLa cells used in that research all over the world; Henrietta Lacks.

    This book recounts the life of Henrietta, the death of Henrietta and the immortal cells she left behind that became the basis of many life saving discoveries in the medical field. HeLa cells are those which were taken from Henrietta's cancerous tumor many decades ago. They were easily replicated and viable for testing therefore they became an important staple in laboratories doing medical research right up to the present. Many have her cells to thank for their treatment and cures of deadly diseases.

    Sounds like a generous donation to the medical community, doesn't it? But, what if Henrietta and her family had no idea any of this had taken place? They didn't know that her doctor had taken the cells, and upon realizing how unique they were, shared and traded them with other researchers. They especially were unaware that these were eventually being sold for a profit among labs and medical companies. Was this a case of explotation or was it simply how science progresses?

    The author finds the surviving family of Mrs. Lacks and realizes there is far more to the story than it would first appear. She touches on each of the sensitive topics that present themselves as the family approaches her with so many questions left unanswered. The more I read, the more fascinated I became with the complexities.

    The Lacks family are uneducated and living in poverty, struggling to understand how their loved one could have saved so many lives while her own could not be saved. They find it hard to believe their mother has done so much for the medical community, and made some companies millions of dollars, yet they cannot even afford good medical care. They wonder how cells were named after her yet there was no true recognition of her by her full, real name. The children hope that Ms. Skloot will not be another journalist to take advantage of them, but that she will give their mother the place she deserves as a real person, not just a "cell donor". Ms. Skloot does exactly that and I believe they would be very happy with the care she has given to the subject.

    It's my opinion that everyone studying medicine & science should read this book to gain insight as to the genuine lives of patients. The understanding that there is much more to a person than their cells, their lab results, their disease, etc., is such an important lesson to be learned. To take a quote from the book, stated by the assistant who helped retrieve the cells while Henrietta was in the morgue, "When I saw those toenails I nearly fainted. I thought, Oh geez, she's a real person. I started imagining her sitting in her bathroom painting those toenails, and it hit me for the first time that those cells we'd been working with all this time and sending all over the world, they came from a live woman. I'd never thought of it thay way".

    I would also highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the ethical and legal aspects of the medical and scientific communities. There is also a significant component relating to the Johns Hopkins, the black community and black history. Every aspect was fascinating and eye-opening.

    If you are wondering how this could have happened, be warned that it could just as easily happen to any of us tomorrow, as there are still no laws in place preventing any doctor or hospital from keeping and using our tissue, or our children's umbilical blood, or our parents tumors for research once collected. Perhaps it is better that we all contribute to furthering scientific discoveries. But, you might rethink "immortality" after hearing this story. Just one more good reason to read this book.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Two different books, August 25, 2010
    I enjoyed the first half of the book. It was informative and educational. The second half - not so much. It took a bad turn with the introduction of Deborah and their trip together. The author depicted her as a woman who has the mind of a hyperactive 5 year old with ADD. "Oh my god. . . . I did this to her?" Maybe. Maybe not. The book went from the scientific and factual to the land of superstition and sensationalism I was left with the impression the book was a collage of facts and embellished observations. It's a good idea to leave your readers for a desire for more. I was left with a desire for less. ... Read more


    2. The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer
    by Siddhartha Mukherjee
    Hardcover (2010-11-16)
    list price: $30.00 -- our price: $14.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1439107955
    Publisher: Scribner
    Sales Rank: 50
    Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    The Emperor of All Maladies is a magnificent, profoundly humane “biography” of cancer—from its first documented appearances thousands of years ago through the epic battles in the twentieth century to cure, control, and conquer it to a radical new understanding of its essence. Physician, researcher, and award-winning science writer, Siddhartha Mukherjee examines cancer with a cellular biologist’s precision, a historian’s perspective, and a biographer’s passion. The result is an astonishingly lucid and eloquent chronicle of a disease humans have lived with—and perished from—for more than five thousand years. The story of cancer is a story of human ingenuity, resilience, and perseverance, but also of hubris, paternalism, and misperception. Mukherjee recounts centuries of discoveries, setbacks, victories, and deaths, told through the eyes of his predecessors and peers, training their wits against an infinitely resourceful adversary that, just three decades ago, was thought to be easily vanquished in an all-out “war against cancer.” The book reads like a literary thriller with cancer as the protagonist. From the Persian Queen Atossa, whose Greek slave cut off her malignant breast, to the nineteenth-century recipients of primitive radiation and chemotherapy to Mukherjee’s own leukemia patient, Carla, The Emperor of All Maladies is about the people who have soldiered through fiercely demanding regimens in order to survive—and to increase our understanding of this iconic disease. Riveting, urgent, and surprising, The Emperor of All Maladies provides a fascinating glimpse into the future of cancer treatments. It is an illuminating book that provides hope and clarity to those seeking to demystify cancer. ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars OFF THE CHARTS
    You remember the scene in the film "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid"? From the top of the bluff looking into the distance at dusk, Butch sees the lights of the pursuing posse which doesn't stop tracking them even at night and says "How many are following us? They're beginning to get on my nerves. Who are those guys?" In the same threatening way cancers have been dogging human beings since the dawn of time, and although we now know quite a lot about cancer we still don't really know "who are those guys" or how to shake them. And they sure are "beginning to get on our nerves" as Butch said. Almost one out of four of us will eventually wrestle with cancer -- the defining illness of our generation -- and lose our lives in the process. Until it catches up with us most of us will try to ignore this fact, just as when we were very young children alone in our bedroom trying to go to sleep at night we tried to ignore the monster that we sometimes feared might be lurking in our bedroom closet.

    Enter oncologist Siddhartha Mukherjee who almost parentally takes us by the hand to give us the courage to open with him the door to that dark and foreboding closet in order to see what is really lurking inside. Since eventually most of us are going to have to wrestle with this monster anyway -- either as a victim or as a loved one of a victim -- looking intelligently and closely into that dark closet does diminish fear and enhance wise perspective. And on this incredible journey into the depths of that darkness, what an absolutely marvelous guide is this modern day Virgil called Siddharta Mukherjee as he leads us on this long and often harrowing journey through the swarth that cancer has cut through mankind throughout time.

    Mukherjee is a veritable kaleidoscope. Turn his writing one way and you experience him as an exciting writer of page-turning detective stories or mystery stories; turn him another and he's a highly effective communicator of cellular biology; turn him a third and you get superb science writing; turn him a fourth and he has the grandeur and broad sweep of an excellent historian. It's hard to believe that this one book, combining all of these appealing characteristics, is the work of just one man. And underlying it all is his sterling medical training and credentials which have been enumerated often elsewhere.

    The book itself is a tour de force. It is the first book of such extraordinary scope regarding cancer. Its architectural structure brings to mind Melville's Moby Dick and how effectively and artfully Melville braided together the three strands of his great classic: a grand adventure story, the technology of whaling, and a treatise of humanity and philosophy. Equally effectively does Mukherjee weave together all the various facets of this iconic disease throughout history, from describing cancer from the patient's perspective, to viewing the never ending battles of physicians and medical researchers with cancer over the centuries, to examining the mysteries of the cellular nature of cancer itself and what really goes on in there, to the pro and con impact of this never ending plague on the spirit of the individual human and on our race as a whole, to peering into a crystal ball for a glance of cancer's and our future together. While doing all of this the alchemy of Mukherjee's writing continually turns science into poetry and poetry into science.

    Simply put, it is so good, and so incandescently clear and lucid, and so powerful, and so engrossing, and so easily consumed that you will not lay it down without someone or circumstances forcing you to.

    Had I read this book in my teens I would have found my life's career. I can only imagine that while you are reading this book, somewhere there will be some very young teenage girl or boy who will also be reading it at the same time you are, and who will become totally hooked by this book just as you will be, and who will go on to make a career in cancer research, a career that might provide the breakthrough that humanity has been searching and hoping for all of these many centuries. Thus although you will never know it, you will have "been there" at the initial motivation of that person and thus indirectly present at the earliest genesis of the eventual great idea.

    This book has THAT potential. It is THAT good.

    Kenneth E. MacWilliams

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Burden, The Mass, Onkos
    In the United States one in three women and one in two men will develop cancer in their lifetime. Dr Siddhartha Mukherjee, a medical oncologist, has written a definitive history of cancer. It may be one of the best medical books I have read. Complex but simple in terms of understanding. A timeline of a disease and those who waged the wars. In 1600 BC the first case of probable breast cancer was documented. In the thousands of years since, the Greek word, 'onkos', meaning mass or burden, has become the disease of our time. Cancer. The title of the book, is "a quote from a 19Th century physician" Dr Mukherjee had found inscribed in a library book that "cancer is the emperor of all maladies, the king of our terrors".

    As a health care professional and as a woman who is six years post breast cancer, Cancer has played a big part in my life. I used to walk by the Oncology clinic, and quicken my pace. I used to give chemotherapy to my patients, before it was discovered that the chemo was so toxic that it needed to be made under sterile conditions and given by professionals who specialized in Oncology. Dr Mukherjee, wisely discusses cancer in the context of patients, those of us who suffer. After all it is because of the patients, the people who have gone before us, who have contracted some form of cancer, they are the base of this science.

    Dr Mukherjee started his immersion in cancer medicine at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. He relates the beginning of the study of ALL, Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia, by Dr Sidney Farber in 1947. Dr Farber, a pathologist at the time decided to change his focus and start caring for patients. He was given a medication to trial for ALL, and though most of his patients died, some survived to remission. This opened his world and with the help of Mary Lasker, and Charles E Dana, philanthropists, they opened one of the first clinics that specialized in cancer care and research, The Dana Farber Cancer Center. Dr Mukherjee gives us the timeline of ALL and lymphomas and the medications that turned into chemotherapy. The development of specific care for blood cancers and the emergence of AIDS and patient activism. He discusses the surgery for breast cancer. It was thought that the more radical the surgery the better the outcomes. We now know that lumpectomies have an excellent outcome. But, women before me had a radical removal of breast, chest tissue, lymph nodes and sometimes ribs. The lesson learned is that breast cancer is very curable now and all those men and women, the patients who suffered, gave us the answers and cancer care has moved on.

    The onslaught of chemotherapies changed the face of cancer, and the 1970's served us well. In 1986 the first outcomes of cancer care were measured. Tobacco emerged as an addiction and soon lung cancer was a leading cause of death. Presidential Commissions ensued, politics entered the world of cancer, the war against cancer and the war against smoking. The Pap smear was developed, and prevention came to the fore. The two sides of cancer, the researchers and the physicians at the bedside, who often thought never the twain shall meet, recognized the importance of research to bedside.

    The story of the boy 'Jimmy' from New Sweden, Maine, became the face of childhood cancer. The Jimmy Fund, a Boston Red Sox charity in Boston, is still going strong today. 'Jimmy' opened the door to the public for the need for money and research, and care for those with cancer. We follow Dr Mukherjee with one of his first patients, Carla, from her diagnosis through her treatment. He has given a face to cancer. We all know someone with cancer, those who survived and those who did not. Cancer prevention is now the wave of the future.

    "Cancer is and may always be part of the burden we carry with us," says Dr Mukherjee. He has now written a "biography of cancer" for us, those without special medical knowledge. However, he does go astray in some discussions such as genetics. I have an excellent medical background, and found I was floundering at times. As I discovered,and Dr. Mukherjee agrees, our patients are our heroes. They/we withstand the horrors of cancer, and the horrific, sometimes deadly treatments. The stories of his patients make us weep, and the complex decision making about their care make him the most caring of physicians.

    The 'quest for the cure' is the basis of all science and research, and Dr Mukherjee has written a superb tome in language that we can all attempt to understand. The biography of Cancer. Cancer may always be with us,Dr Mukherjee hopes that we outwit this devil and survive.


    Highly Recommended. prisrob 11-13-10

    Jimmy Fund of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, The (MA) (Images of America)

    Early Detection: Women, Cancer, and Awareness Campaigns in the Twentieth-Century United States

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Everyman Book of Cancer
    The brilliance of this book is the effortlessness with which the author draws the reader into the world of cancer and keeps him there as a tourist or witness. Dr. Mukherjee's engaging style, precision of prose and overwhelming compassion imbue this work with an energy that carries the reader along a ride like none other.

    Whether the reader is a basic scientist or sociologist, a patient or healthcare provider, a philosopher or philanderer, this book will appeal, entertain and educate.

    A remarkable achievement.

    5-0 out of 5 stars "Cancer was an all-consuming presence in our lives."
    Siddhartha Mukherjee's monumental "The Emperor of All Maladies" meticulously outlines the trajectory of cancer (derived from the Greek word "karkinos," meaning crab) over thousands of years, starting in ancient Egypt. In 2010, seven million people around the world will die of cancer. Many have experienced the horrors of this disease through personal experience. The author provides us with a global view of this "shape-shifting entity [that is] imbued with such metaphorical and political potency that it is often described as the definitive plague of our generation."

    In "The Emperor of All Maladies," we meet a variety of patients, doctors, scientists, and activists. We also hear the voices of such iconic figures as Susan Sontag, author of "Illness as Metaphor," and Alexander Solzhenitsyn, whose "Cancer Ward" is a desolate and isolating "medical gulag." Cancer is such a complex subject that it can only be understood by examining it in all of its facets: through myths, the anguish of its victims, and the untiring efforts of its adversaries, both past and present, some of whom were well-meaning but horribly misguided. Mukherjee says in his author's note that he has made an effort to be "simple but not simplistic." In this he has succeeded.

    Ancient physicians thought that such invisible forces as "miasmas" and "bad humors" caused cancers. Many years of experimentation, studies of human anatomy, laboratory work, and clinical trials have shown cancer to be a "pathology of excess" that originates from the uncontrolled growth of a single cell. Cancer is "unleashed by mutations--changes in DNA that specifically affect genes that incite unlimited cell growth." What treatment to use--surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, or a combination of these approaches--is rarely an easy decision. Equally significant are the efforts of public health officials, who seek to reduce cancer's mortality through early detection (mammography and colonoscopy, among others, are screening methods in use today). In addition, cancer may be prevented by encouraging people to avoid environmental carcinogens such as cigarette smoke.

    This elegant and heartrending narrative is far more than a biography of a terrible malady. It is also a story of paternalism, arrogance, and false hope, as well as inventiveness, determination, and inspiration. We meet Sidney Farber, who pioneered a chemotherapeutic approach to leukemia in children during the 1940's and helped launch "the Jimmy Fund"; William Halstead who, in the nineteenth century, disfigured women with radical mastectomies that, in many cases, were not curative; Paul Ehrlich, who discovered a "magic bullet" to combat syphilis from a derivative of chemical dyes; Mary Lasker, a powerful businesswoman and socialite who zealously raised money and political awareness in what would become a national war on cancer; and George Papanicolaou, a Greek cytologist, whose Pap smear "changed the spectrum of cervical cancer." Mukherjee constantly moves back and forth in time, showing how the past and the present are closely interconnected.

    Throughout the book, Dr. Mukherjee's keeps returning to one of his patients, thirty-six year old Carla Long. In 2004, she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a cancer of the white blood cells. Carla would have a long road ahead of her, one filled with pain, fear, and uncertainty. We look to the future with cautious optimism that even greater progress will be made in our never-ending battle against a treacherous and multi-pronged enemy. Mukherjee is a brilliant oncologist, gifted writer, scrupulous researcher, and spellbinding storyteller. "The Emperor of All Maladies" is a riveting, thought-provoking, and enlightening work that deserves to become an instant classic.

    5-0 out of 5 stars All In favor say "Aye"
    There seems little left to say so I'll take a different tack, look to another facet of this book and its author.

    Today I heard Dr. Mukherjee interviewed on the Terry Gross show (Fresh Air - NPR), where the topic, the book, was biased in favor of the author ... and a wonderful treat it was. While I am interested in cancer and progress toward cure, the fascinating aspect of today's experience was the man himself. In all the interviews of all the interviewers I've listened in on - mostly literary in nature - I've never heard a more articulate responder than Mukherjee. He's a poet. His choice of words slice in toward meaning like the scalpel itself. He avoids vagueness and ambiguity, courts acuracy and precsion like no one I've heard. He is a treat just to listen to, never mind his insights into the disease, it's history and possible future.

    I ordered this book today in order to get more of his artistry but I wouldn't discourage those seeking the phycician's prowess - that is there too. If I should be in that 25% that ends up with cancer, I would hope Dr. Mukherjee would be there to consult with me and console.

    5-0 out of 5 stars As magentic as a biography can be
    As a work of scholarship, this book is just tremendous. Mukherjee traces the history of our understanding of cancer from 2500 BC to present-day. He writes of political battles for public attention, incredible wiles in the biology of the disease, and schisms among the researchers sent to conquer it. All major developments are present and sourced in sixty pages of footnotes. From this grand historical scope, Mukherjee has crafted a tight and coherent narrative that I found very difficult to put down. I'm aware of no lay-account of cancer with anything approaching the level of depth present here. This book is one-of-a-kind.

    Like anything so vast, it isn't quite perfect. Certain structural changes would benefit fluency, though they've no impact on my unqualified recommendation.

    * More humanizing characteristics and quotations. Smaller researchers, and occasionally even key players, are summed by little more than what they've accomplished. There are perhaps a hundred contributors that Mukherjee covers, but with exception to a handful that have had tens of pages devoted to them or some peculiar eccentricity, they're interchangeable and unmemorable.

    * A more even balance between discovery and those stricken by cancer. Mukherjee is at his best when he's describing the struggles of his own patients. These stories are touching, personal, and an intensely interesting ground-level foil to the bird's eye view of much of the book. The retrospective of cancer discovery is so vast and detailed that these rare moments where the story reverts to the present can feel like an oasis.

    Roughly half of The Emperor is comprised of five and ten-page vignettes where Mukherjee poses a question ("If XY, then could XYZ ... ?") and resolves it with the travails of a researcher ("Person Q, a scientist at H, noticed ..."). These accounts are often gripping, especially as advances accelerate in the mid-1980s, but sets of four or five in a series are enough to cause my attention to drift.

    * A different ending. In the final chapters, Mukherjee suggests he'd originally intended to conclude with the death of a particular patient. By serendipity, that patient was still living in late 2009. Given the great strides in cancer survival and the sense he conveys that genetics may well provide the magic bullets that so occupied the fantasies of early researchers, concluding on a high note would have been within the spirit of the book. Instead, Mukherjee describes another patient that did in fact die. This person was not previously introduced. She was a better fit for the narrative, but including her account for that purpose didn't strike the right tone to me.

    Structure aside, I'd like to have seen Mukherjee become more of a prognosticator in later chapters. I was reeling at the sheer mass of information on display by the last page, but I also felt as if I'd accumulated a great depth of trivia with little binding glue to the present. There probably aren't a hundred people alive in a better position than the author to comment on the state of cancer research, to predict, or to theorize in new directions. But these insights are spare.

    These points aside, if you've even a tangential interest in cancer or biology, Mukherjee's opus remains a must-read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Spectacular insight into the most feared of all diseases
    This is a spectacular book. I read 100 books a year and this is definitely in the top 10. It is very, very well written and, in some ways, it is like a mystery. The way the book is written, we follow the stream of research and clinical medical treatment over 150 years. It's like feeling around in the dark for a bomb that we know will go off. It is simultaneously horrifying and compelling. I am a doctor and think I am compassionate towards my patients. This book increased my compassion 10X. What surprised me the most was the politics involved in attempting to cure a disease that potentially affects everyone. Surgeons want to cut and oncologists want to drug. They each have their turf and don't want to give it up. The fact that 50% of all men and 33% of all women will get some form of cancer before they die is a very sobering one. The section on the evilness of the tobacco industry was particularly illuminating. I can't put the book down and will truly be sad when it is finished.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic insight into the science behind medical research
    Great book, I will read it again. I love learning and understanding the thought processes, errors and vast achievements of all aspects of scientific research, particularly medicine. This book does not disappoint. The author leans somewhat heavily on his thesaurus, be prepared to dig around in the dictionary. However, great history and insight into the scientific method. A fascinating peek into the mind of a scientist and a clinician. Must read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The New Standard for Cancer Stories
    It is difficult to even imagine the stacks of reports, articles, notes and interviews that Dr. Mukherjee processed to produce this fabulous book. Each page explains, in very readable prose, complex, arcane subjects. For anyone looking for reason to hope that their cancer is curable, this book is trove of stories of lives saved and changed by the work of cancer researchers.
    This book will be referenced in other works for a long time. ... Read more


    3. Reengineering Health Care: A Manifesto for Radically Rethinking Health Care Delivery
    by Jim Champy, Harry Greenspun
    Kindle Edition (2010-06-03)
    list price: $21.99
    Asin: B003HOXLDY
    Publisher: FT Press
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    In their legendary book, Reengineering the Corporation, Jim Champy and Michael Hammer introduced businesspeople to the enormous power of a revolutionary methodology called reengineering. Using reengineering, businesses around the world have systematically retooled their processes--achieving dramatic cost savings, greater customer satisfaction, and more value.

     

    Now, Jim Champy and Dr. Harry Greenspun show how to apply the proven reengineering methodology in health care: throughout physician practices, hospitals, and even entire health systems. You’ll meet innovative and visionary leaders who’ve been successfully reengineering organizations across the entire delivery spectrum and learn powerful lessons for improving quality, reducing costs, and expanding access.

    This book doesn’t just demonstrate the immense potential of health care reengineering to revolutionize health care delivery: it offers a clear roadmap for realizing that potential in your own organization.

     

    Deliver Better Care to More People, at Lower Cost

    • How reengineering can lead to more efficient, safer delivery--and sharply reduced costs
    • How to focus on prevention and wellness, as well as chronic disease and hospital care
    • How to earn the trust, contributions, and passion of skeptical physicians and health care professionals
    • How to harness technology to create more seamless, accessible, valued, and sustainable health care systems--and avoid technology’s pitfalls
    • How Zeev Neuwirth transformed the Lenox Hill Hospital ER and the 700-doctor Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates practice
    • How Tom Knight is revolutionizing patient safety at Methodist Hospital System, one of America’s largest private, nonprofit medical complexes
    • How to start today in your own organization!
    ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent call to action on HC reengineering
    Amazon.com Review of "Reengineering Healthcare: A Manifesto for Radically Rethinking Health Care Delivery. Jim Champy, J.D., and Harry Greenspun, M.D. FT Press, Upper Saddle River, NY. 2010.

    Eric W. Palfreyman
    July, 2010.

    In the present cultural climate--with its emphasis on political absolutism--it would be easy to hand off responsibility for healthcare change to the government. To its credit, Reengineering Healthcare does not do this. In the beginning, it specifically places the action on those who can most directly and positively influence it:

    "Reengineering must be done, and it must be done by clinicians. No angel of government, even under the auspices of `national health care reform,' can reduce the cost and improve the quality of health care without the work and leadership of clinicians. It's time for all clinicians--physicians, nurses, technicians, physician assistants, and pharmacists--to assume their rightful role in directing change."

    The first question I want answered in any book I'm considering is whether it is a good read. The answer on Reengineering Healthcare is a resounding "yes". Champy's writing has always been high on a readability scale and Champy and Greenspun have delivered a book that is easy to read and engaging from beginning to end. It is an excellent mixture of case studies, narrative, inspiration, challenge, and technique. The book is long enough to convey knowledge and inspiration, but not long enough to become tedious. If its desire was to inspire as well as instruct, it is a very successful book.

    Their book begins by reviewing what reengineering is, and touches on ideas such as the idea that reengineering is not simply a look at discrete issues for resolution, but is an examination of the entire system of getting things accomplished. The authors place a focus on examining systemic issues and solving them in a comprehensive way. They recognize that reengineering is focused on fundamental change (not simply incrementalist tweaks), radical approaches that do not simply touch the surface, and focusing on areas that can create dramatic results. In brief, they state, "the methodologies and techniques may vary in name, but they all share the same ambition for dramatic improvement in the performance of work by focusing on process."

    They then turn to reengineering specific to healthcare. They lay the book around three areas of reengineering: Technology, Processes, and people. A thesis of the book is that any reengineering that is to be substantive must incorporate all three elements in order to fully create the kind of massive change that is needed.

    Another strength of the book is that while it strongly highlights cost improvements, reduction in time-to-results, and reduced duplication; it always maintains a focus on delivering quality healthcare and on maintaining a focus on patient safety.

    The book covers topics from selecting which processes/organizations need to be improved (and what criteria go into that decision) to a focus on continual interaction with the "front line"--the people who actually deliver healthcare. This effort may be authorized and funded by top executives, but the root cause analysis and proposals for process improvement are derived from and approved by those who actually deliver healthcare to patients--physicians, nurses, pharmacists, medical technicians, etc.

    A review seems incomplete without one criticsm, so if I had to come up with one deficit in the book, I would have like to have seen a couple of the case studies accompanied by simplified process flow charts showing a before and after architectural view of the process.

    For those interested in improving all aspects of healthcare delivery and in harnessing the power of innovative reengineering to accomplish this, Reengineering Healthcare is a must read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A brilliant analysis of a "new paradigm" of networked health care

    It is difficult for me to believe that almost two decades have passed since Reengineering the Corporation was published. In it, Jim Champy and co-author Michael Hammer define reengineering as "the fundamental rethinking and radical redesign of business processes to achieve dramatic improvements in critical, contemporary measures of performance, such as cost, quality, service, and speed." More specifically, "fundamental" refers to how work is performed and the basic questions that need to be asked, "radical" means going beyond superficial changes in the way things are being done, "dramatic" indicates that reengineering isn't about marginal or incremental improvements, and "process" refers to a group of activities that uses one or more kinds of input to create an output of customer values.

    What we have in this volume, co-authored by Champy and Harry Greenspun, M.D., are multiple collaborative applications of the same four basic principles to the challenge of reengineering the provision of health "and it must be done by clinicians. No angel of government, even under the auspices of `national health care reform.' Can reduce the cost and improve the quality of health care without the work and leadership of clinicians. It's time for all clinicians - physicians, nurses, technicians, physician assistants, and pharmacists - to assume their rightful role in directing change." This is a key point. Champy and Greenspun insist, and I agree, that those who are centrally involved in the provision of health care should be centrally involved in the process of radical thinking by which to determine the nature and extent of reengineering initiatives.

    According to Champy and Greenspun, the approach they propose is based on four "pillars": Technology ("In any science-based enterprise, technology developments offer daily opportunities for redesigning work"), Process ("Whether or not new technology is applied, an organization's work is best understood as a collection of processes"), and People ("No process can work properly without people trained as a team to execute"). Throughout their lively narrative, Champy and Greenspun focus on exemplary leaders of reengineering initiatives that vary in nature and extent but all of which rely (to varying degree) on the aforementioned three "pillars." With all due respect to the value of various real-world examples, their purpose is to illustrate core principles rather than prescribe how those principles should be applied. It remains for each reader to make that determination.

    Hence the importance if several reader-friendly devices that can help to guide and inform those decisions. For example:

    Ten lessons to be learned from MultiCare Health System's deployment of its electronic health records (EHR) program (Pages 67-87)

    "A Checklist for Implementing New Technologies" (Pages 92-95)

    Note: As a supplementary resource, I highly recommend Atul Gawande's The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right, published by Metropolitan Books in 2009.

    How to change medical processes that have been developed and ingrained for decades (Pages 99-135)

    "A Checklist for Process (Pages 135-138)

    Lessons to be learned from various reformers that are "not only valuable, but replicable" (Pages143-165)

    "A Checklist for the People Side" (Pages 165-167)

    How to look for and locate reengineering opportunities (Pages 190-204)

    However different the health care "reformers" may be in most other respects, they share in common what aspiring reformers must also possess. Specifically, "an ambition to improve the quality and safety of care in dramatic fashion; a deep respect for the experience of patients; a passion for improving the outcome of treatment; a desire to create a better workplace for clinicians; an appetite for change to create better medical practice; the clinical leadership required to bring about change; the persistence to overcome the inertia of current practices and processes; and a willingness to acknowledge their own shortcomings or detrimental behaviors."

    Jim Champy and Harry Greenspun offer a manifesto, not an operations manual. Encouraged as they obviously are by the successful reengineering initiatives they have observed in various health care organizations, they have no illusions about the challenges and difficulties that new initiatives by other organizations must overcome. In some instances, it will take years of effort to achieve success. That said, I am reminded of the Chinese proverb that suggests that the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time is now.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Bravo!
    This book is exceptionally helpful. The key messages are outlined clearly and the case studies are great examples of how individuals can make an impact in the way health care is delivered. The authors are thoughtful and practical regarding the process, and have helped me motivate my team to analyze how our system works and find ways to improve it. It is precisely what we need right now.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Overview of How to Improve Deliverables in Healthcare

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    Jim Champy is known for helping change business for the better. Taking on a new challenges in Healthcare and as Reform has its own impact, the authors introduce us to wholescale potentials and needs in Reengineering of Healthcare from front to back.

    When you think of how profound all this is, health care has the most up to date technology in treating and evaluating/investigating illnesses and the like. Yet, the processes surrounding the care for patients, record keeping, tracking patients through the process and the hand-offs between disciplines is stilted in the least and broken in the worst of cases.

    Champy along with a Leader in Heath Care Reegineering gives us high points with interesting stories of how health care deliverables have improved. Using cases from across the country, he shows how the return on investment can be multiple times the cost to reengineering processes. Eliminating steps in tracking and paperwork, reducing processes in the number of steps required for each stake holder that gets the patient more focused care and the physicians and clinical staff actually doing the job they need to do. A lot of processes include paperwork, which sometimes keeps a physician plowed under with time consuming tasks that take away from practice and improvement of professional capabilities.

    The cool thing here is that there is a radical departure from a head cutting process to save money, there are so many opportunities to cut costs by improving the flow and storage of information, opportunities to assure that patients are getting the right combinations of meds and avoidance of the elderly of using older prescriptions. The concept of care and prevention of health issues is most important in the process. This is truly a win/win concept.

    The focus as the chapters tell us is Technology, Process and People. Getting it done will require work, yet, the tools for most improvements needed already exist within the facilities and providers themselves. Interestingly though, the legacy systems are antiquated in places that may have the best of tools to treat and evaluate patients.

    We know about the initiative to improve the storage and sharing of information of patients throughout the health care community, but the depth of need for improvement requires new thinking in how processes with the right technology will help the people being treated and improve the work of those providing that service.

    This book is an introduction and meant to spark the beginning of a surge in health care improvement wholescale. There are definate new books and case studies to be written and looked into yet ahead.

    Anyone interested in where health care could go should get this, Administrators, Nurses, Operations people, heath care IT practitioners would all benefit from the ideas this book introduces. There are so many opportunities in health care that I feel we can improve our economy in many ways by addressing this urgent and very large need immediately and consistently.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Required reading for every student and practitioner in health care industry

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    Written by the most talented authorities in change management and systems re-engineering, this book should be required reading for every student and practitioner in health care industry. Champy is the former Chairman of Consulting for Dell Perot Services and the author of Reengineering the Corporation. Greenspun, MD, has served as the Chief Medical Officer at Dell, Northrop Grumman Corporation.

    The heart of this book has 3 chapters, one for each of the key components of any service: processes, people, and technology. Each of these three chapters ends with a checklist to make sure that the reader has learned the lessons. The book offers 2 chapters that recount personal experiences of health care re-engineering. At the outset and at the end of the book we find the motivational chapter and the chapter broadly outlining the opportunities in health care re-engineering.

    First, they ask why do we have a health care problem? Their answer is that the physicians, like many managers and engineers in the past, have been trained to accomplish their jobs independently, not in teams. The problem arises because health care delivery today demands teamwork.

    Next, they define the process of re-engineering health care: The radical improvement of health care delivery process to enhance quality and dramatically lower costs, while greatly expanding patient accessibility to that improved care. Four words in this definition - fundamental, radical, dramatic, and process - are key to re-engineering.

    If you study the typical office workflow, you discover that highly skilled doctors passionate about the patient care, spend only one third of their time practicing medicine. The two-thirds of their time is spent on administration, billing, documentation, and preparation. Also, people are the key to process. Poor relationships within the clinic staff will result in substandard care and lost revenue for the practice.

    Smartest Quote (p. 104):
    "Cognitive change just takes too long. We believe that changing what people do is the best way to change how they think."

    Dumbest Quote (p. 81):
    "Making sure you understand exactly how the EHR technology will work in the physician's room before it's installed is one of the keys to successful implementation of the system." It's impossible to foresee exactly all the details. It's also not needed, as we've seen thousands of successful installations using a gradual approach, by improving at every stage through iterative solicitation of physician's feedback.

    All in all, a highly recommended book for everyone who cares about our health care system and a required reading for every student and executive in health care industry.

    Yuval Lirov, Medical Billing Networks and Processes - Profitable and Compliant Revenue Cycle Management in the Internet Age

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read on how to improve healthcare processes, quality and patient care.
    This book takes the reader into real-life situations where healthcare has been improved by a variety of healthcare organizations and professionals. This isn't about Healthcare Reform and doesn't address politics. Rather it is about Healthcare Transformation and putting the focus back on the patient by driving out inefficiencies in the care cycle and improving healthcare delivery overall. It's a must read for healthcare professionals and anyone interested in understanding how to enhance the care we all receive.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A great guide and motivator.
    It was easy to relate to the struggles and challenges highlighted in the book, but great to get some practical advice on how to tackle them. While many books focus on health policy, this one has helped me figure out how to move my department in a much more productive direction. It has also given me a "call to action" for my managers, helping them understand the rationale moving forward. ... Read more


    4. Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition
    Paperback
    list price: $28.95 -- our price: $23.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1433805618
    Publisher: American Psychological Association (APA)
    Sales Rank: 131
    Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association" is the style manual of choice for writers, editors, students, and educators in the social and behavioral sciences. It provides invaluable guidance on all aspects of the writing process, from the ethics of authorship to the word choice that best reduces bias in language. Well-known for its authoritative and easy-to-use reference and citation system, the Publication Manual also offers guidance on choosing the headings, tables, figures, and tone that will result in strong, simple, and elegant scientific communication. The sixth edition offers new and expanded instruction on publication ethics, statistics, journal article reporting standards, electronic reference formats, and the construction of tables and figures. The sixth edition has been revised and updated to include: new ethics guidance on such topics as determining authorship and terms of collaboration, duplicate publication, plagiarism and self-plagiarism, disguising of participants, validity of instrumentation, and making data available to others for verification; new journal article reporting standards to help readers report empirical research with clarity and precision; simplified APA heading style to make it more conducive to electronic publication; updated guidelines for reducing bias in language to reflect current practices and preferences, including a new section on presenting historical language that is inappropriate by present standards; new guidelines for reporting inferential statistics and a significantly revised table of statistical abbreviations; and, new instruction on using supplemental files containing lengthy data sets and other media. This book includes significantly expanded content on the electronic presentation of data to help readers understand the purpose of each kind of display and choose the best match for communicating the results of the investigation, with new examples for a variety of data displays, including electro physiological and biological data. It offers consolidated information on all aspects of reference citations, with an expanded discussion of electronic sources emphasizing the role of the digital object identifier (DOI) as a reliable way to locate information. It features expanded discussion of the publication process, including the function and process of peer review. It contains a discussion of ethical, legal, and policy requirements in publication; and guidelines on working with the publisher while the article is in press. Key to this edition of the Publication Manual is an updated and expanded Web presence. Look up additional supplemental material keyed to this book. This book lets you test your knowledge of APA Style with a free tutorial on style basics. It lets you learn about the changes in the sixth edition with a free tutorial reviewing key revisions. Sign up for an on-line course to enrich and enhance your understanding of APA Style. Read the APA Style blog and share your comments on writing and referencing. Consult frequently asked questions to sharpen your understanding of APA Style. This title lets you examine additional resources on such topics as ethics, statistics, and writing. It lets you familiarize yourself with submission standards for APA books and journals. ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars BEWARE! Many pages of corrections have been issued!, October 7, 2009
    I just received my copy. As a psychology professor, this text is required for my bookshelf--the same is true for students in this field. However, I was upset to learn that APA has already issued 7 typewritten pages of corrections to this manual, and they will not exchange the first printing for a newer print. This is a resource that you will use for years! Wait to purchase until the kinks have been ironed out and they are on a second or third printing of the manual! I am also disappointed that they do not clearly delineate the changes from the 5th edition. It looks to me that there are few important changes (2 spaces between sentences, etc.). Save your money for at least a few more months!

    1-0 out of 5 stars Greatly Disappointed, October 14, 2009
    I was very irritated to find that many errors existed in the 6th edition. I also contacted APA regarding the errors. They are not going to exchange the book for a corrected edition. They made several lame excuses for the errors and for not replacing it. My second email to APA pointedly expressed my displeasure with their stance - copied below...

    To have grammar and writing errors in a book about grammar and writing is shameful. How much does your organization really care about the reputation it is presenting? Do you have editors reviewing your works before publication? Are your editors paying attention to their work? If you cannot hold yourself to the standards you have set out in your own publication, then your publications should not exist!


    If you need this book, demand a corrected reprinting! If you are a university, you also demand a corrected reprint. This organization should not set standards they are not going to comply with. I give them an "F"

    1-0 out of 5 stars Do Not Buy, Join the Boycott!, October 20, 2009
    Do not buy the first printing of the APA manual, 6th edition under any circumstances. There are errors on eighty (80) of its pages. How outrageous for a manual on writing style! As of 10/20/09, APA refuses to exchange their error full copies with corrected second printings. Despite the fact that the list of errors goes on for 7 pages, the Editorial Director of APA books stated "there are no errors that impede using the manual with full confidence." Many of the errors are in the sample papers -- a part of the manual so many of us use as an important reference. The abuse of power that APA is wielding over students required to purchase this book for classes, along with graduate students and professors who must write in this style for journals is alarming. APA goes on to state that with its 80 pages of errors in this edition that "it is within my control, as a true expert who has been intimately involved with each stage of this project, to verify for you without hesitation that the first printing is correct, accurate, and fully functional." As a Professor, when I grade papers, I say to my students that 3 APA errors will get them docked 1/2 a letter grade. If I were to grade this APA manual, it would not only get an F, there aren't enough letters in the alphabet to go low enough for the number of errors it contains. Meanwhile, APA is happy to take everyone's money for the book they know we all have to purchase in so many fields of study.

    A formal boycott of this edition is underway on Facebook until APA agrees to replace the copies of the first edition that people are now stuck with. Please join us [...]

    5-0 out of 5 stars All is well, January 10, 2010
    Given all the emotional responses around the mistakes in the new edition, I was worried about ordering my copy. However, it just arrived, and as promised, it's the corrected version (the second printing) of the 6th edition. The changes to the style included in the manual are an improvement, particularly in the way electronic resources are cited. Additionally, the organization of this edition is better. Overall, I'm pleased.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Unhelpful Guide about an Unenlightening Style, May 6, 2004
    Like some of the other reviewers, I am in a program of advanced study in which APA is the "accepted" style of citation for scholarly research. As we can see, APA is an absolutely dreadful citation style, especially with its prohibition of footnotes, leading to incomprehensible paragraphs in which your prose is murdered by names and dates in parentheses. The lack of required page numbers in your citations also allows you, if you're so inclined, to transform your references into all sorts of unsupported speculation and conjecture, and no reader will be able to prove or disprove what you're saying. I realize that arguing about the merits of APA style is not the same as reviewing the merits of this book. But the weaknesses in the core citation style are so prevalent that it would be impossible to create a book of this nature with any sort of usefulness.

    Now let's get to the trouble with this particular book. First, it is unnecessarily humungous, trying to beef up the very thin body of APA citation requirements (which by the way can be found for free all over the internet) with hugely unenlightening chapters on basic writing style and methods. Infinitely better guides on how to actually write and conduct research can be easily found elsewhere. Even when you do want to find instructions on the core requirements of APA citation style, this is an annoyingly difficult task in this atrociously organized and indexed book. A thin and under-compiled index sends you to hard-to-find section numbers rather than page numbers. And finally there is the practice of this book's publishers to promote a "new edition" which is merely the same as before with a couple of new entries, sold with a new cover and of course a new full price. In case you're wondering, about the only new information in this edition concerns how to reference websites and online publications. Once again, this info can be found for free on the internet, while you could also spend a pittance on a used copy of the supposedly "outdated" previous edition.

    This book gets two stars because it is nominally useful (at least in theory) if you're stuck with it. But if you find yourself required to use the talent-crushing APA style in your attempts to write something of importance, first try to convince your mentors that APA is inherently anti-intellectual. Then find a way to get out of any requirements to buy this unhelpful book, and find the information on the internet instead. [~doomsdayer520~]

    3-0 out of 5 stars 5th Edition APA Publication Manual, October 17, 2002
    Even though there are only a few changes to the 5th edition, I would recommend getting it. It is too confusing to use an older edition especially if you are pressed for time or have never used this type of manual before.

    Also I recommend marking your book with tabs such as in the "Reference Citations in Text" section or the "Reference List" chapter. Marking the book with tabs helped me find my way to the information that I needed over and over again. I've tended to use the same type of references throughout my graduate courses.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Small changes, big headaches, October 14, 2001
    As an ABD-PhD candidate who's required to use APA format (and halfway through a dissertation using APA 4th edition), the small changes in this latest edition do little to add clarity and readability to a manuscript, but much to frustrate: Underlining references has been replaced with italics; after utilizing first-line indents in a Reference list (easier for a word processor) we've now gone back to second-line hanging indents; and none of these changes are clearly discussed in a "Revisions in the 5th Edition" chapter, you need to find them on your own in each chapter. I appreciate the updated guide for citing electronic resources, but the remainder seems to be aimed at "buy yet-another version" rather than major improvements and substantive changes. Maddening! If you're required to use it, you're stuck. Otherwise, keep the old 4th edition.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Very Difficult, But Necessary, September 16, 2003
    Out of all the stylebooks I have had occasion to use as a professional editor, I have found this one to be the most difficult to follow and understand--the most difficult to master.

    I am not a psychologist, but I am a professional medical editor, and I feel sorry for those who must follow this style when writing theses, articles, book chapters, and other items for publication. In addition, I find some of the APA's requirements (particularly in the references, which have their own unique style quite unlike most others) incomprehensible.

    That having been said, this book is a must for those who want to be published by the APA, and those who are editing for same. Once it has been read many times, and key passages put to memory, it is not as hard to understand--but it shouldn't be so hard. The section on figures and tables, however, is a truly excellent primer, for any professional writer, not just those in the health care professions.

    My grade: C plus.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Much better than previous editions..., August 18, 2009
    Easier to read with a lot less pages. The 6th edition is a mere 272 pages vs. a whopping 439 pages in the 5th edition. This improves its portability and lap-use. ( I never could understand why a book that insists on 1 inch margins all around used 1.5 inch margin on the outer margins and left so much wasted unused space on the pages).

    Material has been streamlined to reflect more of the electronic resources currently being used and the more obscure material has been consolidated. The newly added chapters on ethics, the publication process and journal article reporting standards are quite helpful. Some reviewers complained about the elimination of the chapters on writing for publication. Since each journal has it's own specific criteria for manuscript submission, I don't consider this a huge loss. Still has lots of sample for various references (and even includes video blog sources like you-tube) and information on how to display data results (Including radiologic and imaging data like MRI images)

    So glad I bought the newest version, especially since it's currently half the price of the old version and a lot more user friendly and up to date. If you required to use the APA style, I strongly suggest buying this book.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Here we go again!, February 18, 2002
    Here we go again... more minor changes to APA style! The hanging indent is back, we don't have to type long lists of author names anymore, and we can now use parentheses (woo-hoo!).

    If you need to prepare manuscripts in APA style and don't have a previous edition of the manual, then you need this book. Though it remains relatively user-unfriendly, it is nonetheless the bible of manuscript preparation.

    If you already have the fourth edition... determine how many of the changes in the fifth edition apply to your work. If you mostly write "plain vanilla" research reports and your reference lists mostly consist of ordinary journal articles, you may be able to get by with some handwritten notes in the margins of your old book. ... Read more


    5. Pictures of the Mind: What the New Neuroscience Tells Us About Who We Are
    by Miriam Boleyn-Fitzgerald
    Kindle Edition
    list price: $20.99
    Asin: B0032BW5BQ
    Publisher: FT Press
    Sales Rank: 2337
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    “An engaging and compelling read that illustrates how the new brain science can help us understand elements of our basic humanity.”

    Zindel Segal, Author of The Mindful Way through Depression and  Cameron Wilson Chair in Depression Studies at the University of Toronto and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

     

    “Miriam Boleyn-Fitzgerald has given us a remarkably clear and engaging account of the ways that the new brain imaging technologies can give us deep insights into our gravest maladies. Her conclusion, that healing may often lie with us, joins science with the wisdom of the ages.”

    Jonathan D. Moreno, Author of Mind Wars, David and Lyn Silfen University Professor, and Professor of Medical Ethics and of History and Sociology of Science at the University of Pennsylvania

     

    Who are we?

    What’s going on inside us when we think, feel, hope, or imagine?

    Can we change?

    Can we become happier, smarter, healthier, more altruistic–better?

     

    For thousands of years, people have wondered about questions like these. Now, using the latest brain scanning technologies, neuroscientists can watch your brain at work–and they’re amazed by what they’re seeing. Now, you can see it, too. Pictures of the Mind presents the images that are revolutionizing neuroscience and offers you a personal tour of the frontiers of brain research.

     

    You’ll discover why scientists are becoming increasingly excited about your brain’s abilities to keep growing, learning, changing, and healing, all through life. You’ll follow cutting-edge researchers as they blaze new trails toward potential cures for everything from depression to dementia and brain injury to addiction. And you’ll preview what could become the greatest scientific revolution of all: the one that finally explains mind, emotion, and consciousness.

    ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Full of surprises about how the brain works, and inspiration for the brain's potential, March 12, 2010
    In this book, scientist Miriam Boleyn-Fitzgerald reports the latest on fMRI scanners and what they reveal to neuroscientists. The brain, once thought to be fixed and locked in after a certain age, is now known to be plastic and to regenerate. This neuroplasticity can give us great hope for people with injuries, addictions, memory problems, etc.

    The journey begins with a British woman who was thought to be in a PVS (persistent vegetative state) but found to be conscious the entire time, but unable to communicate. The book highlights cases of various states, such as a young athlete who had everything a young man could want until after a tragic accident. He has since been left in LIS (locked-in syndrome). People have conceptions that such people would want to die, but most of them find something to live for and ways to communicate, even if just by blinking.

    Moral dilemmas appear as we learn more about the brain. For example, one part of the brain rules morality and how we rationalize our moral decisions. Can we really hold accountable someone whose brain is different than the norm, thus leading to a crime? We are on the verge of being able to wipe out painful memories. Should we erase memories that ruin the lives of people with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder)? Or would we abuse that as drug companies encourage us to expand the definition of PTSD to include bad relationships? (Think of the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, in which this happened!) How could people learn from their pain, gaining empathy, if every painful memory were eradicated?

    Another chapter informs us on where addiction takes place in the brain. People who have had this part damaged (the insula) have been able to stop smoking cigarettes effortlessly! The book discusses how crystal meth damages the brain; yet the brain is able, given time, to repair itself to a great extent.

    The book is full of surprises about the brain. For example, in one person, whose corpus callosum has been totally severed, there is no connection harmonizing the left and right brains. One researcher asked such people if they believed in God. The right brain would say "yes" but the left brain (analytical part) would say "no." The scientist performing the experiment noted that one hemisphere of the brain is an atheist, while the other is a believer, and this finding should have shaken the theological community to the core. "If this person dies, what happens? Does one hemisphere go to heaven and the other go to hell?"

    The author saves the best for last: The last chapter deals with the mystical parts of the brain (the temporal lobes; people with seizures have all kinds of mystical experiences); the brain on meditation; the sense of merging with the cosmos and there being no separate self. We are shown how the power of simply paying attention to the breath affects the brain, and virtually all religions have noticed that.

    This book leaves you with hope and inspiration that, whether you are brain damaged or healthy, you have the ability and potential to do more and go further.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Pictures of the Mind: a combination of neurology, psychology, and a how-to on happiness, February 10, 2010
    I actually found this book randomly in the Kindle store while looking for books about Anne Boleyn, and decided to buy it on a whim due to a growing interest in neurology.

    I'm glad I did.

    This book taught me about the amazing possibilities and future of fMRI, but I also learned about just how important living in the present, as well as compassion and empathy, are to happiness.

    As someone who suffers from extreme anxiety, i am deeply appreciative of the lessons I learned in this book. I have been walking down the crowded, stressful streets of San Francisco sending mental messages of "May you be free of suffering and all that causes it" towards strangers that usually scare me, and have found that love defeats all fear.

    Thank you for writing this book and sharing your research with me. I can not express in words just how much it has helped free me from suffering, and may you be free of all suffering as well.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating!, November 26, 2010
    This book describes in very readable terms, the basic findings of recent research of the mind using fMRI imaging. Have you ever known someone that suffers (or has suffered) from anxiety disorders, coma, traumatic brain injuries? You need to look at this book! I picked it up on a whim and am so glad I did! This book does not give the "answers" but it explores research regarding the minds of "normal" people, those with Alzheimers, the aging mind, convicted criminals, teenagers, victims of traumatic brain injuries, etc. Absolutely fascinating and very informative! You will never look at people (especially "annoying" or "scary" people) the same after you read this!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Early review, not finished yet., December 14, 2010
    I have not finished this yet but still would like to recommend it for anyone having
    interest in the working of the brain and the latest technology and findings.
    There are also suggestions such as a meditation technique that I have tried and find
    effectual. I look forward to reading more.
    It is in plain english and very easy to understand. It explains the technology and
    findings in a way very easy to understand for a lay person. ... Read more


    6. The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health
    by T. Colin Campbell, Thomas M. Campbell II
    Paperback
    list price: $16.95 -- our price: $9.89
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1932100660
    Publisher: Benbella Books
    Sales Rank: 271
    Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    Referred to as the "Grand Prix of epidemiology" by The New York Times, this study examines more than 350 variables of health and nutrition with surveys from 6,500 adults in more than 2,500 counties across China and Taiwan, and conclusively demonstrates the link between nutrition and heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. While revealing that proper nutrition can have a dramatic effect on reducing and reversing these ailments as well as curbing obesity, this text calls into question the practices of many of the current dietary programs, such as the Atkins diet,that are widely popular in the West. The politics of nutrition and the impact of special interest groups in the creation and dissemination of public information are also discussed.
    ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Every doctor, teacher and parent needs to read this book!, January 25, 2005
    T. Colin Campbell has made a career of challenging the conventional wisdom around nutrition, and this book is the culmination of his work. His integrity, brilliance, and unflinching courage shine through every page.

    The main point of this book is that most nutritional studies that we hear about in the media are poorly constructed because of what the author terms "scientific reductionism." That is, they attempt to pin down the effects of a single nutrient in isolation from all other aspects of diet and lifestyle.

    While this is the "gold standard" for clinical trials in the pharmaceutical world, it just doesn't work when it comes to nutrition. Given that the Western diet is extremely high fat and high protein compared to most of the rest of the world, studies that examine slight variations in this diet (i.e., adding a few grams of fiber or substituting skim milk for full fat milk) are like comparing the mortality rates of people who smoke five packs of cigarettes a day vs. people who smoke only 97 cigarettes a day.

    Campbell's research, which he describes in a very accessible and engaging fashion, has two tremendous advantages over the typical nutritional study. First, there is the China Study itself - a massive series of snapshots of the relationship between diet and disease in over 100 villages all over China. The rates of disease differ greatly from region to region, and Campbell and his research partners (including some of the most distinguished scholars and epidemiologists in the world) carefully correlated these differences with the varying diets of the communities.

    It's not lazy "survey research" either - the researchers don't rely on their subjects' memory to determine what they ate and drank. The researchers also observed shopping patterns and took blood samples to cross-validate all the data.

    The second amazing part of Campbell's research method is his refusal to accept any finding without taking it back to his lab and finding out how exactly it works. In other words, we discover in The China Study not only in what way, but precisely how, the foods we eat can either promote or compromise our health.

    The book is part intellectual biography / hero's journey (although Campbell is always wonderfully humble - there's no trace of self-congratulation, just a deep gratitude for what he has experienced), part nutrition guide (the most honest and unflinching one you'll ever read), and part expose. The final section leaves no sacred cow standing, and names names! From the food industry, to the government, to academia, Campbell calmly reports on a coverup of nutritional truth so widespread and insidious that all citizens should be enraged.

    I have a PhD in health education and a Masters in Public Health - and I can honestly say that no book has shaken my worldview like this one. Anyone interested in health - their own, or that of their family, friends, or community - must read this book and share it. Campbell has started a revolution. Skip this work at your own peril.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Why, oh why didn't I take the blue pill?, December 24, 2006
    I love juicy steaks, delicious cheese, and big bowls of ice cream. I love to eat out at nice restaurants. And I really like eating without thinking about the operations and consequences of our dietary industrial complex. But I don't get to enjoy these things any more because I read the China Study. Like Neo in the movie the Matrix, you have a choice, take the blue pill and believe what you want to believe, take the red pill and you will be exposed to the reality of the world we live in. The China Study is the red pill.

    This is a fascinating book on the capitalism, politics, and human behavior that drives the food industry. It is also frighteningly insightful into the health consequences of an affluent societies' diet. I am not a scientist so I don't know if this is good science. But I did work ten years ago as a government attorney on the USDA dietary guidelines and was surprised by the political influence and acceptance of what the author would call scientific reductionism. I also worked for a man who lived and worked until he was 100 years old, and he had a dietary regime very similar to that recommended by the China Study: not vegan nor vegetarian, but largely based on plants and whole foods rather than animal based foods. So I found this book very persuasive - in fact, too persuasive. It scared me straight so I eat healthy now and that's good for the long term...but I don't enjoy it like I used to.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!, December 25, 2005
    This is a fantastic book that's loaded with so much eye opening information, it's the kind of book that I'll read again. I feel if you don't convert to a whole food plant based diet after reading this book, I don't think anything in the world will convince you....the evidence is just overwhelming.


    As for my story, I was on statins for high cholesterol for over 6 years....and a moderate to high dose at that. Over the years, my cholesterol kept rising gradually and my total cholesterol was just over 300 and a triglyceride level in the mid 200's without statins. The moderate/high dose statin brought my cholesterol down to the range of high 190's to low 200's. Over the years, I tried to get off the medication and I was told to try to eat a low fat diet, don't eat shrimp, lobster, etc. I went off the statins, tried this diet for several months and none of this helped....actually my cholesterol went higher....I was told it's hereditary, there's nothing you can do, and I should take the statin and that I would be on them indefinitely. Well, after reading the book "The China Study", there's a few paragraphs tucked in this great book mentioning that the major factor causing high cholesterol is eating any animal protein. The only meat I ate at the time was fish and chicken and small portions of it....and maybe beef a few times a year, if that. I have to say I was skeptical and figured what do I have to lose, so I went on a whole food plant based diet (vegan diet)as Dr. Campbell in the book suggests. I started that last November (same time I stopped taking the statins), and I had my cholesterol checked this past summer and was stunned at the result....my total cholesterol went from over 300 without statins, high 190's/low 200's on moderate/high does statin, to 175 without statins on Vegan diet, with good LDL and HDL. I'm guessing next time it's checked it will be even lower. Also, my triglycerides went from the mid 200's to 64! All as a result of just giving up animal products....amazing. Now I wonder....why wasn't I ever given this option by the doctor's I've seen over the years? Even if a person doesn't want to give up animal products completely as I have, why isn't this advice offered as at least an option to a patient.....and let the patient decide? What a concept!

    Of course, I feel my cholesterol and triglycerides levels are just the tip of the iceberg on how my health has improved on a plant based diet....the only regret?....I wish I started the vegan diet earlier....I never have had so much energy and just downright have never felt so good....seriously...this is not an overstatement.

    As to all the doubters out there with harsh reviews, I say to each is own but ignore the evidence at your own risk. I've seen many of my friends and family sick by what I feel this book has proven by many studies to be nothing more than a bad diet for the most part and most of them are looking for a magic pill to save them....and the old standby argument that it's all genetic doesn't appear to hold much water either....again, proven by studies in the book.

    My friend, family, and co-workers know how I eat now and wonder why I want to live forever....that's not the issue....quality of life over quantity of life...isn't this what we should all be after?

    5-0 out of 5 stars My Personal Experience, August 22, 2006
    On January 21, 2006, the day I started eating according to guidelines given in The China Study, I was 63 years old, 5 feet 10 1/2 inches tall, weighed 213 pounds and with a BMI of 130 was on the first rung of being obese, even though I did not look it. The first week I lost 5 pounds, the 2nd 5 pounds, the 3rd five pounds, the 4th 4 pounds, then 3, 2, 1, until I lost 35 pounds in about 3 months and then stabilized at about 178 pounds. My blood pressure went from an average of 141 over 91 to an average of 120 over 81. My total cholesterol went from over 200 to 127. I no longer feel that I am on a slow decline from 50 years onward, but feel happy and alive now. Much like when I was a kid. Today is August 22, 2006 and I know that this will be the way I eat and live for the duration. For me it's a matter of survival, physically and spiritually. I have given over 20 copies of the book to people I care about, including a waitress at an Outback Steakhouse in Virginia. It was May; she was worrying about her dad and wanted to get him something for Father's Day. By the way steakhouses are a great place to get real yummy vegetables. This is my true story. By the way, thank you Dr. Campbell and Thomas Campbell.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Nutritional Excellence-A Nobel Worthy Masterpiece, January 17, 2007
    As an M.D. nutritionist I was inspired by and practiced the concepts in Dr Campbell's book for over 10 years. I'm here to document that in practice,with very sick people these principles of nutrition work! For the past decade I have taught and guided many patients in vegan diets using Campbell's earlier booklet, The China Project, as my primary reinforcement. Thousands of very ill people with cancer, autoimmune disease,degenerative heart and vascular disease and other problems have reaped the benefits of this landmark nutritional masterpiece. Acheiving nutritional excellence does not "treat" disease. It does, however, enhance our body's innate physiologic mechanisms which fight disease. For over 10 years I've documented these often dramatic and unbelievable results. The beneficial response patterns over time are clear and undeniable. To delay reading this book is to postpone a journey into wellness. This book can and will change your life forever and you will never again fail to understand why you are sick and why conventional medical treatment may not be the answer. Doctor's, hospitals and medication kill over 200,000 people a year. Can you afford to trust your health to a medical system that may not have the answers to your dilemma? The answers you seek, the understanding you crave will be found in The China Study. Dan E. Chesnut,M.D.

    2-0 out of 5 stars China Study Review, September 22, 2007
    When I began reading this book, I couldn't put it down. In the first section, when Dr. Campbell described his own experiments on the effect of milk protein on liver cancer in rats, I just poured through page after page, thinking, "What great science"!

    At that point in the book he reported his experiments, their rather dramatic results, was careful to point out the limitations and did not extrapolate. So far, very good.

    In the next section he describes the China Study itself. There is also an addendum at the back, which gives more detail about the structure of the study. The foundation for the study was a database collected by the Chinese government during the 1970's. It listed the age and causes of death in each of China's provinces over a certain time period. For the follow-up study ten years later, they chose 67 rural villages and gathered data on details about diet, several markers from blood samples and other factors, on approximately 6000 individuals. He claims to have data on about 350 variables. However, only 57 of the 417 pages in the book are devoted to discussion of The China Study.

    The purpose of the study was to try to relate diet and other factors, with the diseases that caused death, especially cancers. His particular interest was about the effect of a purely vegetarian diet. It bothered me that he had undertaken leadership of that follow-up study, with a pre-conceived notion of what he wanted it to show.

    At this point in the book, Dr. Campbell began to make very broad statements about the Chinese diet and the benefits of a diet that was devoid of animal protein. This is where I really began to have trouble, because I felt that either the study itself or his description of it fell short of supporting the broad claims he was making.

    There's no discussion of things like smoking, environmental pollution and sanitation, all of which plague China.... Even rural China.

    Another thing that bothered me was his description of the Chinese diet. It flies in the face of my own observations and experiences during many trips to China and other parts of Asia, over the course of about 35 years.

    Meat and seafood are a major staple of the Asian diet. They eat quite a bit of pork, chicken, duck, pigeons, fish, eggs and even snakes, organs and sea creatures that Americans would not eat. They do eat much less animal protein than Americans and always accompany it with lots of rice and vegetables. In that sense, their diet is much better than ours. But it is not vegetarian. Although much of their food is stir-fried in a wok, it is done with vegetable oils. Until very recently, junk food has not been available and it is rare to find beef. So it is a much better-balanced diet than ours.

    In years past, during trips to Taiwan, I've been to markets where live chickens & ducks were laid on the ground with their feet tied together. People would either buy them live, or have the merchant slaughter & clean them before their eyes. In one market I saw a vendor selling the blood from snakes he had killed & drained as the people watched. Next day, my hosts took me to a snake-meat restaurant for lunch! (Not much meat & lots of bones.) In back alleys of Taipei, I saw families raising pigeons for food.

    Just last year at a Shanghai food market in a very old and traditional neighborhood, the emphasis was on meat and fish. There was a section that sold vegetables & rice, but around the fringes of the central meat market. The displays were open and there was no refrigeration!

    As the book proceeded through other chapters, making incessant claims about the preventative and curative effects of an all-vegetable diet, he begins to sound like a 19th century "Snake oil" merchant.

    He's a zealot on a soap box. Mind you, HE MAY BE RIGHT. Most of what he says about nutrition has been heard before and is considered by many, to be the Holy Grail of diet. There is certainly a lot of public opinion that red meat, animal fat and highly refined carbs are bad for you. But after the first section, I felt that his science became lost in his rhetoric.

    Throughout the early parts of the book, I began to wonder what the meat and dairy industries had to say about all this. He certainly got into that in excruciating detail. Again, to the extreme where unfortunately, he sounded like all the folks at the fringes who claim that "Big business" and "Government" are trying to discredit them. I kept thinking of all the stories of big oil companies buying the patents for a "90 mile per gallon" carburetor, to keep it off the market. (On the other hand, there's Galileo.)

    After finishing the book, I went to the Internet to look for critiques. There are plenty! Most are by vegetarians and vegetarian societies, all were having orgasms over the book. Finally I did find a site with some criticisms. Now I'd better mention that this site belongs to an organization that advocates increased consumption of fats and oils. However, the critique of the book was limited to a few specific items and did seem to be based on good science.

    I do have some experience with statistical methods of extracting the effect of individual variables from data involving many variables and felt a bit uneasy about the analysis methods while reading Campbell's chapters about the study. This critique pointed out that with 350 variables and just 67 samples, there are not enough samples to establish high (95%) levels of statistical confidence. The best that data structure could accomplish is an "Indication," but not proof.

    Actually, Campbell himself does discuss the limitations of statistical methods. His problem is that as the book progresses, he wanders away from "probability" and speaks with "certainty" about too many diverse subjects.

    The critic, who had apparently examined the actual 900 page Study report, also claimed that Campbell had ignored data that was counter to his theories and in some cases showed negative results of a vegetarian diet. (That does happen when dealing with probabilities.) He then went on to question the reliability of some of the blood markers that were used. (That part was far beyond any of my knowledge.) Also, the fact that the blood samples of each village were pooled, did enable more markers to be measured, but all data about the variability among individuals was lost.

    Another thing that bothered me was that Campbell completely ignored the fact that anthropologists tell us that hominids have been eating meat for about 2.5 million years, apparently with great success. Also, if meat is so harmful, why and how do carnivorous animals thrive?

    He tells that cow's milk can cause type-1 diabetes in babies, but that mother's milk is ok. He leaves a gaping hole in his discussion because he doesn't explain the differences between those two types of milk.


    So, what is my bottom line on this book?
    It is widely accepted that vegetables, especially fresh vegetables, are good for you. No argument there. His early research clearly indicates that there is a threshold, above which animal protein can do some harm. That is intuitively appealing. We Americans do eat much too much meat. But, given the extremely long omnivorous history of mankind, it would seem that a moderate amount of animal protein is an important dietary nutrient.

    I feel that Campbell has raised many good points, but his zealotry has taken him too far from sound science. That's too bad. He's hurt his credibility.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Life Saving Experience, November 14, 2006
    As a physician, I know how little is taught to medical students about nutrition. As an amateur chef, I've read for years about what we need to do for our diet in order to be healthier. Large studies, such as the Framingham study, do make comments about exercise and nutrition, but as far as I know have never gone into the detail that Dr. Campbell has. His credentials are impeccable. His research is impressive. It brought everything together for me. I've stopped eating meat and avoid most dairy. I bought 12 copies for family and friends immediately, because I felt that I was ethically bound to do this. Now I'm ordering more copies. It is a terrific example of how information that can literally be lifesaving is suppressed by many means. I only wish I'd had this info when I was 40 instead of 62. Of course, my husband, a cardiologist, so far has not read the book. He does eat everything I cook.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Good science leading to bad conclusions, September 11, 2009
    Review of the China Study

    I am a scientist, not specifically in the field of nutrition, though I have touched on it as an aside of my main focus, and I know how to research and interpret (correctly!) scientific work. I have read The China Study and the China Project (a publication of the actual data from the study). Normally when reading bad science information I would just shrug it off and move on but thought that there would be people out there that would just take the authors word of the truth of the book, resulting in unnecessary dietary alterations and damage to health all with the aim of trying to get healthier. As such I have written my thoughts on the book - take from them what you will.

    The China Study is an attempt by Campbell to promote veganism as a dietary lifestyle through scientific research. Unfortunately the scientific basis of the book if full off misinterpretations, omissions of conflicting data, and conclusions and statements based on unreferenced facts (possibly not facts?). I began reading the book with an open mind but from the outset it was clear that Campbell had one mantra - animal based food is bad, plant based food is good, and this is repeated over and over throughout the book.

    Let's first look at Campbells own laboratory studies. In the presence of Aflatoxin, a carcinogen, rats fed a diet of 20% casein, a milk protein, develop cancer while those that are fed 5% casein do not. Okay, I am willing to accept that study on face value. How much casein causes cancer then? In a dose response study Campbell found that 10% casein doesn't contribute to cancer development, but above 10% does. Again, I am happy to accept that. A diet made up of 10% casein contributes to cancer development. How does that apply to humans? After describing a study about nitrosamines and how the dose wasn't relevant to the human population (page 45), Campbell has done the exact same thing with his Casein study. Casein is a milk protein. In 100ml of whole milk, the macro nutrient content is 5.2g of carbohydrate, 3.25g of fat and 3.2g of protein that equals 11.65g of nutrients, the rest of the 100ml mostly made up of water. Milk protein is 80% casein, 80% of 3.2g is 2.56, so out of that 11.65 total, 2.56 is casein which equals 22% of the total. Oh no! Milk will cause us to develop cancer! But don't worry, as long as we get the casein down to 10% we will be safe. How do we do that? Eat 13.95g of anything that is not casein. Pretty easy to do. So as long as we are not living of more than about 50% milk, then we are safe from cancer as a result of the casein in the milk. Do you know anybody that has that much milk? And that is ignoring the fact that casein extracted from milk for the purposes of his study is not exactly a healthy, natural source of protein purely as a result of the chemical extraction.

    But hang on, what if other proteins contribute to the development of cancer? Campbell thought that so he investigated gluten and soy and found that neither of them had the same impact as casein. That clearly shows that not all proteins contribute to cancer, and having tested 2 plant proteins and 1 of the many animal proteins, we must therefore conclude that ALL animal proteins lead to cancer and ALL plant proteins do not. Does anybody else see a problem with this? All that we can conclude from these studies is a diet made up of above 10% casein, may contribute to the development of cancer and a diet below 10% casein does not contribute. That is all. Other proteins, both animal and plant, like gluten and soy, may behave differently and unless you have a milk fetish or you are downing large amounts of casein based protein powder (like the rats in the study) then the study is largely irrelevant to your diet or your health.

    Before moving on I have one more observation; To test the impact of decreased protein from 20 to 5% they replaced some of the protein with carbohydrates to keep the calories the same. Commenting on the addition of carbohydrate he says "the extra starch and glucose in the low-protein diets could not have been responsible for the lower development of foci because these carbohydrates, when tested alone, actually increase foci development" (page 351). So carbohydrates, which come from plants, increase the development of foci? PLANTS CAUSE CANCER TOO?? Could this be something worth elaborating on or including in a conclusion? No, better not, lets keep that brief mention of carbohydrates causing cancer stuck away in an appendix in case anybody gets the wrong idea.

    It is apparent from his casein studies that Campbell has come to the conclusion that "20% casein causes cancer, therefore all animal protein is bad". It is with this mindset that he then set out on the giant study of the China Project, a commendable effort that could have had many beneficial outcomes. Unfortunately, possibly as a result of his previous work, Campbell has gone in with blinders on, and all he can see is animal protein and the negative health outcomes associated with its' consumption. The project itself and the original publication arising from it produced a vast amount of data that provides some interesting insight into health and disease. However, what Campbell has shown in the China Study is but a fraction of the information to be gained from the project. It would require a whole new study (unbiased this time preferably) to go into all the beneficial knowledge we could gain, but I will touch on a few things here.

    Campbells main conclusion in the China Study is that all animal protein contributes to disease and all plant protein prevents disease. In the original project, they performed a diet survey over 3 days, analyzing all the food consumed per person in that time. Guess how many of the measured mortality factors (about 50 of them), were associated with animal protein consumption measured from the diet survey. Zero. Zero. Zero. Okay, so Campbell can't have come to his conclusions from there. They also had study participants fill out a questionnaire that included one question on meat consumption. Guess how many mortality factors correlated with that? One type of cancer (naso-pharyngeal or something I think it was). An example of some of the many other inclusions in the questionnaire are canola oil and potatoes (not sweet potatoes) which both had a number of positive associations with the development of different types of cancer. Apparently that wasn't worth mentioning in the China Study. Speaking of oil, Campbell makes reference to %fat in the diet being a good indicator of animal protein consumption, despite the fact they clearly use enough canola oil (a vegetable fat) to measure in the study.

    So a 3 day food consumption survey shows no association between animal protein and mortality and a questionnaire shows an association between meat and one of many cancers measured. From where can Campbell come to his evil animal protein conclusion then? They also took plasma samples and measured them for blood biomarkers of animal protein consumption. These biomarkers, listed in the references for chapter 4 #39 are "plasma copper, urea nitrogen, estradiol, prolactin, testosterone and, inversely, sex hormone binding globulin, each of which has been known to be associated with animal protein intake from previous studies". No mention of these previous studies of course. So the associations with most of those biomarkers and mortality rates are dubious, and the only biomarker statistically associated with cancer mortality is copper. Many places show food sources of copper and I went to [...] find the best sources of copper. The best? Calfs liver. The next 40 best? All from plants. 42 and 43 are shrimp and venison, the only other animal source in the list on the site. So for copper to be a biomarker of animal consumption then the participants in this study must be eating a lot of calf liver and avoiding a lot of vegetables. Sound realistic?

    So from an association between blood biomarkers, the only real one being copper, and cancer mortality, Campbell has concluded that animal protein gives you cancer, despite the fact that the majority of dietary sources of copper are actually from plant sources. So that basically leaves Campbell with no actual evidence between animal consumption and mortality as a result of the original China project.

    A final note. In his eating right section Campbell says supplements are bad (principle 2). Principle 3 then says "there are virtually no nutrients in animal-based foods that are not better provided by plants"(page 230), but over the page he says plants are not a good source of vitamin B12 and you probably should take a supplement. What? Then in the how to eat section on page 242 he says "the findings from the China Study indicate that the lower percentage of animal-based foods that are consumed, the greater the health benefits-even when the percentage declines from 10% to 0% of calories". As I've clearly shown, the China Study does not show this, and his own study with Casein proved that there was no benefit in eating less then 10% of your diet from Casein.

    Clearly Campbell is a vegetarian, as he states in the book, and promoting vegetarianism is his main goal, which he tries to back up with scientific research that actually disagrees with him, but that he has interpreted in a way that makes it agree with him. Bad science, bad book and definitely bad recommendations as far as health. While I'm not saying go out and live on animal products alone, I don't think you should stop eating them, especially because they are tasty, but even if only for a natural source of vitamin B12.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Invaluable Information about nutrition, food & drug industries and medical profession, December 10, 2006
    It's about nutrition and chronicle diseases (heart, cancer, diabetes, etc.). A highly readable book, from the medical angle as well as from societal angle.

    Here is shock #1: Protein in milk promotes cancer. Unbelievable? It's proven in animal trials and observed in human population study. The book presents findings of many researchers, including a large scale study on nutrition and chronicle disease done in China by Dr. Campbell (hence the title China study).

    The author grew up on a farm (milking cows when he was a boy), became a well-trained, well respected and well funded research scientist at Cornell and participated in national-level nutrition policy making. He found convincing evidence through decades of research (funded by NIH, etc.) that switching to a plant-based food can reduce risk of top killers in the U.S. (heart diseases, cancer, etc.) and even stop and reverse them!. Ha!

    So basically he calls for veggie diet (the whole-foods type, not the pasta, sugar and cookie type).

    This is not a big news to many people. But I was really surprised by how readable his book is and how reasonable he is, addressing all possible suspicious aroused by his stunning conclusions. He was suspicious himself in the beginning and cautious in conducting his research. He asked "Am I crazy?" after he discovered the protein intake positively correlated with liver cancer in children in the Philippines, where he went to promote "good nutrition" by adding more protein in their diet. He then explained the solid follow-up research he conducted (all peer reviewed and funded by NIH and other reputable organizations).

    He also spends maybe 50% of the text on powerful influences from industry as well as the medical profession itself that prevent research results like this to reach the public. For example, in Cleveland Clinic, the renowned heart-disease treatment center, some senior staff doctors and trustees, having heart problems themselves, go to see Dr. Esselstyn. Dr. Esselstyn was a top-ranked surgeon in the world. However these patients went to see Dr. Esselstyn not for his surgical skills, but for his plant-based nutrition treatment. Dr. Esselstyn, despite all awards he got during his successful career (in fact top earner in department of general surgery for over ten years!), he came to realize that without a change in diet, all the surgery and drugs didn't prolong patients lives, didn't reduce their chances of heart problem after these treatments. So he conducted a study of 18 patients following a low-fat, plant-based diet. Their heart diseases were reversed! Yet he couldn't get the Clinic to use his program to treat heart patients. So he had to set up his own practice. Then words get out and apparently the senior staff doctor and trustees KNEW this is a better option than surgery - many of them seeked help from Dr. Esselstyn. YET THEY STILL DON'T ALLOW DR. Esselstyn''s program to enter the Cleveland Clinic!!!

    Wow! That's something, huh?

    But think about it, it makes sense. Doctors are people, they need to make money to pay for houses, children's education, etc. If you tell them just by eating a true whole-foods veggie diet, people can avoid and indeed reverse heart diseases and various cancers, which the medical man cannot do yet, then their skills, and therefore their earning power, are rendered worthless. I wouldn't be happy if I were a heart surgery or cancer specialist.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This book demands attention!, February 13, 2005
    The China Study is a courageous survey of the best science has to offer about your health and what you eat. In addition, the China Study reveals a system of nutrition misinformation that has created public confusion equal to that which surrounded the health implications of smoking. Remember the days when "no one knew" that smoking was bad for you? That all ended when a few morally courageous individuals spoke out and demanded examination of the topic. We now know that the tobacco industry not only knew the health risks, they added ingredients to make their products more addictive. The current state of nutrition information is just as convoluted - and the food industry is just as interested in keeping you confused and addicted to its products. Dr. Campbell (writing with his son, Thomas) is the morally courageous voice in this field and he speaks the truth about what he has found, above the clamor of the objecting voices in "the establishment".

    The book is organized into four parts. The first part follows the compelling life story / research career of Dr. Campbell. Campbell grew up on a dairy farm in Virginia and began his professional life trying to discover more efficient ways of raising cattle to deliver protein to our diets. Through an accidental series of discoveries, he became interested in the relationship between high levels of protein consumption and cancer development. He ended up with astonishing research that showed high levels of protein consumption to be a more potent promoter of cancer than high level exposures to Aflotoxin. This startling evidence led him to organize "The China Study" (namesake for the book) - a uniquely comprehensive study of the relationship between diet and disease in 65 counties of rural China. The study examined approximately 6,500 adults and looked at blood samples, urine samples, and food intake records (researchers went into homes to observe and collect this data), to document over 367 variables related to health status and diet. This data was systematically compared with disease rates for 48 different diseases.

    The second part of the book is a survey of professional scientific research from around the world, regarding the relationship between diet and a whole host of diseases. Campbell focuses on a class of diseases - referred to as "diseases of affluence" - that are experienced at higher rates in developed countries than in developing countries. This part of the book meticulously documents the relationship between various diets and the following diseases: heart disease, obesity, diabetes, common cancers (breast, prostate, large bowel), auto-immune diseases (including type I diabetes, MS), osteoporosis, kidney stones, macular degeneration, dementia and Alzheimer's. This survey reveals that across this broad range of diseases, there is one diet that consistently prevents these diseases, and one diet that consistently promotes these diseases.

    The third part of the book is a brief nutritional guide. It discusses eight principles of food and health, and gives advice on how to eat. In essence, these eight principles present Campbell's theory of nutrition - what is important to health and what is not. Principle six, for example, says "the same nutrition that prevents disease in its early stages (before diagnosis) can also halt or reverse disease in its later stages (after diagnosis)." The principles create a well-founded summary derived from the evidence presented earlier in the book.

    The fourth and final part of the book answers the question "so why haven't I heard all this before?" Campbell sits in a unique position to answer this question. He has been involved in the relationship between nutritional scientific research and public health information at all levels. As a university researcher, he built a career on publicly funded grant research, he sat on the approval boards for similar grant programs, and he experienced the politics involved. As a well-respected expert in his field, he was called to testify before Congress on food safety, he sat on the panel that developed nutrition information labeling for packaged foods, and he has been on the National Academy of Science's expert panel on Diet, Nutrition and Cancer. As a dedicated scientist, he helped found the American Institute for Cancer Research, and he is familiar with the policy and funding priorities of this and other cancer research groups. From this unique position, Campbell reveals a public health information system that is biased. Although he is deliberate to state that he does not see a back room conspiracy here, he is conclusive in arguing that our system is corrupted and unreliable.

    The fourth section, combined with the strength of the scientific evidence presented in this book, strongly establishes that this book should have an appeal that is MUCH broader than the alternative crowd, the "vegan" crowd, or the "health nut" crowd. This is more than a diet book, more than a book for people who are already suffering from disease and looking for help, and more than a fringe perspective. This is a book that demands attention, demands answers and should be given not only deep thought but also wide publicity. Who will answer for this system of corruption, and how will we get them to do it? Ignoring the information in this book would be as grave as ignoring the first courageous individuals that presented reliable evidence against the tobacco industry. Read this book, share it with someone you love, and call your Congressman to demand action. This book should change lives. Though it sounds an alarm, it also pronounces that we have strong hope - a simple, proven and economically efficient means to prevent and treat a host of diseases and to create long, vibrantly healthy lives. ... Read more


    7. Cook This, Not That! Easy & Awesome 350-Calorie Meals
    by David Zinczenko, Matt Goulding
    Paperback
    list price: $19.99 -- our price: $10.18
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1605291471
    Publisher: Rodale Books
    Sales Rank: 380
    Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    Tired of always being too hungry (and tired!) to make smart food choices? Ever wonder why the less food you try to eat, the more fat you seem to gain? Ready to start enjoying all your favorite foods and never see an ounce of weight gain? Cook This, Not That! Easy & Awesome 350-Calorie Meals is the ultimate cookbook for people who love to eat—even if they don’t love to cook. The authors of the best-selling diet and weight loss series Eat This, Not That! teach you how easy it is to turn the expensive and unhealthy foods in America’s restaurants into fat-blasting superfoods that cost just pennies—and take just minutes to make!

    Can you believe…

    *At Olive Garden, an order of Chicken Parmigiana will cost you half a day’s calories—and a day and a half’s worth of sodium! Cook our Chicken Parm recipe at home and save 730 calories and $9.94!

    *At T.G.I.Friday’s, a Santa Fe Chopped Salad carries a whopping 1,800 calories—the equivalent of three Pepperoni Personal Pan Pizzas from Pizza Hut! (You call that a salad???) Try the Cook This, Not That! home version and save 1,460 calories!

    *Hungry for a panini? At Panera Bread, the Italian Combo on Ciabatta comes loaded with more than 1,000 calories and a side of 45 grams of fat! (In less time than it takes to order their version, you can whip up ours and save 690 calories)

    With this illustrated guide to hundreds of delicious, simple, lightning-quick recipes—along with the nutrition secrets that lead to fast and permanent weight loss—you’ll make the smartest choices for you and your family every time.

    Additional features in Cook This, Not That: Easy & Awesome 350 –Calorie Meals include:

    • A step-by-step illustrated guide to every cooking technique you’ll ever need to know

    • The 50 Best Foods in the Supermarket

    • The Milk Shake Matrix

    • The Rules of the Grill

    • 12 Ways to Better a Burger

    • The World’s Best Condiments

    • And more!

    ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars TOTAL KNOCKOUT!, October 12, 2010
    I am shocked at how engrossed I am with this book. I want to cook every single recipe! The biggest surprise--aside from learning how many calories I could save by cooking for myself--was how motivating the recipes are. Beautiful pictures and simplified cooking tips turn complex dishes into super-easy recipes. Many of the recipes even come with variations in case you can't find a certain ingredient or just want more variety. Here are my four favorites so far:


    *Red Pepper Alfredo - AMAZING dish, and I saved 830 calories and $10 over the same meal at Olive Garden.

    *Loaded Calzone - Far easier than I ever imagined, and I saved 1,025 (!) calories and $4.50 over Pizza Hut's Meaty P'Zone Pizza

    *French Toast Stuffed with Strawberries -Whole-wheat toast stuffed with ricotta cheese, strawberries, honey, and almonds. Yum. I will definitely be making this again! And I saved 810 calories and $11.40 over IHOP's version.

    *Curry with Cauliflower & Butternut Squash - I had no idea I was capable of making curry. Or that I could save 717 calories and $8.50 in the process.


    My kitchen skills are improving, I'm motivated to cook, and I already feel healthier. And if I don't feel like cooking one night, I'll just dive into the chapter dedicated to 10-minute meals. That should be easy enough. Though, to be honest, nothing I've cooked so far has taken me much more than 20.


    5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome utility!, December 2, 2010
    I bought this book at Walmart (paid a lot more for it there) and it was completely worth it. So far, I have tried a half dozen of the recipes, and ALL of them have been a huge success. One reviewer rights about how it is only restraunt selections..... false. At the bottom of each ORIGINAL recipe in here, they show what a restaurant alternative is, and how much money and calories you save by cooking at home. Also helpful in this book is new cooking tips and techniques. For example, as a southerner - I love fried foods. This book showed me how to "oven fry" foods to have that familiar taste and crispy outside without all the extra calories from submerging foods in hot grease. Other techniques in this book that have been helpful are how to braise meats and use the natural drippings to make your own sauces while cooking, increasing the natural flavor of dishes.

    2 weeks in, 11 pounds down

    5 Stars in my book!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect for Foodies and Flunkies, November 4, 2010
    I'm a recent college student turned amateur chef. This book not only educated me on healthy food I should be cooking, but how to cook it easily. Many of the ingredients can be found in local grocery stores and recipes aren't complicated. That being said- the food is delicious. As a former junk food binge eater, I almost don't taste how good the food is for me.

    Very well-written and educational, but also personal.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome Book, November 28, 2010
    I can not say enough good things about this book. The recipes are delicious and very easy to make. I have also found that I can buy fresh ingredients and use them for other recipes in the same book. I have been eating out of this book for about 2 months now and find the recipes easy. I had to eat processed food the other day and felt so sick afterwards. This has made meal planning in my house easier also. LOVE LOVE LOVE all the books, but this one is by far my favorite. Thank you!

    5-0 out of 5 stars 350 Calorie Wonderful Meals, December 17, 2010
    Excellent! Everything I have tried has been successful and utterly delicious. I am having a wonderful time cooking with these recipes. There are wonderful choices for each meal and the techniques learned are most helpful and easily adapted to cooking in general. I already had on hand most of the ingredients. I was surprised and delighted when I started falling in love again with my cast iron skillet. Who would have thought carmelized onions could be a staple in our diets! The selections turn out just like the beautiful pictures! I am ordering two more for family!

    5-0 out of 5 stars This book ROCKS!!!, December 4, 2010
    This book is perfect for the dieter who doesn't want to let go of all flavors in life that many times dieting will do. It's a very simple, easy to follow book with amazing recipes! The key lime pie recipe is to die for!!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good ideas for cooking healthier, November 17, 2010
    This gives me a better idea of how to prepare the meals I like with healthier ingredients cooking with less fat.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great recipes, November 7, 2010
    This book is well worth the investment in healthy cooking. Every recipe we have tried has been great.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great Resource!, November 19, 2010
    This book has a ton of useful information on just about everything food related. I've only thumbed through it so far, and haven't tried any of the recipes yet, but there are several that sound great and I can't wait to try them out. The only downfall I see to this little book is some of the recipes require things I will never already have on hand, and some require ingredients that I would have to travel to a specialty store to pick up. Most of them won't require anything special though.

    That said, my plan is to start at the beginning, and work my way through, making the recipes that I can do without having to go out of my way. Some items they require are used again in other recipes so not a big deal to buy them as they will get used, but others... I'd be better off skipping them completely.

    I'm definitely glad I picked up this book, and am looking forward to cooking with it. The portion sizes seem to be fair as well as I can figure form reading ingredients and looking at number of servings, so I don't think I will be starving anytime soon! ... Read more


    8. Food Rules: An Eater's Manual
    by Michael Pollan
    Paperback
    list price: $11.00 -- our price: $7.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 014311638X
    Publisher: Penguin (Non-Classics)
    Sales Rank: 227
    Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    A pocket compendium of food wisdom-from the author of The Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food

    Michael Pollan, our nation's most trusted resource for food-related issues, offers this indispensible guide for anyone concerned about health and food. Simple, sensible, and easy to use, Food Rules is a set of memorable rules for eating wisely, many drawn from a variety of ethnic or cultural traditions. Whether at the supermarket or an all-you-can-eat-buffet, this handy, pocket-size resource is the perfect guide for anyone who would like to become more mindful of the food we eat.

    ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars This book is necessary..., December 29, 2009
    It is amazing how complicated we have allowed our diets, and our understanding of our diets, to become. Even Pollan's most recent book In Defense of Food: An Eaters Manifesto - which seemed to be a pretty simple premise - ended up being a (wonderfully) complicated journey through our food system. So when I read that this book was coming out, I wondered if it was necessary given the wealth of information already covered. The answer is: yes, this book is necessary.

    While there are a million other guides to a healthy diet running around out there, few manage to boil down the essentials in such a usable way. Pollan takes the essential and fascinating information that he wrote about in his previous book and simmers it down into a succinct (the book is basically 70 half pages long) "manual" of rules for eating. While this book retains some of the bones of its predecessor, it is by no means a Cliff's Notes version. This manual is essential reading all on its own.

    Food Rules is broken down into 3 sections (and this will sound familiar to those that read In Defense of Food): 1- What should I eat? (Eat food) 2 - What kind of food should I eat? (Mostly plants) and 3 - How should I eat? (Not too much). Each section includes 20 or so rules that you can pick and choose from in order to eat a healthy diet. Some of the rules overlap (Avoid food products that contain ingredients that a third-grader cannot pronounce and Avoid ingredients that no ordinary human would keep in the pantry, for instance) and some seem like such common sense that it is almost laughable to include them, but that is why this manual is so important. It distills all of this complex information that we see and hear every day and turns it into something relatable. We know, somewhere in our minds, that certain grains and oils are better than others. Pollan gives us an easy rule to help know which ones are best. We know that most breakfast cereals are little more than desserts and Pollan gives us an easy rule to know which ones are safe. Some rules are humorous (it's not food if it arrived through the window of your car) and some are serious; some rules are easy and others require a bit more dedication. But what this manual has is a wide range of useful tips that can be applied to any life at any time. This is no complicated diet; this is a little pocket book of sensible, realistic rules to help you eat your best.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Food Rules Rules!, December 31, 2009
    I picked up Food Rules: An Eater's Manual, because I have been searching for just this type of book for many of my clients as a New Year's gift. I read the slim book quickly in a bookstore and it is the perfect present for my clients who are not eating healthy diets (but who have confessed they wish to.)

    I am an interior designer/organizer and see how my clients eat all the time when I redesign and organize their kitchens. Pollan's In Defense of Food and The Omnivore's Dilemma are both excellent, but can be intimidating. Not Food Rules--it is short and easy to understand.

    The book is divided into three parts and has 64 chapters or rules. The following will give you an good idea of what the book is about: Part I, What should I eat? Includes such chapters as "Don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food", "avoid food products that contain more than five ingredients", and "avoid foods that contain high-fructose corn syrup".

    Part II, What kind of food should I eat? Includes "Eat mostly plants, especially leaves", "eat your colors", and "the whiter the bread, the sooner you will be dead."

    Part III, How should I eat? Includes "pay more, eat less," "eat less," and "limit your snacks to unprocessed plant food."

    For those of you who desire a healthier diet, Food Rules is a terrific guide that makes understanding what to put into your body simple to understand and implement.

    Finally, if healthy eating is a new concept for you, you will find the clever chapter titles easy to memorize, thus making the concept of healthy eating a simple one to learn.

    Highly recommend.

    By the author of the award winning book, HARMONIOUS ENVIRONMENT and SELL YOUR HOME FAST IN A BUYER'S MARKET

    5-0 out of 5 stars You could buy a #3 at Mickey D's --- or start to save your life, January 7, 2010
    If you got in on the ground floor, you chewed every page of The Omnivore's Dilemma, (464 pages, $8.00 at Amazon).

    If you were a second responder, the first Michael Pollan book you read was In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto, (256 pages, $7.50 at Amazon), which boils theory and anecdote down to a tasty, healthy feeding strategy.

    If you're new to the topic or haven't paid attention --- or love Pollan's work and want to spread the gospel --- here's Food Rules: An Eater's Manual (137 pages, $11 retail, $5.50 at Amazon), a skinny paperback that says pretty much everything you'd find in his longer books.

    Or you can consider Pollan's reduction of his message to seven words --- "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants" --- and read nothing more because you know how to crack that koan and adopt a way of eating that just might save your life.

    Why, you may wonder, does a clearly written 256-page book need to be boiled down to 64 general principles?

    Two reasons.

    Those of us who read about food have, in the last few years, been swamped by the language of nutrition. Antioxidants. Polyphenols. Probiotics. Omega-3 fatty acids. But you can know all about this stuff and still not be able to answer the basic question: Yeah, but what should I eat?

    Then there are those who have never heard Pollan's message. They're the folks on the coach, eating pre-packaged snack food, sucking down sodas, serving vegetables as an afterthought. In short, people who are devotees of the Western diet --- which is, says Pollan, "the one diet that reliably makes its people sick!"

    Pollan wants to help both groups --- and break the cycle of self-created disease.

    And the quickest way to do that is through lessons so simple even the guy chowing down a Hungry Man ("It's good to feel full") meal can understand.

    "Food Rules" may be short, but it's elegantly organized. Part I addresses the question: What should I eat? (Answer: food.) Part II asks: What kind of food should I eat? (Answer: mostly plants.) And Part II considers: How should I eat? (Answer: Not too much.)

    These are un-American answers. Advertising trains us to shop in the center aisles of supermarkets. We've been brainwashed to believe that fast food is food. Because we're so busy, we're encouraged not to cook for ourselves. And that way of living works for us --- right up to the moment we're overweight and diabetic.

    But if we break the cycle?

    "People who get off the western diet," says Pollan, "see dramatic improvements in their health."

    What does Pollan tell you in these pages? Here's a sample:

    --- "Don't eat anything your great grandmother wouldn't recognize as food."
    --- "Don't eat anything with more than five ingredients, or ingredients you can't pronounce."
    ---- "Don't eat anything that won't eventually rot...There are exceptions --- honey --- but as a rule, things like Twinkies that never go bad aren't food."
    --- "Always leave the table a little hungry.'"
    --- "Eat meals together, at regular meal times."
    --- "Don't buy food where you buy your gasoline. In the U.S., 20% of food is eaten in the car."
    --- "Don't eat breakfast cereals that change the color of the milk."

    Pollan would have you only eat junk food you cook yourself. He'd like you to buy your snacks at a farmer's market. He'd like you to use meat as a flavor enhancer, a condiment, an afterthought. And he'd like to see you hurt the bottom line of pre-packaged food companies by paying a little more for real food that's worth eating.

    I can imagine a great many of of you nodding in agreement. And feeling superior. And still buying several copies --- to send, anonymously, to loved ones who are eating themselves to death. I can think of no better gift.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Rules for eating, January 5, 2010
    Clever little book. . . . Michael Pollan has written a book of rules about eating, with brief text elaborating the statements. On first glance, it looks like a slight volume with little substance to it. However, it turns out to be a pretty interesting book.

    In his introductory comments, the author notes a few undeniable truths--Western diets (e.g., processed foods and meats, lots of fat and sugar, etc.) lead to lots of health problems; traditional diets tend to be healthier than the so-called Western diet; when one leaves the Western diet, one tends to get healthier. Following are a number of rules (64 in all). The author's hope? (Page xix): "My hope is that a handful of these rules will prove sufficiently sticky, or memorable, that they will become second nature to you. . . ."

    Examples?"Avoid food products containing ingredients that a third-grader cannot pronounce" (Page 17). "If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don't" (Page 41). "Treat meat as a flavoring or special occasion food" (Page 53). "Eat some foods that have been predigested by bacteria or fungi" (Page 73). Examples? Yogurt, sauerkraut, soy sauce. . . . "Pay more, eat less" (Page 99). Cheap food in large quantities (supersize me??) is normally not so good for one. "Buy smaller plates and glasses" (Page 115).

    In a sense, if one can keep a number of these apothegms in mind and follow those that seem most sensible, one might end up better off! So, a book that looks like a one trick pony ends up being much more satisfying than one might expect.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Waste of time and money, January 4, 2010
    I love Pollan's previous book and I was looking forward to this one. I got my hands on it as soon as I could, but sadly, I was disappointed.

    This book is just a (really)watered down version of In Defense of Food. Don't waste your time or your money on this book, especially if you already read his other books. It was kind of a sell-out thing to do: publish a book that takes exact passages from the last book he published, increase the font size, add a ton of blank pages and big pictures and then sell the thing for $11. Um... why? He should have just published an article in the NY Times magazine instead of a whole book. Why waste all that paper?

    Thank goodness I work in a bookstore and didn't actually have to buy the thing to read it. If you really think you want this book, I suggest flipping through it first, or getting it from a library. It's not worth $11.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Tao of Food, January 14, 2010
    People complaining about the size of "Food Rules" certainly missed the point. In Twitterland, any message that can't be reduced from "bullet points" to 140 characters will not be heard. The Eloi don't read books. Food Rules compresses the message of Pollan's food advice into its second simplest form.

    Pollan mentions in the introduction his discovery, while researching In Defense of Food, that the answer to the question, "What should we eat to stay healthy?" turned out to be seven words: "Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly plants." As he points out wrily, that wasn't enough to satisfy his publisher, but fortunately explaining it was. Food Rules is the middle ground between The Three Commandments and the Food Bible. Clearly it is needed, if one hostile reviewer thinks his "Don't eat more calories than you burn each day, and eat a balanced diet" is comparable to Pollan's seven words.

    Food Rules consists of 64 aphorisms with a few paragraphs of explanation as needed (no rule runs much beyond a single page). Like the Tao Te Ching, Food Rules can be stuffed in a back pocket, thumbed through when you are bored, or purchased for a clueless friend you care about. The rules are common sense, unless you suffer from the literalism of some reviewers (No, gentle reader, Mr. Pollan did not MY grandmother, who was a rotten cook, but the proverbial grandmother, who is not). Common sense distilled to aphorisms rather than platitudes, Poor Richard's Culinary Advice. In other words they are crisp, memorable, and quotable. Who wouldn't wish they had thought up, "Don't eat any cereal that changes the color of the milk"?

    For the Twitterpated, this is the place to begin with Pollan. Some of them, at least, may discover that they would like to know more. If not, no harm done.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Not worth the money, February 10, 2010
    Finished reading this book in about 30-40mins. Its more of a pamphlet than a book. Its all common sense stuff (eat planets, dont eat stuff with chemicals, etc - really! this is as complicated as it gets). Its a book for those than don't understand the obvious. A regretful purchase.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Good info, wrong format, January 8, 2010
    Don't let the fact that it's 112 pages long throw you, this is maybe 10 pages worth of information. Granted, it's GOOD information (for the most part). Handy rules to help you wade through the nightmare of American supermarkets and culture. I'm glad to see Amazon is only charging 5 dollars for it, because anything more than that would be a rip. If you look up his New York Times article, it's mostly the same information, just not broken down into clear rules.
    Between pages 30 and 37 there are 11 (eleven) sentences.
    There's no reason this needed to be over a hundred pages long.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Food Rules to Live By, January 4, 2010
    I'd previously read and enjoyed Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto and was interested to pick up "Food Rules". "Food Rules" is an extension of "In Defense of Food" and his earlier books as it offers a common-sense approach about eating smart. What primarily sold me was its in pocketbook size, compact and easy to carry when you're out and about grocery shopping or dining. And unlike other complicated diet schemes and faddish trends (Grapefruit Diet anyone?), the advice here is well thought out and well articulated. At 70 pages there's not a lot of complications but it is crammed with considerable wisdom and thought. Broken into three parts (much like "In Defense of Food") it answers the most essential and fundamental questions: what should I eat and avoid, what kind of food should I eat (e.g.: unprocessed plant based foods), and how much should I eat? Each section contains roughly 20 rules to follow for healthier eating and living. "Food Rules" winds up being a handy little reference guide that can help you create better new habits, gradually phasing out the bad ones. And that's the approach Pollan seems to take. It's easier to adopt a new habit that it is to break an old one. By following "Food Rules" you can get yourself on track to healthier eating habits and believe me; you'll feel better as a result!

    2-0 out of 5 stars The Cliff Notes for In Defense of Food, January 18, 2010
    This book is just the Cliff Notes version of the book In Defense of Food. Just take the time to read the real book. So much better. But if you must, you can read it while standing in the store. It is that quick. ... Read more


    9. The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet
    by Robb Wolf
    Hardcover
    list price: $24.95 -- our price: $15.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0982565844
    Publisher: Victory Belt Publishing
    Sales Rank: 439
    Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
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    Do you want to lose fat and stay young, all while avoiding cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and a host of other illnesses? The Paleo Solution incorporates the latest, cutting edge research from genetics, biochemistry and anthropology to help you look, feel and perform your best. Written by Robb Wolf, a research biochemist who traded in his lab coat and pocket protector for a whistle and a stopwatch to become one of the most sought after strength and conditioning coaches in the world. With Robb's unique perspective as both scientist and coach you will learn how simple nutrition, exercise and lifestyle changes can radically change your appearance and health for the better.
    ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars READ THIS BOOK!!!!, October 29, 2010
    About five months ago, I started doing CrossFit (an exercise program/gym). The coach explained the Paleo diet model and suggested this book. It took me almost five months before I read it, but prior to reading I had pretty much adopted a Paleo diet, which completely changed my life. I mean, really changed my whole experience. I used to be a vegan (six years ago for four years), but then my hair started thinning and that was the end of that, so I started incorporating fish and eggs, and a little dairy. But I was still almost always hungry, and it seemed no matter what exercise I did, or how much, it wasn't ever really getting me to where I wanted to be, even though I thought I was eating super healthy. I also drank a lot of wine, which interfered with my sleeping. All in all my digestion wasn't so good. I felt my health slowly and steadily declining. So, long story short, when I started CrossFit I decided to give this Paleo diet a try. Amazing results! Never felt better, my blood sugar is even and steady all day long, and my sleep is restorative not something to "get through"; not to mention, my body is rockin'! I don't crave sugar, which is a miracle, and I hardly drink anymore. Why? Because I feel so good, I have no desire to mess that up. Me, a wino, yes, giving up wine. For once in my life, I'm lean, I'm stronger than I've ever been, and I feel certain solidity to my being. I never thought it possible. So then I bought Paleo Solution, because I'm thinking, "I gotta learn why this diet works so well. What's up with this Paleo stuff? I want to tell the world about it!" I was skeptical about the read, despite my great results in trying out this lifestyle. Books on diet and health can sometimes be boring, daunting, and uninspiring. Right? How many books have you bought, hoping to find the thing you were looking for, only to quit reading it half way through? Robb Wolf has assembled an incredible amount of information into one book, and he's presented it in a simple way. He's also got a great voice -- a great sense of humor -- and it feels like he's talking directly to you. I liked this. It felt personable and it was engaging. Plus, I was understanding all this scientific information, (and I'm not scientifically oriented at all), which when all put together into the bigger picture was like "WHOA!". (It was more like a holy you know what). So here's the skinny: If you are suffering from diabetes, a heart condition, high blood pressure, an auto-immune disease, indigestion, cancer, a sugar or alcohol addiction, or pretty much any illness; or, you are an athlete seeking greater performance, or you're wanting to loose weight and look and feel fabulous and incredible, then you MUST read this book! It's quick, it's easy, informative, it's entertaining, and it will change your life like it did mine. That is, if you're willing to give it a try. And for those of you who are vegetarian, or concerned about industrialized farming and general slaughtering practices, I suggest you check out eatwild on the internet to find out where you can get grass-fed animal directly from sustainable farms in your local area. READ THIS BOOK, for your health, and for the health of your family. Thank you, Robb Wolf!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wolf's teachings in the Paleo Solution changed my life, September 14, 2010
    Let me begin by saying that I have always been a healthy person--or at least that is what I thought. Since I was fourteen, I went to the gym almost every day and ate foods that I thought were good for me. Around the age of thirty I got super busy. Although I still worked out and ate foods that I had been told were healthy, I didn't sleep as much, stressed a whole lot more, and things began to go down hill. I developed a fairly good-sized tire around my midsection. The color of my skin was a little off. And, most importantly, I no longer felt super healthy. I tried everything I could thing of, which basically boiled down to eating less of the foods I had been told were healthy. I ate a ton of lean meats, and I combined them with a ton of carbs in the form of rice. I cut out every ounce of fat I possible could. And guess what? I started to feel (and look) even worse. In an attempt to correct the situation, I began working out even harder. Although I got stronger and gained more muscle, I still had that tire of fat around the midsection and had very little energy on most days. Was I just getting old? Were the good old days of being fit and healthy gone for good?

    A friend of mine had been following Robb's teachings for some time, and he turned me on to the diet. As with most people who learned "nutrition" in college, I was highly resistant. I mean, why would they be teaching us the wrong nutrition in college. The professors seemed pretty smart, and I doubted that they had the goal of trying to kill me. But I was failing with the traditional way of thought, and so I decided it to give the thirty days. My friend told me that Robb preached the "give me 30 days" philosophy, and so that is what I decided to give this new and strange diet, which I still doubted would ever work. Well, thirty days later I had dropped TWENTY SIX POUNDS. Am I joking about that number--absolutely not. A part of it had to do with the fact that I was working out a whole lot more--but the only reason I could work out more is because I was feeling so GOOD. How good? Well, to be quite honest, I was feeling like I did back when I was eighteen (well, maybe not eighteen, but twenty one for sure.)

    Now a year and a half later, I feel better than ever. That twenty six pounds of weight loss not only did not come back on, but it turned into thirty pounds of weight less (and yes, I needed to drop thirty pounds.) Just like Wolf's slogan, I LOOK, FEEL, AND PERFORM better than I ever thought imaginable. For someone who has always prided himself on being fit, healthy, and happy, I can honestly say I owe Wolf the world. His teachings have convinced me that getting older does not mean getting fatter, sicker, and less happy. Will you be eighteen for the rest of your life if you take Wolf's 30-day challenge and then adopt a Paleo lifestyle--no, probably not. But you most certainly won't be 40 or 50 or 60. You will look younger than you are, feel younger than you are, and be happy in your skin. Honestly, I don't see how you can put a price tag on that.

    What about the sacrifices? This is the big one, right. Well, I have been on diets before, and this is not a diet. It is a lifestyle. And when you get that "diet" word out of your head, restricting certain foods becomes a lot less challenging. Trust me when I tell you that I was a guy who LOVED my bread and wheat beer. But you must also trust me when I tell you that I do not miss these delicious products in the slightest. . .Wolf's lifestyle plan puts you in much better contact with your body, and when you acquire that mindset, things that make your body feel, perform, and look better begin to taste better. Foods I used to despise now taste wonderful. And the foods that I once could not have lived without (bread, rice, pasta) are now the farthest thing from my mind. I've talked with other people on the Paleo diet, and many of them have told me that when they cheat, they can feel the negative effects immediately. Personally, I think I may have cheated on the diet twice in a over a year. Is it because I am super strong willed. Absolutely not. When it comes to will power, I don't think I have that much of it. The reason that I haven't cheated is because I simply don't want to cheat. When I smell the foods I once loved, I no longer have the urge to consume them. Did this take fun out of my life? Did this destroy the thrill of eating and socializing over a tasty meal? Actually, the opposite has happened. I actually enjoy eating a whole lot more because it makes me feel powerful, just like food should. It makes me feel strong, both mentally and physically. And despite what some people will believe, eating healthy does not destroy your social life. All it may do is add some interesting conversations into the mix.

    In conclusion, try the Paleo Solution. it works. It works well. And it will change your life in ways you can not imagine. I know change is scary for a lot of people (it was for me), but when the changes you make break the barriers of what you thought life could be, you won't regret it!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good but some things to fix for the second edition ..., October 21, 2010
    I've read this book, Mark Sisson's Primal Blueprint, and Cordain's Paleo Diet recently. Wolf's book was a good and accessible explanation of his overall approach, without the diet-book-y style of Cordain's effort.

    With the growing popularity of paleo eating lately, I would have liked to see more discussion of some of the controversial issues within the field, such as "cheat meals" or the use of salt (Cordain is strongly anti-salt but Wolf's recipes often include it). Explaining how the Paleo Solution's prescriptions differ from those of others would strengthen the book.

    I also would have liked to see an index. Not having an index is especially a problem if you're looking for a recipe. (I also would have run the entire meal plan, followed by all the recipes. When the meal plan calls for a recipe, just give the page number for the recipe.)

    Finally, there are a couple of references to a "Gear List," which doesn't seem to appear as such anywhere in the book. The last section on resources seems to cover what the "Gear List" should have covered, but could have been more conveniently organized.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable, October 26, 2010
    Been following this devoutly for one month now and have never felt better. Waking up each morning with a renewed fervour, an abundance of energy and optimism I've never possessed (well not since I was a child!). Can't recommend enough.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I feel great!!!!!, September 27, 2010
    I have been on this for 12 days and my energy level is through the roof. I have not had this kind of energy since my twenties, and I am 53. Dropped 6 pounds so far and I feel fantastic. Dan Adkins

    5-0 out of 5 stars Robb Wolf helped change my life!, October 3, 2010
    I always considered myself "healthy" - having been athletically active and with reasonably good blood-work and body weight markers all my life. But after I turned 30 years old 6 months ago, with 9 years of highly stressful desk-jockey jobs behind me; I realized I had slowly accumulated a number of afflictions that could be considered part of normal "aging":
    - joint pain & arthritis (in my knee)
    - hair loss
    - muscle & strength loss
    - slow build-up of spare-tire around my mid-section
    - allergies (to something new every few years)
    - canker sores
    - disrupted sleep
    - chronic tiredness, leading to increased caffeine consumption
    - a growing sweet tooth
    - gum pain

    After doing some basic research on arthritis, I came across the concept of the ancestral diet, primarily through the internet. However, having trained with a scientific background, I was highly skeptical of many of the stunning claims despite all the testimonials.

    Of all the different recognized experts in the arena, it was Robb Wolf's scientific explanations (through his website and his podcast) given freely (with no hidden financial agenda or sketchy corporate relationships) that convinced me to give the ancestral diet a try.

    I have since never looked back.. all the above afflictions disappeared in a few months, and I now am healthier, fitter, stronger, leaner, sharper and more pain-free than I have been in 15 years.

    I owe Robb and his compatriots in the field a huge debt.

    However, I have struggled to explain the concepts to others. This is why I am excited about Robb's book!

    The Paleo Solution brings the right amount of scientific background, complete with associated reference material, while maintaining a conversational, engaging tone. It covers all the right bases of a hugely complex subject (the key apocalyptic "horsemen" of the Standard American Diet) from the perspectives of anthropology (ancestral history), biochemistry, nutrition and actual clinical practice. It scares the reader, while at the same time providing the right solutions and motivation, with enough hope and optimism.

    If asked to bring someone up to speed on the concept of the ancestral diet, I would absolutely recommend this book as the perfect start!!

    So:
    If you've ever been confused by "expert" dietary recommendations (This food is poison! No it's actually good for you! All fat is bad except fat is good from fish or avocados! Have whole grains! Don't have eggs! Have eggs! You need vitamins! Vitamins don't work! etc etc bla bla) and wanted EVERYTHING to just make sense for once - read this book. Even if it's just from a robust scientific perspective, and you don't enact the actual diet, you'll never look back.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Not enough!, October 10, 2010
    What I like about this book:

    1. It explains in a scientific way how the Paleo Diet works from the nutritional point of view.
    2. The book is written "with an attitude" and is fun to read.
    3. The author is passionate about his ideas and this rubs off on the reader getting the reader excited, fired up, and motivated


    What I don't like about this book:

    1. Paleo Diet is nothig new. Loren Cordain published a book of the same title some 8 years ago. If you happened to have read it or anything written by Mark Sisson, then you might as well skip reading this one. There is nothing new in this book. In fact jn my opinion The Primal Blueprint is a better read.
    2. The author doesn't go beyond the basics, the book is very general in nature and lacks in specific how-to's
    3. I am very uneasy about some of the most popular reviews of this book that seem to be "doctored". One reviewer goes on and on about how this book changed his life, only two days after the book has been published (!!!???)
    4. Most importantly, this is yet another diet. We need to understand that unless we change our focus we will never fix the obesity problem. It is not only about what and how we eat, but mainly about living a healthy lifestyle that is in total agreement with nature. Read " Live 150 -- The Body Maintenance Handbook " to properly understand the problem and how to deal with it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars As good as it gets, September 20, 2010
    I'll be honest, I've been a fan of Robb's work for a while so I'm somewhat biased but even considering this I was impressed. He lays out not only why a change in diet, and more importantly lifestyle, is scientifically validated but it also gives you a jumping-off point in a 30 day, meal by meal guide. It doesn't get easier than this folks. Buy it. Now.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent, September 17, 2010
    I definitely didn't expect it to be this enjoyable! Loved all the humor and the geeked-out info as well.

    The information is very concise - with a lot covered in few pages. As someone who already follows a paleo life style, I know it works but wasn't very clear on all the reasoning behind the results. Robb pretty much cleared up every question I could have asked plus I have lots of new recipes to try!

    4-0 out of 5 stars It Just Plain Works, September 20, 2010
    I've been studying carb restriction diets for over 15 years. I've read the Paleo Diet, multiple Zone Diet books, much of the Eades' work, Dr. Atkin's books, read and re-read Gary Taubes' "Good Calories Bad Calories," hundreds of studies, and digested blog posts and podcasts while doing a fair amount of writing and coaching on the topic ([...]). Robb's work is a mixture of the rants of a guy who's too smart for his own good, a clinician who's been tested by working with real clients for over ten years, and a serious competitor in a variety of physical arenas. I know of other approaches that will work, but don't know of any single source with a more dense store of knowledge or a more accessible plan for health, fitness and competitive performance. I by no means agree with all of Robb's editorial temper tantrums outside of this book, but I've competed against him, listened to every podcast, and read most of his entire blog before reading this book. If you want a book that cuts to the chase giving you the yellow brick road for health, performance, longevity and with a detour around the diseases of the West, this is your book. I've been looking for a book that does not cheat on the science, is not too hard to read, and therefore makes the truly common sense of the paleolithic diet accessible to everyone with an IQ of room temperature or better - Robb, thanks for writing that book. ... Read more


    10. In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto
    by Michael Pollan
    Paperback
    list price: $15.00 -- our price: $9.50
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0143114964
    Publisher: Penguin (Non-Classics)
    Sales Rank: 404
    Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
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    The companion volume to The New York Times bestseller The Omnivore's Dilemma

    Michael Pollan's lastbook , The Omnivore's Dilemma, launched a national conversation about the American way of eating; now In Defense of Food shows us how to change it, one meal at a time. Pollan proposes a new answer to the question of what we should eat that comes down to seven simple but liberating words: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. Pollan's bracing and eloquent manifesto shows us how we can start making thoughtful food choices that will enrich our lives, enlarge our sense of what it means to be healthy, and bring pleasure back to eating.
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    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Care for your family? Want to live long and well? This is required reading., January 8, 2008
    What's better for you --- whole milk, 2% milk or skim?

    Is a chicken labeled "free range" good enough to reassure you of its purity? How about "grass fed" beef?

    What form of soy is best for you --- soy milk or tofu?

    About milk: I'll bet most of you voted for reduced or non-fat. But if you'll turn to page 153 of "In Defense of Food," you'll read that processors don't make low-fat dairy products just by removing the fat. To restore the texture --- to make the drink "milky" --- they must add stuff, usually powdered milk. Did you know powdered milk contains oxidized cholesterol, said to be worse for your arteries than plain old cholesterol? And that removing the fat makes it harder for your body to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins that make milk a valuable food in the first place?

    About chicken and beef: Readers of Pollan's previous book, "The Omnivore's Dilemma", know that "free range" refers to the chicken's access to grass, not whether it actually ventures out of its coop. And all cattle are "grass fed" until they get to the feedlot. The magic words for delightful beef are "grass finished" or "100% grass fed".

    And about soy...but I dare to hope I have your attention by now. And that you don't want to be among the two-thirds of Americans who are overweight and the third of our citizens who are likely to develop type 2 diabetes before 2050. And maybe, while I have your eyes, you might be mightily agitated to learn that America spends $250 billion --- that's a quarter of the costs of the Iraq war --- each year in diet-related health care costs. And that our health care professionals seem far more interested in building an industry to treat diet-related diseases than they do in preventing them. And that the punch line of this story is as sick as it is simple: preventing diet-related disease is easy.

    In just 200 pages (and 22 pages of notes and sources), "In Defense of Food" gives you a guided tour of 20th century food science, a history of "nutritionism" in America and a snapshot of the marriage of government and the food industry. And then it steps up to the reason most readers will buy it --- and if you care for your health and the health of your loved ones, this is a no-brainer one-click --- and presents a commonsense shopping-and-eating guide.

    If you are up on your Pollan and your Nina Planck and your Barbara Kingsolver, you know the major points of the "real food" movement. But if you're new to this information or are disinclined to buy or read this book, let me lay Pollan's argument out for you:

    -- High-fructose corn syrup is the devil's brew. Do yourself a favor and remove it from your diet. (If you have kids, here's a place to start: Heinz smartly offers an "organic" ketchup, made with sugar.)

    -- Avoid any food product that makes health claims --- they mean it's probably not really food.

    -- In a supermarket, don't shop in the center aisles. Avoid anything that can't rot, anything with an ingredient you can't pronounce.

    -- "Don't get your fuel from the same place your car does."

    -- "You are what you eat eats too." Most cows end their days on a diet of corn, unsold candy, their pulverized brothers and sisters --- yeah, you read that right --- and a pharmacy's worth of antibiotics. And they bestow that to you. Consider that the next time there's a sale on sirloin.

    -- "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." By which Pollan means: Eat natural food, the kind your grandmother served (and not because she was so wise, but because the food industry had not yet learned that the big money was in processing, not harvesting). Use meat sparingly. Eat your greens, the leafier and more varied the better.

    In short: Kiss the Western diet as we know it goodbye. Look to the cultures where people eat well and live long. Ignore the faddists and experts. Trust your gut. Literally.

    In all this, Pollan insists that you have to save yourself. And he makes a good case why. Our government, he says, is so overwhelmed by the lobbying and marketing power of our processed food industry that the American diet is now 50% sugar in one form or another --- calories that provide "virtually nothing but energy." Our representatives are almost uniformly terrified to take on the food industry. And as for the medical profession, the key moment, Pollan writes, is when "doctors kick the fast-food franchises out of the hospital" --- don't hold your breath.

    "You want to live, follow me." I loved it when Schwarzenegger said that in "Terminator." It matters much more when, in so many words, Michael Pollan delivers that same message in "In Defense of Food."

    5-0 out of 5 stars Back to Nature, February 22, 2008

    It is so good to read a book about nutrition that does not promote any new diet! The author's message is plain and simple: Go back to nature, eat wholesome foods, and don't bother with dieting. Don't overeat; instead eat slowly, and enjoy your meals - such notion has already been promoted by Mireille Guiliano in her bestseller "French Women Don't Get Fat".

    Our curse is processed food. The dieting industry completely distorted our feeding process. Our desire to improve everything and to separate 'needed' ingredients from the 'unneeded' ones leads us to refining most of our food products. However, our artificially 'improved' food only seemingly has the same nutritious qualities as natural food. Artificial and natural foods have as little in common as silk roses with real ones.

    Processed food is easily obtainable, doesn't require much work to prepare, and, unfortunately, it is often also addictive. At the same time it is full of calories with very small nutritional content.

    Like "The Omnivore's Dilemma", Pollan's new book is indeed eye-opening. It makes us think twice about what we are going to put into our mouths the next time we eat. For more reading about the danger of refined foods I strongly recommend Can W e Live 150 - another book devoted to living in agreement with nature, and revealing the secrets of healthy diet.

    5-0 out of 5 stars We truly are what we eat . . . . . or don't eat, January 6, 2008
    Americans are fat.

    Who's to blame? The government. Ay, but there's the rub. If the government undoes its mischievous agricultural subsidies, voters in farm states will throw the rascals out of office. Look what happened to Sen. John McCain in Iowa because he wants to end ethanol subsidies. No politician can afford to be public spirited instead of self-centered. The cure is not in government.

    Instead, an intelligent solution begins with this book. Pollan goes to the heart of the matter, which is the content of our food. Our consumer society is based on making attractive products. For food, this means added sugar or added fat.

    To quote Pollan: ". . . we're eating a whole lot more, at least 300 more calories a day than we consumed in 1985. What kind of calories? Nearly a quarter of these additional calories come from added sugars (and most of that in the form of high-fructose corn syrup); roughly another quarter from added fat . . . "

    These extra calories are from nutrient-deficient food. It began with refined flour in the 1870s which removed bran and wheat germ to produce long-lasting snowy white flour. Consumers loved it because flour no longer turned rancid, and it didn't become infected with bugs.

    Okay. Why didn't bugs chomp down on this new flour? Quite simply because the nutrients, the bran, wheat germ, carotene, were gone. Pollan explains, ". . . this gorgeous white powder was nutritionally worthless, or nearly so. Much the same is now true for corn flour and white rice." Take a look at a package of white flour and count the additives that make up for the loss of natural ingredients. Then you'll understand the basic thrust of this book and its remedies.

    How do refined carbohydrates affect us? They are implicated in several chronic diseases including diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers.

    This book outlines those problems and practical solutions to the lack of nutrients and excess of fat and sugar in our daily food. Quite simply, good health is often less a matter of miracle medicines than of common sense meals. Pollan outlines the problem and offers solutions, as indicated in a University of Minnesota study of natural ingredients in wheat which concluded, "This analysis suggests that something else in the whole grain protects against death."

    Protects against death? Did that get your interest? If so, this book is truly a major step toward a much healthier lifestyle . . . . . merely by changing the foods you eat.

    Try it. You'll like it.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Some good basic info, but lacks scientific rigor, April 18, 2009
    Michael Pollan's book has some generally good advice about what to eat, and some fascinating/disturbing info about the American food industry, but I was continually frustrated by the author's weak attention to research. Pollan is a not a scientist, and doesn't seem to find it very important to ground his assertions with unimpeachable facts. His advice can sometimes be contradictory ("don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize" but "eat tofu"--If your great-grandmother didn't come from Asia, it's doubtful she would recognize anything made of bean curd) and he tends to cite sources that he likes, rather than sources he's really investigated. For example, Pollan would never list a dairy-industry pamphlet as one of his sources, but he gleefully quotes some rather doubtful statements from an organic-food-industry pamphlet, and apparently didn't bother to ask even one secondary source to verify them. He writes a compelling essay showing that nutrition and dietary habits are incredibly difficult for scientists to study, and implies that any information based on nutritional studies is flawed, yet quotes certain studies as if they are somehow immune to this problem. Pollan maintains that the American government's health-education programs are a major cause of the obesity epidemic, yet the descriptions he gives of these programs don't match my memory of what was actually being taught at the time. And because he gives merely general endnotes, rather than specific footnotes, it's difficult to check where he got his information.

    I also had a little trouble with Pollan's tone, which is strangely naive, and occasionally condescending. He seems overly impressed with some of his own statements, such as his claim that humans are the only animals that turn to experts to tell them what to eat. Even if one accepts that this is true, humans do a lot of things that animals don't do, and in many cases, we should be glad of it. (And as Paula Poundstone has pointed out, she has to tell her dog to get his head out of the garbage every day.)

    I think Pollan is basically right that the American food industry would benefit from a major overhaul, and the suggestions he's making to the government would make us all healthier if they're implemented. But it's too bad that someone with generally sound ideas can't take a little more trouble with the details. Overall, if you read this book to learn how to eat healthier, you'll get some good tips, but take his "facts" with a grain of salt. This is definitely a book to be read, but it should be read critically.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Omnivore's Dilemma Updated In A Quick, Focused, Factual Form, January 4, 2008
    I thought I'd discovered gold two years ago when I chanced upon Michael Pollan's "The Omnivore's Dilemma" on the new-book shelf at my local library. I'm a health nut, and what Pollan had to say between the covers of that book was exactly what I'd been looking for. The message blew me away. I started telling all my friends, colleagues, and family about how phenomenal and groundbreaking the book was, and encouraging them to read it. I even went so far as to buy five hardbound copies to give out and loan. But in the end I don't believe I really made any serious converts. Plenty of people wanted to listen! Telling my friends and acquaintances about the content of Pollan's book made me a big hit in social situations, but I honestly don't think many people took the time to read the book or, more importantly, to change their eating habits.

    But Michael Pollan's book did convert me. Over the last two years, I have changed my eating habits--not as much as I hoped I would, but significantly nonetheless. The problem is, as I am sure anyone else knows who has also tried to follow his path: eating healthy in modern, urban America is extremely difficult.

    "Omnivore's Dilemma" went on to become a nationwide bestseller. Thanks in part to the stir that book caused, and the many newspaper articles and television programs that followed, there has been a small but noticeable difference in the availability of healthier, more naturally produced vegetables, fruits, meats, and fish in the area where I live. Merchants now appear to be very conscious of the fact that many buyers are eager to know how and where each batch of produce was grown; whether fish is wild or farm-raised; and whether meats, dairy products, and eggs come from range-, grass- or grain-fed animals. In our area, the local farmers' markets are thriving, and the supermarkets...well, they don't seem to be doing so well anymore. Instead there are a number of small health food chains opening up that seem to be robbing the supermarkets of a large portion of their business. People are starting to "vote with their forks." They are saying they want better quality food, and slowly, their voice is being heard.

    When I heard that Pollan had a new book out--"In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto,"--I jumped at the chance to be one of the first to buy it. It is a small book, easy and quick to read. I finished it in one enjoyable afternoon. Frankly, there is not much in this new book that wasn't already covered in "Omnivore's Dilemma." However, what this new book accomplishes that the previous book did not, is to present the basic concepts--about what is wrong with the modern Western diet and what we can do to eat in a more healthy manner--in a far more concise and readable form. Gone are the stories, the humor, the horror, the amusing dialogue, and the semitravelogue--all that was, for me at least, very delightful--but it also made the book perhaps too long and chatty for some, especially those just seeking a quick, focused, factual read. This book will most certainly appeal to a wider audience. It reads more like a practical manual for the general public.

    I was hoping this new book might give me some further clues. It did that, but not as much as I had hoped. Nevertheless, I am happy that I purchased it, and read it. The most important thing it did for me was to reinforce all the lessons I'd learned from "Omnivore's Dilemma," and to present them to me with more justifications and updated scientific findings.

    Hopefully, "In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto" will go on to become another national bestseller, and in the process continue to spread Pollan's healthy food revolution. A "Manifesto" sounds serious and political and Pollan speaks in the book about people "voting with their forks." It must be working, because many of the folks in my neighborhood appear to be voting with their forks, and the local farmers, ranchers, and grocery people are listening. There is a small revolution stirring and perhaps this book will help move it along.

    I recommend this book highly to all who have not yet read "The Omnivore's Dilemma," and to those that have, I recommend this book as an inspirational updated refresher course.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Simply Not as Good as The Omnivore's Dilemma, January 6, 2008
    This was not a bad book, but the biggest problem I had with it was that it was too short (just over 200 pages of text in large typeface) and it often repeated points without elaborating on them in as much detail as I would have liked. Pollan goes back to the theme of "Nutritionism" throughout his book, and discusses how the interests of food scientists and manufacturers have aligned to create the food environment we have today. This is a very fascinating story, but he seems too narrowminded on the theme of nutritionism and how that has ruined our food system and doesn't detail other potential causes.

    Other interests (such as the beef and dairy lobbies, which he briefly alludes to a couple times in the book) have also had a tremendous influence on the national diet. Moreover, the way we live our lives, busily, without time to eat, is a tremendous contributor to poor health that Pollan again only alludes to. Lifestyle is a huge part of the food culture that Pollan encourages, but he doesn't specify what elements of lifestyle are common in the most successful food cultures.

    My other major bugaboo with the book was that he barely touched on the notion of vegetarian and vegan diets, which are becoming increasingly popular in the States. The question of whether these diets are safe and healthy was not mentioned much (about a paragraph or so) and some insight into these two movements would have been appreciated.

    Overall, it's a quicker read than the Omnivore's Dilemma, but less detailed and with fewer eye-opening moments. A book that should be read, but I recommend you save your money and wait until the paperback edition is released.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Want health?, January 4, 2008
    ". . . no people on earth worry more about the health consequences of their food choices than we American do--and no people suffer from as many diet-related health problems."

    What to do? Like so much today, food truth is hard to find. We can't trust government to tell us the truth because it is influenced by the industrial agriculture giants that produce most food. We certainly can't trust labels using "natural" to describe chemical agglomerations. And, frankly, we can't trust doctors because they are simply not educated about food. Nutritionists? Many are educated, but how do we learn their bias? And, can they overcome "the pitfalls of reductionism and overconfidence?"

    I trust Michael Pollan. He has now written enough books regarding food that we know who and how he is. If he has a bias, it seems to be that he really gives a damn about we American consumers.

    Pollan shows how, starting in 1977, government dietary decrees began to speak in terms of nutrients rather than specific foods. This was due to the pushback from the meat industry against the Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs. Senator George McGovern's committee had made the fatal mistake of suggesting that Americans should eat less red meat and fewer dairy products. Enter agribusiness lobbyists. And that changed the whole story of the Western Diet. "The Age of Nutritionism had arrived." No longer would certain foods be extolled; now we would be sold nutrients. No matter that these mysterious and unpronounceable ingredients might be manufactured rather than grown.

    At the end of the day, and near the end of this most valuable book, is the suggestion: "Cook and, If You Can, Plant a Garden." I relate well to that. I was lucky--I grew up in a poor family that raised most of our food. The proof of the eating is that my parents long outlived their eight younger "buy it at the store" siblings; Dad died at 93 and Mother is still avidly gardening at 94.

    If we can't raise food we can buy from small producers as close to us as possible--we can be locavores. The more we know about the people who produce what we put in our body the more we can trust our food-buying decisions. And when we buy food we vote our values. The shorter the distance from field to plate, the less oil is consumed. Win-win.

    So buy from nearby growers. Buy from farmer's markets and CSAs. Spend more money on best-quality food and spend less money on health insurance. It's an essential choice.

    I won't be a spoiler and tell you about the new and contradictory information about fats, cholesterol and heart disease. I won't bore you with the stories of how our present unhealthful dietary condition came to be and the many businesses and agencies who have created it. And I won't tell you what you should do, beyond this: read this book and act on the uncommon commonsense knowledge it gives you.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing follow up to Omnivores Dilemma, April 14, 2008
    I'm a huge fan of the Omnivores Dilemma and recommended it to more people than any other book I've read so `In Defense of Food' had a lot to live up to but somewhere something what badly haywire.

    American's are getting fatter and fatter with average life spans that are considerably out of sync with the wealth of our nation. `In Defense of Food' takes an outsiders view of nutrition in the U.S., throwing stones at the establishment including nutritionists, food manufacturers and the FDA. Michael Pollan's argument is that it is our very obsession with food that throws the system off and we need to just relax and enjoy food. It sounds like the same advice being expounded in the book about how French women are supposedly never fat. Unfortunately we can't relax because we are constantly bombarded with calorie dense foods specifically designed for massive consumption. The author's suggestion is to step back, avoid the processed foods and start spending more on `whole foods' and items purchased from local farmers markets.

    The main emphasis in the book is on eating a `traditional' diet. Something great-grandmother might have created. The author blames `western diseases' on a `western diet' but it's hard to know what constitutes a western diet, after all, three of the countries he suggests emulating are France, Italy and Greece. Are they not western? American's are definitely growing fatter but if it's due to synthetic substances like Margarine, Crisco and Nutrasweet why have American waistlines continue to grow as these substances have grown decreasingly popular? And if eating natural food is the magic elixir why do I find overweight farmers at my local farmers market? Shouldn't they all be aglow with vitality living to 120?

    My wife is from Malaysia and her fathers' parents consumed a very `traditional' Chinese diet all their lives and yet died in there early 60's. Her grandmother passed away from a stroke brought on by high blood pressure and her grandfather by a heart attack. The way Michael Pollan talks this doesn't sound possible. I would also say that for an author who insists on taking a holistic view of eating as opposed to a reductionist one he completely omits taking into account cultural lifestyles in people heaths. Perhaps it's the high quality health care system in France that makes the difference or perhaps not but the author never even considers anything but consumption.

    The advice that Michael Pollan gives is sound but most of it is so simple that it could probably fit into a pamphlet rather than a 200 page book which may explain why the book seems to veer off into unnecessary directions. Eating more vegetables is always good advice and the author even admits that every hated nutritionist he's talked has offered exactly that advice so how exactly is Mr. Pollan different from nutritionists? He lambastes nutritionists for taking a reductionist view of nutrition but then goes on at length about maintaining a proper balance of Omega-3 and Omega-6 in your diet. Did great-grandmother worry about the ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 in the food she served?

    Morgan Spurlock of `Supersize Me' probably hit the nail right on the head. It's the amount of calories that American's eat that's doing us in. Avoiding synthetic foods is probably good advice but it's advice like avoiding swimming after eating a meal and not likely to make much of a change in your life. I lost 50 pounds last year and it had nothing to do with eating traditional meals or avoiding margarine. I reduced my intake of calorie dense food including soda and fast food. This is the kind of advice any nutritionist will give out.

    What bothered me most about this book was how Michael Pollan went on the attack when none of his advice is that far off from what other nutritionists and dieticians are recommending. It's a decent book but lacks focus and has difficulty defining what he's talking about when he uses terms like `Western' and `Traditional' diets. Quite frankly, this book is more of just a subset of Omnivores Dilemma and if you've read that one you could probably skip this one.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Our relationship with food, how it has changed, January 5, 2008
    Pollan has written a far-reaching, easy to read and very informative book that breaks through the nonsense of reductionist nutrition or what he refers to as "nutritionism." He steps back from the Western diet to expose how science, industry and culture have created this strange departure of human beings from their historical relationship with food. A radical break from tradition began in the mid 1800's with the ability to grind grains down to their smallest elements. At the same time as the birth of refined grains, scientists declared that metabolism could be explained in terms of a few chemical nutrients. This approach to nutrition continues today with the USDA MyPyramid nutrition guidelines.

    But is that how nutrition really works? Pollan exposes many scientific mistakes that have been made since the mid 1800's. In our quest to isolate nutrients from their food, we ignore the reality that nutrition is as complex as a symphony orchestra. Rather than associating a health outcome as the result of including a nutrient in our diet, we are beginning to see that many health outcomes are due to the exclusion of another nutrient we have yet to identify! Heart disease is no longer linked to saturated fat in the diet but more likely due to the fact that the animals we eat no longer eat grass and the non-traditional use of grains.

    Why with all of this science and information do we see an increase in chronic degenerative disease throughout the Western world? Could our approach be wrong? What should we do? After Pollan's in-depth look at the progression of medicine, government policy and the food industry over the past 150 years, he gives his solution. "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants." Sounds simple and it is. Something simple for a complex problem; that's refreshing! But, it's not easy. It requires more time and more money for less food but greater health.

    Eat whole foods, traditional foods, avoid processed foods, buy from local producers, eat green (leaves) and eat foods (animals) that eat green. Eat wild foods, game and wild caught fish. Other than his omission of recommending lamb as a source of omega-3 fatty acids, his coverage of omega fatty acids, the latest nutrient `craze,' is one of the best I've seen.

    Non-Western diets may be healthier not because of some `magic bullet' in these diets but because they eat more variety (our refined grain diet consists primarily of wheat, corn and soy), they don't snack, they prepare their whole food at home, they sit down together as a family to eat and most importantly... food is a tradition that they love and embrace. If we regarded food with that same joy, rather than fuss over its health consequences, we might even see a reversal in chronic degenerative disease. At the very least, we would once again have a healthy relationship with food.

    A good companion book for Pollan's book is "Real Food" by Nina Plank.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Naked Lunch, March 31, 2008
    "In Defense of Food" is a fine book, cleverly written in clear and musical English, and I recommend it to everyone in the hope that the victuals of this benighted land eventually improve.

    I go out of my way to obtain decent food, so I'm in agreement with Professor Pollan in much of what he has to say, but as to his central premise, that refined and manufactured food is poisonous to the degree that it is causing the present epidemic of obesity and diabetes -- not to mention all the other maladies he lists-- I remain skeptical.

    Certainly there is nothing new about Professor Pollan's hypothesis. Admonitions about the deleterious properties of sugar have circulated for many years; Hitler was said to be a sugar addict, and there is a song of warning called "Poison Sugar" on the Holy Modal Rounders' 1978 album, Last Round

    However, I am ancient enough to have lived in a time when the quality of food was even worse than that under which we suffer today. In the 1950s, no food package bore the label All-Natural or No Artificial Ingredients. Instead, food was marketed as being new and improved, modern, and scientifically advanced with secret ingredients such as Platformate. Unlike the culinary utopia that Professor Pollan depicts in those days, television advertising had ensnared American minds, and families were more likely to dine on what were then called TV Dinners (each of which came in an aluminum tray) rather than mother's home cooking. The standard lunch which children carried to school in their Roy Rodgers lunchboxes consisted of a peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich on Wonder Bread�. If a child expressed hunger upon return from school, he or she would be encouraged to eat another such sandwich, because the jelly came in decorated glass tumblers which, when emptied, served as attractive tableware in which to serve Kool-Aid�, the standard drink of the day.

    The "peanut butter" in these meals actually contained little that was derived from peanuts, but instead about 60% of the paste was hydrogenated cottonseed or corn oil (as were all foods made by the Corn Products Refining Company and the Union Starch Company). When children drank milk instead of sugar-water, it was often enhanced with Bosco� corn syrup. At my best friend's house, they used Similac� powdered milk, and before corn flakes came encrusted with sugar, it was common to sprinkle granulated sugar (a lidded sugar bowl was always kept at the center of the table) on one's cereal.

    Bacon grease was saved in a jar that was kept in the ice box, but later Crisco� and Swift� shortening became more popular for frying. Everything, all cooking, was fried, and the remaining grease was saved like a precious substance. Hot dogs were even more popular than they are today, only then, the casings of these floor-sweepings from the abattoir were supplemented with non-meat extenders -- often cereal or starch byproducts.

    Penny candy was sold, and after school, children would load up on it at the corner store. Penny candy was what one might consider to be on the fringe of food. For instance, a common candy was buttons of colored sugar stuck to a tape of paper. Another was tiny wax vials containing dyed (but not flavored) sugar water -- some kids even ate the paraffin wax. One which survives today is bubble gum. Can any of these things actually be considered food? Whatever the answer, many such substances were consumed.

    The era of air freight and food transportation had not yet arrived, so it was the utopia of local food that Professor Pollan rhapsodizes over. Unfortunately, this meant that fresh produce was unavailable to most of the country for the winter months. During this time, canned fruits were popular -- all canned fruit having been packed "in heavy syrup."

    In short, the American diet of the period (the postwar diet of Europe was far worse, and our family charitably sent canned goods and sugar to the old country) was exponentially worse than even the most egregious crimes against the palate Professor Pollan describes in this book. If refined sugar and the wrong type of fat and artificial food are so patently malefic to the human body, why is it that diabetes and obesity were as rare in those bygone days as appendicitis is today? Since we Americans --obedient as always to the orders of the all-seeing TV eye -- ate nothing but processed food swimming in cholesterol, sugar and number-10 red dye, how is it that any of us lived to tell of it? Why didn't Americans vanish from the face of the Earth leaving the ruins of supermarkets as a warning for future archeologists?

    In fact, this worst of all imaginable diets seemed to exhibit no symptoms among the populace. Hyperactive Attention-Deficit Disorder had yet to appear in children. It may be argued that it was there, lurking, but hadn't yet been discovered, but to this I would suggest that it was kept in check by the power of fear. Anyone "acting-out" (as I believe it is now termed) in a classroom would be administered swift and cruelly-painful corporal punishment. Obesity was rare and rarer still in children, because most people were employed in manual labor, and in my city, there were no such things as school buses. For that matter, there were never any snow days. Even in those brutal winters --and this was in the era before Global Warming eliminated winter forever-- we were expected to be in school and on time every day. After school, boys spent most of their free time injuring each other.

    On the other hand, in times past the wealthy few who could afford the type of diet Professor Pollan advocates -- unadulterated, minimally-processed, unpackaged, natural food in wide variety; fresh-picked produce and prime meats that had been fed on wild clover and fallen peaches; wines without sulfites -- such gourmands often developed gout (the cure for which was a diet of Jell-O� with the tiny marshmallows mixed in).

    Upon casual consideration, Professor Pollan's call for a return to the "good ol' days" is admirable, but for those of us so unfortunate as to have been born before the advent of such food messiahs, how is it that we apparently thrived? Actually, Professor Pollan is but one of a long line of food prophets foretelling our doom if we don't repent, and as with all the others, he's getting rich doing so.

    There's the real lesson! ... Read more


    11. The Paleo Diet Cookbook: More than 150 recipes for Paleo Breakfasts, Lunches, Dinners, Snacks, and Beverages
    by Loren Cordain
    Paperback
    list price: $19.95 -- our price: $13.30
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0470913045
    Publisher: Wiley
    Sales Rank: 600
    Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    At last! The cookbook based on the bestselling The Paleo Diet

    Dr. Loren Cordain's The Paleo Diet has helped thousands of people lose weight, keep it off, and learn how to eat for good health by following the diet of our Paleolithic ancestors and eating the foods we were genetically designed to eat. Now this revolutionary cookbook gives you more than 150 satisfying recipes packed with great flavors, variety, and nutrition to help you enjoy the benefits of eating the Paleo way every day.

    • Based on the breakthrough diet book that has sold more than 100,000 copies to date
    • Includes 150 simple, all-new recipes for delicious and Paleo-friendly breakfasts, brunches, lunches, dinners, snacks, and beverages
    • Contains 2 weeks of meal plans and shopping and pantry tips
    • Features 16 pages of Paleo color photographs
    • Helps you lose weight and boost your health and energy by focusing on lean protein and non-starchy vegetables and fruits
    • From bestselling author Dr. Loren Cordain, the world's leading expert on Paleolithic eating styles

    Put The Paleo Diet into action with The Paleo Diet Cookbook and eat your way to weight loss, weight control maintenance, increased energy, and lifelong health-while enjoying delicious meals you and your family will love. ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Cook Book and then some...., December 7, 2010
    I have begun "cooking my way through" this cookbook and am very impressed! It is a combination of a great book (summary of the paleo diet), great reference, as well as a thorough cookbook. The recipes are fantastic - simple yet flavorful, easy yet complex and just plain delicious. Frankly, this is the best damn cookbook I have found if you want to cook and eat real food. Hands down a great buy and worth every penny! I took the book to kinko's to cut the binding and replaced it with a ring binding and laminate the cover and back so it is a bit more durable. I am adding my own pictures and recipes in the back. I could not be happier (and in better shape).

    4-0 out of 5 stars Another Paleo Cookbook..Finally, December 4, 2010
    Okay so I received the cookbook and was excited to get it. The saddest thing of it all is it could have been an amazing cookbook instead of just average. No pictures is a major (no no) on a cookbook. Also I think it should have been a hardback book. I wish they would have taken some cues from the Primal Blueprint Cookbook, with that said it does have some merits.

    Pros: 150 recipes, Cost, Smoothie recipes look good, A couple good chapters on what a Paleo Diet is and what your Kitchen should consist of to be Paleo. More Recipes than The Primal Blueprint Cookbook, Different recipes than the Primal Blueprint, so it is awesome to add to my choices of foods to cook. Paleo Diets are easy and they work.

    Cons: No Pictures, Not Hardcover

    Conclusion: This could have been a amazing cookbook but it is not, its good and cheap but they really messed up when they did not make it hardcover and no pictures. If you own the Primal Blueprint Cookbook, then get this one...If not go Primal first. Just don't expect this cookbook to be even come close to the excellence of the Primal cook book. Now with that said I have not begun to cook out of this book yet, but I will update this review on how the food comes out. Making the recipes is the true test of it all. Still I would say they could have had a amazing cookbook, instead of "I like it" cookbook.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, December 3, 2010
    There are no pictures of any of the recipes written in this book. It is a recipe book for sure, but unlike its main competitor (The Primal BluePrint cookbook) it is recipes and nothing else. No real idea about how your dish is supposed to look. Very disappointing because it shows pictures of some dishes on the cover but inside the book, nada. Perhaps it was written somewhere that there were no pictures of any of the dishes but I didn't see it.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Pretty good, December 23, 2010
    This has a large assortment of recipes and an decent intro to the paleo diet. I will use this often! HOWEVER, it is paperback, so I don't know how well it will hold up for regular usage and WHERE'S THE PHOTOS? A cookbook is so lacking without pictures. The The Primal Blueprint Cookbook: Primal, Low Carb, Paleo, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free and Gluten-Freeis what I got first. It has REALLY good recipes that are so easy to prepare! I've used about half of them, and they have all turned out to be great! I recommend getting that one first.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Paleo-Culinary-Superb, December 12, 2010
    This recipe book really takes Paleo cooking up a level to great tasting dishes and a learning cooking experience. It remains beautifully simple to make. I feel like with these recipes I could rival those great Seattle chefs who insist that butter and cream, with grain dishes are the only true flavours. How wrong they are! Thank you Nell Stephenson!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Well organized and easy to follow., December 8, 2010
    This is a great cookbook! It is well organized by categories and the recipes are eazy to understand and to follow. Many of these items can be made with ingredients we have on hand or with a quick trip to the store. Whether you are interested in the "diet" part of the Paleo Cookbook, or you are just looking for a delicious change for dinner; this is the cookbook to have. I highly recommend "The Paleo Diet Cookbook." I give it two thumbs up.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Book!, December 7, 2010
    The book is full of great recipes for novices as well as for people of advanced culinary training. The introduction to the Paleo diet is fantastic. I'd highly recommend this book to anyone looking to get healthy the way the body designed it! ... Read more


    12. The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook: Your Self-Treatment Guide for Pain Relief, Second Edition
    by Clair Davies, Amber Davies
    Paperback
    list price: $22.95 -- our price: $15.61
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1572243759
    Publisher: New Harbinger Publications
    Sales Rank: 851
    Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Trigger point therapy is one of the most intriguing and fastest-growing bodywork styles in the world. Medical doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists, and massage therapists are all beginning to use this technique to relieve formerly undiagnosable muscle and joint pain—conditions that studies have shown to be the cause of nearly 25 percent of all doctor visits. The technique involves applying short, repeated massage strokes to trigger points, tiny contraction knots in muscle tissue where restricted circulation and lack of oxygen cause referred pain. Trigger points create pain throughout the body in predictable patterns characteristic to each muscle, producing discomfort ranging from mild to severe. Trigger point massage increases circulation and oxygenation in the area and often produces instant relief. This dynamic technique has made a huge impact among health professionals and the public alike, becoming an overnight classic in the field of pain relief. The book has sold over 220,000 copies since the release of the first edition in 2001. The second edition is a complete update and includes a new chapter specifically for massage professionals, as well as a chapter on systematic muscle relaxation techniques that can reinforce the therapeutic power of trigger point work. ... Read more

    Reviews

    4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book (not Quackery), January 27, 2004
    I was really worried that this book might have been a standard new-age, make-a-buck, quack title. Thank goodness that turned out to be a groundless worry. This is an excellent book (with medical references) that does a very good job of helping you get rid of pain. I had hurt my lower back by performing the arduous task of putting on my underwear. The doctors and physical therapist couldn't really come up with a reason for it. After a month, it still wasn't getting any better. Searching the web gave me references to this book. Within three days of reading it and poking around in my UPPER (not LOWER) back, my thighs, and my abdomen, the pain has faded to just a reminder. I'm still not able to bend and reach like I used to. But, I'm exercising and stretching again, so hopefully that'll change. Best of all, it no longer hurts just to SIT (or lie down or stand, for that matter). After showing my wife that her lower body has just about every active trigger point known, she's also reading the book and working on her points. Hopefully, her pain will reduce in a couple of days, too.

    The only reason I gave this book four stars instead of five is that it's kind of hard to find and reference ALL the trigger points associated with a specfic pain FOR THE FIRST TIME. The book does have a diagram for pain locations at the start of each chapter. But, in many cases, the pain will be caused by multiple trigger points in multiple body locations. It takes quite a bit of paging through the book to figure out what you're supposed to do. Once you figure it out, though, the book is great. Of course, in the author's defense, I can't come up with a better organization method outside of having some kind of software with an anatomical display using hyperlinks.

    I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this book if you suffer from any kind of chronic pain. Even if your doctor has pronounced judgement that he/she knows what's causing things, try this book. As the author says, trigger point therapy should be the first course of treatment: it's easy and cheap.

    5-0 out of 5 stars SAVED MY LIFE, November 15, 2005
    After a full year of severe dysfunction of my right hand, arm, and particularly my right thumb THE TRIGGER POINT THERAPY WORKBOOK revealed to me the astonishing fact that most of my trouble was being caused by 'trigger points' in the scalene muscles of my neck and also in the area above my clavicle. What could I do about it? Simply massage them away - within half an hour of hitting the correct locations my right thumb (and hand and arm) seemed to heal by about 60%! The rest of the healing took maybe 3 more weeks of finding these things and methodically deactivating them.

    Other muscles besides the scalene were involved and Clair Davies had them all referenced in the back of the book under "thumb". This is the case for any body part you may need help with, it is all very accessible and easy to find. Needless to say, this book was a miracle in my life - providing a simple solution to a debilitating problem that seemingly did not HAVE any solution (no doctor, acupuncturist, or even most up-to-date-book on repetitive strain injuries seemed to hit upon this stunning information). I went from abject misery to basically playing this strange video game of hunting out and zapping away all these trigger points hidden in my muscles.

    I found this book fairly late in the healing process, and so it's important to note that another book, IT'S NOT CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME! helped me immensely with all of the problems I had that did NOT include trigger points - I would even say that my left side (arm, hand) had healed already by studying what I found in that book alone. But the trigger points were the missing piece.

    I want to thank the reviewer who suggested getting the book spiral-bound at kinko's so it will lie flat and xeroxing the cover so you can pass it out to everyone you know without lending it (I gave my first copy away but discovered I need the book on an ongoing basis).

    I discovered that the book actually has its own website, which you can find by searching 'trigger points' on google. I suggest reading ALL about the book there yourself, and if you think it might help you ordering from amazon because it is cheaper. Even once you have the book, the website makes the info. very accessible.

    At a certain point, I started to dot the hard-to-find trigger points on my skin with a marker. It may look bizarre but they can be hard to keep track of and you want to get all of them.

    DON'T OVERLOOK THE SECTION ON PROGRESSIVE MUSCLE RELAXATION, even if massaging trigger points seems to be enough to cure you.

    The scalene trigger points can be HARD to find. At first I found them easily, but months later my symptoms came back and after 2 weeks of despair I found a terrible trigger point that was almost completely hidden in the scalene, I could only reach it after hitting the muscle at a particular angle.

    Underline as you go along! Here and there he mentions areas of referred pain that are NOT depicted in the illustration.

    Very relevant pages I xeroxed and taped to the wall.

    Again, SOME aspects of Repetitive Strain Injury are not brought about by trigger points, so everyone w/computer related injuries needs to look at IT'S NOT CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME! by Suparna Damany and Jack Bellis and also the books by Emil Pascarelli. If you have REAL nerve damage, trigger point therapy may ease some of your discomfort but it won't resolve the problem.

    Those with back problems might want to look into John Sarno's MINDBODY PRESCRIPTION. Maybe even those w/out back problems - however this recommendation is based on other people's experiences not my own.

    Other books I used: Conquering Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (by Sharon Butler & also her online book about DeQuervain's of the thumb), Your Body's Many Cries for Water, Tendon & Ligament Healing, Free Your Breath Free Your Life...and the PBS program Priscilla's Yoga Stretches (not a book, it is apparently shown in many parts of the US). Some of these I got from the library, but being that my HANDS were at stake I would have just put them all on a credit card if I had had no other choice. I also recommend spending time between the shelves of Barnes & Noble.

    If you happen to live in Los Angeles, Janet Travell & David Simon's medical volumes, upon which Clair Davies' work is based, are available at the Central Library (one reference set, and one that you can actually check out). Don't know about other major cities - but they're beautiful, exquisite books and amazingly clear.

    Finally, I am just now looking into Bonnie Prudden's books particularly 'MYOTHERAPY' from 1984- and I am surprised because while they are missing key components of The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook they offer insights about trigger points that I have not found in other places. She quotes Janet Travell often, and there is great spirit in her book.

    There is no way to express my gratitude to Clair Davies, et al, for making this info. available to the world. I am literally better off knowing about trigger points than I would be had I won a million dollars.

    It's a crime that this info has been around for over a quarter of a century & the medical world has not yet grabbed a hold of it.

    Good luck everyone!

    January 8th, 2006 update: After all that I now have something more to add: I did actually have more trouble getting over a recent relapse than I would have expected, and I have been greatly helped by a massage therapist who is actually very familiar with trigger point therapy. In addition to trigger points, he has been helping me with other forms of massage therapy & guidance on how to rehabilitate my muscles without overdoing it. After being so injured for a long time it is great to have professional guidance in conjunction with self-applied trigger point therapy. He knew about this book & appreciated how well-informed I was - unlike certain doctors I have spoken with who seemed to take offense at my attempt to do my own research! In summary: use this book and if necessary, try to find a great massage therapist as well.

    one more thing: the book is almost entirely viewable in google books! also, it has its own website triggerpointbook dot com.

    5-0 out of 5 stars All Massage Therapists Should Own and Use This Book, May 1, 2001
    Clair Davies is really on to something here. I deal with chronic pain in my massage therapy practice daily. I've been able to help my clients, using Clair's methods, to rid themselves of pain they've dealt with for years. Clair presents his material in an easy to read, practical format--and the pictures are excellent. Anyone--professional and lay person alike--can benefit from this book. In fact, I recommend this book to my clients. I'm always encouraging them to try to help themselves during the time between our sessions. If you've got pain or help others deal with their pain, get this book. You won't be sorry.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Clair Davies et al. should be canonized, October 5, 2004
    If you suffer from mysterious and FRUSTRATING chronic musculoskeletal pain and are at your wit's end (like I was), ORDER THIS BOOK NOW. This book SAVED ME by helping put an end to about 4 months of "unexplained" pain in my thighs, knees, buttocks and hips. I had spent hundreds of $$ getting x-rays, MRI's, bone scans, and seeing numerous physicians as well as a physical therapist, chiropractor, and a naturopath. None had a clear expanation of what was causing me so much pain for such a long time. I was prescribed massive doses of ibuprofen (which did nothing but ruin my stomach) as well as Valium, Flexeril, Elavil, and finally Prozac. I tried various supplements including potassium, magnesium and B vitamins, but they didn't seem to do anything. I was completely unable to exercise as it made the pain much worse..at times I was unable to walk a couple blocks. I finally got this book last week and realized that little "knots" in my muscles were the source of all this grief. No wonder nothing else (physical therapy, diet, medication) worked! With the book I figured out that I had at about ~10 trigger points in my buttocks/thighs, some which were EXTREMELY painful to massage. Since it was so painful i was a bit skeptical at first but I stuck with it. I began to massage with a tennis ball several times a day. Some trigger points responded immedately after a massage and others took several days, but after a while the aching pains in my legs have subsided! I couldn't believe that something so SIMPLE (something I could do myself) could end such a debilitating problem that numerous doctors & specialists couldn't figure out. Combined with acupuncture and craniosacral therapy & occasional professional deep-tissue massage I would say my pain is 99% gone. I am so glad I discovered this book...I never thought I would find the explanation (and the solution!) for all this pain!! I can now look forward to returning to a normal, pain-free life! Thanks so much to Clair Davies and others who contributed to making this book!!

    P.S. I have just started reading through ALL the sections of this book (not just the ones for leg pain) since trigger point massage seems to help with all sorts of pain (i.e. carpal tunnel syndrome, back pain, etc). So from now on I will consult this book FIRST before seeking a doctor or some medication for any type of pain. My only regret is that I didn't buy this book sooner!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive information that promotes self-management..., October 8, 2001
    This book is a godsend. Clair Davies' book starts by describing the author's personal journey as a person in pain who discovered the power of self-applied trigger point therapy. The book then goes on to detail the basics of trigger point science and methods of self-treatment. Each body region contains muscle-by-muscle descriptions of trigger point locations, causes, referred pain patterns, and specific self-treatment techniques with fingers, thumbs, tennis balls or other hand-held "tools".

    Two populations will benefit. The first are professionals dealing with myofascial pain. Mr. Davies' book has neatly summarized many of the essentials contained in the bar-setting but often intimidating 2-volume "bibles" of trigger point therapy by Janet Travell and David Simons, which will make many more practitioners comfortable with the idea of searching for and treating trigger points with manual techniques.

    More important than information for clinicians is the help and hope this book offers to suffering patients. The book's focus is on self-treatment, which is not only *possible*, but is in fact *extremely* effective, and often downright necessary in this day and age: healthcare costs are forever rising, insurance coverage for physical therapy grows progressively more restrictive, massage therapists are often costly and the majority of the time, not covered by insurance, and, money factors aside, pain does not always present itself when professional treatment is readily available. Even with the *best* professional treatment, myofascial conditions are highly recurrent and knowing how to deal with these recurrences empowers patients and thereby reduces fear and apprehension.

    With information referenced from current and highly reputable sources, The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook has not only my highest recommendation, but also the endorsement of many, many well-known names in the field of myofascial pain, including one of its pioneers, Dr. David Simons.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fibromyalgia and Boby Pain, August 31, 2001
    I rate this book right up there with Devin Starlanyl's books. I have had Fibromyalgia and Myofascial Pain most of my adult life and have been disabled the past 5 years. This book by Mr. Davies has just helped me end 2 months of an excruiating flare of muscle pain. I showed it to my Pain Management physician, who is ordering one for his office and will advise his other patients similarly effected to purchase one if possible. When all the doctors don't know what else to tell you about relieving your body/muscle pain, this book is the answer. It is easily understood by medical professionals and laypeople alike. It's deascription of the muscles and the mechanism involved in the creation of unexplained boby pain is outstanding. Anyone, by themself or with another person, will find the diagrams showing the location of trigger points in muscles and how to achieve relief easy to learn. Mr. Davies explanation of massage therapy for trigger point release has made this book one of the best and most valued tools for self-treatment of body pain.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Worked beautifully for me, April 5, 2006
    I would like to share my exerience ,briefly, with this book. I had shoulder pain for over two months, that neither rest,heat,cooling,meds, or excercise diminished in the slightest. My doctor could find no cause for it, and recommended physical therapy. That didn't help. Out of frustration, I picked up a stack of books at the library. Fortunately, this was the first one I looked at. I was skeptical frankly, but being desparate devoted a couple of hours to reading the salient parts of the book. I found my trigger point ( tender area ) on the front shoulder ( anterior deltoid as I recall ).
    I purchased a lacrosse ball as recommened in the book, and proceeded to massage the area using the technique specified. The end result was in two days, the pain thruout my shoulder had diminished by approx. 80%. After 1 week, the pain was gone, with only an occasional sensation. It's been about 2 weeks now since I started, and I still have a very tiny tender area, so I give it the ball treatment a couple of times a day.
    It's very important to complete the treatment until the trigger point is TOTALY erased ( as stated in the book ). Also, some have mentioned that the book is highly technical. It is to a degree, but not to where it can't be discerned by the average person with a little perseverance. You don't have to read the entire book! Just the initial couple of chapters on diagnosis and technique, then straight to the chapter that deals with your symptom area. Like I said, I spent a couple of hours reading, and went right at the treatment.
    I had to write this, as I could not find the authors email anywhere, and I'm eternally grateful to him for giving the world this treatment technique that a layman can self adminster. If your a pain sufferer you owe it to yourself to at least try this system.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Eliminate pain from your life for less than $20, June 20, 2005
    A lacrosse ball and this book have changed my life, and together, they cost less than $20. I have suffered from chronic pain since I was 13. At its worst, my pain was so bad that I was drinking myself to sleep at night and I thought I was going to need crutches to get around. The worst part was, I didn't know what was wrong with me, and the medical explanations I'd been given didn't seem right.

    In January of this year I finally found the solution to my pain when I read this book. It knew in such detail what was wrong with me that it even explained every misdiagnosis I have ever been given. No doctor I saw ever mentioned this book, and most people haven't heard of it, but as you can see from all these rave reviews, the book is genius.

    Whether you suffer from chronic pain, the occasional sports injury, or pretty much any other kind of pain, this book can help you. Some common issues it can help with are carpal tunnel syndrome, back pain, migraines, and bad knees. It can also help you with less common, even extremely uncommon issues. You may find out that whatever problem you think you have is not serious at all and can be solved with this massage technique. Regularly treating your trigger points can allow you to become more active, increase strength, sleep more soundly, and do physical activities you thought you couldn't.

    I learned that, surprisingly, activities like stretching, yoga, and physical therapy can actually make your pain worse. I have had multiple bad experiences with yoga and physical therapy. I thought I was crazy for thinking that these exercises that were supposed to help were making me worse, and I scolded myself for being lazy when I quit doing them. What I learned from this book is that by going against medical advice and refusing to do something that was hurting me, I was actually doing everything right.

    Listen to your body! Doctors, friends, family members, etc. do not necessarily know what is best. No one lives in your body but you. If other people's explanations or advice don't seem right to you, they probably aren't. If you want a real solution to pain, buy this book. I never thought I'd be able to feel as amazing as I feel today.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Arthritis and other pains, March 29, 2002
    I was in so much pain that I couldn't sleep at night. I was diagnosed with arthritis (hip, back, etc), but I was not satisfied that this explained my pain. Then I found Davies' book and started to work on trigger points with the rubber ball he recommends. It didn't solve all my problems, but it reduced my pain to the point where I could sleep without pills (and demonstrated that my pain was at least partly muscular)--and all for the cost of a ... little ball! And now (several other therapies later), I still keep the book and the rubber ball by my bed, and still follow its directions to massage key areas on a daily basis.

    This book is terrific--the best "self-help" book I've seen. It is clearly written, well organized, mostly well illustrated, and contains a wealth of really useful detail. It is definitely not one of those "glossy" books--all photos and no useful information. The author really does take the approach of someone who was himself helped by this therapy and who wants to make it as clear and accessible to his readers as possible. Very highly recommended.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Effective Self-Help for Pain, May 3, 2003
    This book provides lots of good information on healing pain. It's written in an accessible, easy-to-read style for people who don't know anything about muscles, yet the information is not simplistic, and is useful even for professionals who want to learn about trigger points. This book is great for people who have chronic pain and are motivated to help themselves. Trigger point massage really does a lot more good than anything doctors have to offer -- most doctors are not trained to effectively help people with muscular pain. And it's cheaper and more effective to do it yourself than pay to see a massage therapist, because you'd need to go every day for most seriously chronic problems. I do have a few complaints: There are lots of illustrations, but they don't always show all the areas of referred pain. There are handy lists arranged by body part, but it would be even more helpful to have a more detailed reference guide where you could look up specific symptoms. I also think Davies is a little too enthusiastic, claiming trigger points are the cause of most pain. He is also unfairly disparaging of massage therapists. Any properly trained massage therapist knows it's not always the spot where it hurts that's causing the problem, and if you know how all the muscles work together to act on a joint, and a little about nerve pathways, you're going to address most of the areas that are likely to have trigger points. Still, he has a valid point in that consumers need to ask whether a massage therapist specializes in relaxation massage or knows how to treat specific pain and injuries. ... Read more


    13. Portraits of the Mind: Visualizing the Brain from Antiquity to the 21st Century
    by Carl Schoonover
    Hardcover
    list price: $35.00 -- our price: $23.10
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0810990334
    Publisher: Abrams
    Sales Rank: 2479
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    Portraits of the Mind follows the fascinating history of our exploration of the brain through images, from medieval sketches and 19th-century drawings by the founder of modern neuroscience to images produced using state-of-the-art techniques, allowing us to see the fantastic networks in the brain as never before. These black-and-white and vibrantly colored images, many resembling abstract art, are employed daily by scientists around the world, but most have never before been seen by the general public. Each chapter addresses a different set of techniques for studying the brain as revealed through the images, and each is introduced by a leading scientist in that field of study. Author Carl Schoonover’s captions provide detailed explanations of each image as well as the major insights gained by scientists over the course of the past 20 years. Accessible to a wide audience, this book reveals the elegant methods applied to study the mind, giving readers a peek at its innermost workings, helping us to understand them, and offering clues about what may lie ahead. 

    Praise for Portraits of the Mind: 

    "The collection of images in the new book Portraits of the Mind is truly impressive . . . The mix of history, science and art is terrific." 
    -Wired.com

    ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars A mind-blowing wish come true, October 28, 2010
    Through graduate school I encountered countless scientific images of the brain that were fascinating due to the creative techniques used to capture them as well as their power for unraveling sientific mysteries; but above all these images were simply beautiful in their own right and kept me wanting more.

    In Portraits of the Mind, Carl Shoonover goes far beyond presenting an extensive compilation of beautiful images of the brain's physiology. He uses them in conjunction with brilliant and down-to-earth essays from top neuroscienctist to tell the story of the brain and of the people who've studied it throughout the centuries.

    This book is a work of art to be treasured by anyone who shares appreciation for visual imaging, science and the brain.

    Thanks Carl!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Where's Waldo?, December 2, 2010
    "Science is beauty, beauty science. That is all we know or need to know." - attributed to John Keats, with bowdlerizations.

    I couldn't do better for this stunning book that quote the opening paragraphs of a New York Times story by Abigail Zuger announcing it. But I've been sternly warned that such a helpful quotation from Ms Zuger's article would violate copyright laws; therefore I'm deleting my original posting. You'll need to search the Times for yourself to learn more about the book.

    The most fascinating "portraits" of the title are primarily of cell networks in the brain, illuminated by various lazar and radiation technologies. The dramatic color coding of neurons in some photos results from genetic engineering that transfers 'luminescence' from the cells of squid and other sea creatures to mammalian cells. Don't ask me how any of it is done. One of the main research projects behind these pictures is called "brainbow" and you can learn about it by googling to your heart's content. I've seen a good deal of this work in the laboratory context, having had the privilege of being guided through the Harvard Institute for the Study of the Brain by its director, Dr. Joshua Sanes. I can hardly tell you how breathtaking it is, both visually and philosophically. But I'm ashamed to say that I haven't found Waldo in a single picture, or anything that would pass for a Soul, either.
    ... Read more


    14. The Sanford Guide to Antimicrobial Therapy, 2010 (Guide to Antimicrobial Therapy (Sanford))
    Paperback
    list price: $15.95 -- our price: $12.12
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1930808593
    Publisher: Antimicrobial Therapy
    Sales Rank: 904
    Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews

    4-0 out of 5 stars Getting expensive, May 30, 2010
    Sanford guides had been given out for free in the past. The charge for the "book" in 2000 was about half of the 2010 price. The Sanford website charges 36% of the book's purchase price for postage - outrageous! Amazon had free postage. The pamphlet book is slightly larger than previous editions. I would like the book to be slighly larger for better reading but still pocket size.

    The book's style has not really changed over the years and presents up to date info on the current antibiotics needed for infectious diseases.

    The abbreviations used for antibiotics to save space should be eliminated and should be spelled out. With a slighly larger book size and better type set this would be possible.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Must Have, June 22, 2010
    I'm a PA student in my clinical year. This book is a must-have for clinical year and when you begin to practice. It is absolutely necessary to be up to date on the latest antimicrobial treatment. I will buy the latest edition every year I practice in health care.

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best antibiotic guides available..., June 15, 2010
    Grab your reading glasses and try the best little antibiotic guide out there. Well cited and using EBM extensively, this little pocket antibiotic guide is a practicing physician's best friend. Allergic to Augmentin or Septra? This guide usually lists recommended alternative antibiotic regimens for a given condition. It also gives suggested starting HAART regimens for HIV. Admiral Sanford started a very good thing, and I use the guide extensively in daily practice (inpt/outpt and ER).

    5-0 out of 5 stars Sanford Guide, October 15, 2010
    As usual, an excellent reference for the practicing internist...comprehensive, to the point, reliable, easy to use. Can't live without it. ... Read more


    15. Cooking Light Cook's Essential Recipe Collection: Slow Cooker: 57 essential recipes to eat smart, be fit, live well (the Cooking Light.cook's ESSENTIAL RECIPE COLLECTION)
    by Editors of Cooking Light Magazine
    Hardcover
    list price: $17.95 -- our price: $12.21
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0848730682
    Publisher: Oxmoor House
    Sales Rank: 833
    Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    Beautiful to display and practical to use, Slow Cooker is truly a godsend for time-challenged cooks who want to prepare healthy, tasty, and satisfying meals but don’t have hours to spend hovering over their stoves. Replete with all the high standards that have made Cooking Light a trusted favorite, this new edition provides over 58 beautifully photographed recipes with useful, easy-to-follow instruction. ... Read more

    Reviews

    4-0 out of 5 stars Beyond Cream of Mushroom Soup, January 9, 2007
    I'm not much for creating my own recipes. I think I have the skill to do it, but I simply haven't the time, particularly not for a slow cooker (isn't the point of having one, after all, that you have so much to do, see, experience that you don't want to spend anymore time than necessary in the kitchen?). So-o-o it was with some trepidation that I ordered this book. Truth be told, it was to bump the order over $25, so S&H would be free. Imagine my delight and surprise when I found actual recipes inside, not meat-or-veg-with-canned-soup-poured-over. In particular I love the recipe for a tamale pie, with cornbread crust and cheese topping. As with any slow cooker, the special taste you get from high direct heat is missing, but most of these recipes are juicy, stewy things with delightful combinations of flavors. Best of all, each is accompanied by a nutritional analysis which allows me to cipher Weight Watchers points. I have found that one of the things I miss most about living alone is opening the apartment door after work and smelling -- what? -- furniture polish? something gone bad in the trash? This book and my slow cooker let me open the door to the delightful aroma of a supper I know I will enjoy. Buy it; you'll like it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Essential Slow Cooking Recipe Collection, July 20, 2007
    Here is the Cooking Light 57 essential recipes for slow cooking. As other slow cooking cookbooks, this covers the bases: appetizers, desserts, main dishes, etc.

    The layout is exceptional: clean with two pages per recipe, with one page full color photo. Other nice feature (especially for the cook not too familiar with certain ingredients or techniques) is a highlighted ingredient or technique, e.g. water bath, kitchen shears, rice wine vinegar, etc.

    So far tried the following and turned out remarkably nice, easy to prepare and equally nice to dine: Turkey Thights with Olives and Dried Cherries; Pesto Lasagna with Spinach and Mushrooms; Chicken with Figs and Lemons; Fudgy Caramel Pudding Cake; Thai-Style Pork Stew.

    This is not meant to be an exhaustive collection for slow cooker, but the pick of the crop, what the editors have determined to be 'essential' recipes for the slow cooker.

    Nice to have in collection.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Recipes have potential, January 7, 2007
    I have tried several recipes from this cookbook as I love to use slow cookers. I have yet to find that "perfect" recipe that can be duplicated exactly as written for fabulous results. As the magazine, many of the recipes need some tweaking so that it can fit your taste. For instance the potato soup recipe was easy and produced a creamy soup (not as good as the Baked Potato Soup from Cooking Light - but the vegetable broth that I used gave it a sharp aftertaste. Next time I will use chicken broth. What I have always enjoyed about the recipes from the magazine is that one can go to the website and check out other readers experience with the recipe and read what they changed and why. I couldn't find any of these on their webpage so these recipes are uncharted territory. I don't think that this will become my favorite slow cooker cookbook but I will use it - with adjustments as I go.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Yummy but Non-Complicated Recipes w. Ingredients in your Pantry, October 26, 2008
    I recently bought a new crockpot with the thought of fixing meals that would be ready when I returned home from work. I was delighted to find this cookbook, which I hoped would combine convenience with lighter, healthier meals than you typically find with traditional crock-pot recipes.

    So far, I've tried a few recipes which have been delicious. However, my hopes of stuffing the crockpot as I headed out the door were a bit na�ve, as the ones I've tried have all required at least 30-60 minutes of preparation time. As a result, I've adjusted my methods and have begun preparing the meals on the weekend for reheating and serving during the first part of the week. Another alternative might be to measure and chop everything the night before for assembling the next morning. It's not that these recipes are complicated or difficult - it's simply that when I last used the crock-pot, my repertoire of recipes was quite limited and confined to only those that featured few ingredients and were extremely simple. An example is the one with boneless pork chops that you toss in the crockpot and throw a can of cream of mushroom over. Not exactly gourmet fare, but it doesn't get much easier and was quite tasty, believe it or not.

    Most of the recipes are for 6 servings and since there is just the two of us, I freeze the rest in two serving containers to enjoy at another time. For the most part, the ingredients are those that are easily found in the grocery store or even in your pantry -nothing exotic or expensive. The crock-pot size indicated in all the recipes I've encountered so far is either a 3 or 4 quart. I recently replaced my crock-pot with a Hamilton Beach model that comes with 3 different quart size crocks - 2, 4 and 6 - which has proven to allow a lot of flexibility and perhaps even doubling the recipes.

    For those wishing to watch the bottom line, the book provides the per-serving count of calories, fat, protein, carbohydrate, cholesterol, fiber , iron, sodium and calcium for each recipe that includes the side dish - such as rice or noodles - that they suggest serving with the entree.

    We're fairly big eaters and the sad reality is that what some recipes consider a serving is about half of what we'd actually like to eat. So far, we've found the portion they've indicated to be a serving is adequate. Knowing how many servings each dish is supposed to provide helps us with portion control, which is our downfall.
    I've enjoyed the results of this cookbook and am having fun trying different recipes and having most of the work done up front with little clean-up afterward.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Long on looks, short on substance, September 1, 2007
    Each recipe takes up a full page and is accompanied by a full-page illustration, so the book is quite handsome, but has very few recipes compared to a standard cookbook. The recipes it does have rely too much on specialized, processed products that I, for one, do not keep on hand in my kitchen. Another drawback is that most of these supposedly healthy recipes are extremely high in sodium, which makes them unacceptable to me. I returned this book.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, May 25, 2007
    I expected better from Cooking Light. This book is very different from the creativity and general reliability of the magazine. Obviously not written by the editors. It uses too many commerical short cuts, processed products, and the recipes do not look "light" at all. Visually it is poorly styled and photographed and produced on cheap paper. There are much better slow cooker cookbooks, and anyone with a little cooking experience can adjust to lighten them up. I'll stick with the magazine - they have a section on slow cookers. This book is not worth the money.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great slow cooker cookbook!, March 15, 2007
    I received this as a gift and have already given it to others. I have several other slow cooker cookbooks and this one is my favorite. So far we've made the black bean with corn bread on top dish and the beef stroganoff which are both on the "top favorite recipe list". Looking forward to trying more recipes in the book!

    2-0 out of 5 stars Odd Recipes, February 8, 2008
    I got this cookbook because I was looking for healthy recipes for my slow cooker. While the recipes are no doubt healthy, few-to-none of them are for what I would consider "common" dishes. I ended up getting the Betty Crocker Slow Cooker cookbook (which gives you a nutritional breakdown for every recipe at the bottom of each page) and like that one a lot better.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Tasty meals, January 11, 2007
    This has been a wonderful cookbook. I'm a fan of Cooking Light and all the creative and healthy recipes it has to offer. This book is filled with tasty, lowfat meals and would be a book I would recommend to any busy mom!!

    3-0 out of 5 stars Just another pretty face, March 31, 2009
    Nicely written and photographed, but no outstandingly different recipes. Not Your Mother's Slow-Cooker Cookbook is more innovative and comprehensive. ... Read more


    16. Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN Examination (Saunders Comprehensive Review for Nclex-Rn)
    by Linda Anne Silvestri RNMSNPhD
    Paperback
    list price: $58.95 -- our price: $53.05
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1437708250
    Publisher: Saunders
    Sales Rank: 929
    Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    There is a reason Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN Examination has been called "the best NCLEX exam review book ever." You'll find everything you need to review for the NCLEX exam under one cover - complete content review and over 4,500 NCLEX examination-style questions in the book and on the free companion CD! Don't make the mistake of assuming the quality of the questions is the same in all NCLEX exam review books, because only Silvestri's Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN Examination includes the kind of questions that consistently test the critical thinking skills necessary to pass today's NCLEX exam. And, what's even better is that ALL answers include detailed rationales to help you learn from your answer choices, as well as test-taking strategies that provide tips for how to best approach each question. It's easy to see why Silvestri is THE book of choice for NCLEX examination review. But don't just take our word for it - read any customer review or ask your classmates to see why Silvestri users believe that there's nothing else like it!




    • Each question includes the correct answer, a complete rationale for all responses, and a test-taking strategy to help you develop techniques for locating the correct response.

    • Each question includes a page reference to an Elsevier textbook to allow for further research and study.

    • All alternate item-format questions are included, with multiple response, prioritizing, fill-in-the-blank, figure/illustration, chart/exhibit, and audio questions to prepare you for the wide variety of question types on the NCLEX-RN examination.

    • Organization by nursing content area provides a logical, effective review to use throughout your nursing program.

    • Pyramid Terms define key terms at the beginning of each major unit or chapter.

    • Pyramid Points within each chapter highlight content that is important in preparing for the NCLEX-RN examination.

    • Pyramid to Success sections provide an overview of major units or chapters and specific content related to the latest NCLEX-RN examination test plan.

    • Pharmacology is emphasized with 13 pharmacology chapters, a medication and intravenous calculation chapter, and a pediatric medication calculation chapter to reflect this priority content on the NCLEX exam.

    • Introductory chapters cover preparation for the NCLEX-RN exam, test-taking strategies, the NCLEX-RN exam from a student's perspective, and transitional issues for the foreign-educated nurse.

    • A comprehensive exam consists of 265 questions that cover all content areas in the book and mirror the percentages identified in the NCLEX-RN examination test plan.

    • A companion CD allows practice in quiz, study, or exam modes, with questions selected from content area, integrated process, category of client need, or alternate item-format type.



    • Completely updated content is based on the new NCLEX-RN examination test plan, effective April 2010.

    • A total of 4,500 questions ensure that you're thoroughly prepared for the content covered on the NCLEX-RN Exam.

    • New chapter on physical assessment highlights the key components of physical examination and health history often encountered on the NCLEX exam.

    • Audio and video questions on the companion CD provide experience with these new types of questions before the exam.

    • Unique! Audio review summaries included on the CD cover the three core areas of pharmacology, fluids and electrolytes, and acid-base balance.

    • Expanded coverage of prioritization, delegation, and nursing leadership and management provides critical information for these growing areas of nursing.

    • Unique! Priority Nursing Actions boxes outline and explain clinical emergent situations requiring immediate action, including detailed rationales and textbook references to help strengthen your prioritizing skills in clinical and testing situations.

    • Pyramid Alert boxes highlight important nursing concepts to help you focus on the content that is most frequently tested on the NCLEX examination.

    • Automatic software updates on CD make it easy to check for changes and updates throughout the life of the edition.
    ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Top notch!, January 29, 2005
    Without a doubt this book is a must for nursing students or those preparing to take the NCLEX. I have used it tirelessly to study for tests through nursing school and it has proven invaluable. I like that the book is split up into sections by topic. Not all NCLEX books are designed this way. I also like that at the beginning of each chapter there is an outline defining all the necessary information needed to critically think through questions. It's like having all your years of nursing school compiled into one book! Following each topic summary there are NCLEX type questions with answers that follow at the end of the chapter. Answers contain rationale as to why the given answer is the correct one. Probably most helpful are the test taking strategies. For anyone who has taken a standardized test such as the SAT or GRE you know it's all about knowing how to take the test...knowledge is secondary. FInally, the CD that comes with the book is great. In addition to the questions printed in the book, it gives you about 50 more questions per section to answer. Bottom line...get this book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A very helpful review tool, June 23, 2004
    Failing my first NCLEX attempt at 264 questions (one short of the max -I scored A and B averages in school), results said "near passing" on all categories. I was pretty upset. I had used books (including Kaplan passing strategies) that friends gave or lent to me, for my first attempt. For the second, I purchased this (Saunders) book, and immediately wished I'd had it when I was in classes. Unlike the other books -which tended to be concept reviews and suggestion-based strategies, this book is essentially an RN program review. The disk-based test and review program it comes with is similar to that of others, but allows you to pick up where you left off, if you don't finish your review when you shut down the computer -this was unique among my other programs.
    I've been recommending this book to other test candidates and students. After reading this book, I passed my NCLEX with the minimum questions required (75)-this was after the pass-level was raised in April 2004!
    I cannot say enough about this book. If you get no other, get this one.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best review book ever!, February 15, 2006
    This book is the best. I just got it last week and already it has helped me a lot. There are priority questions where you list things in numbered order ,which is new for the boards. There are also pictures with questions,which is also new. Studying for my first exam this level(3 out of 4) with this book was even more helpful than I anticipated. I got to the test and noticed many familiar questions being asked and I sat there thinking, thank god I studied that review book. Worth every penny!

    5-0 out of 5 stars This is the one to use, July 19, 2005
    I purchased Mosby's review and got about halfway through before I threw it in the trash. (The questions were written very poorly.) I got Saunders Review and the Q&A Review and found them to be much more consistent and resembled the NCLEX questions closely. Don't waste your money on any other review book; this will get you where you need to be. I passed my boards in 75 questions.

    J. Wiley, RN

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good Review Book but get another book for NCLEX questions, August 1, 2007
    I just passed the NCLEX!!!!! :-)
    Anyways, This book is a great review BUT the NCLEX questions in this book were much easier than the actual questions I saw on the test. Check out NCLEX 101: How to Pass! and Kaplan's NCLEX-RN Strategies for the RN licensing exam 2007 Edition for questions more like NCLEX.
    Good luck everyone!!!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Not just for state board preparation, May 24, 1999
    I purchased this review book midsemester. It has not only prepared me to take my state board examination but has been useful in studying for class as well. It has an easy outline form to follow. The review book has helped me remember key points and increased my critical thinking skills. I would recommend this review book to everyone. My whole class is using it!

    5-0 out of 5 stars PASS YOUR CLASSES AND THE NCLEX-RN, August 9, 2004
    I purchase this book my first semester of school and it did not disappoint me. I hardly open any of my textbooks and after two semesters didn't even buy the required textbooks. Everything that you need to know to get you through nursing school is in this complete comprehensive book. I LOVE this book. Passed my boards first try at 75 questions. Used it to review and will keep it as a reference. Get this book you will not be disappointed you will be thankful.*****

    5-0 out of 5 stars All that and more!, December 19, 1999
    I bought this book at the beginning of my last semester in nursing school---I wish I had purchased it in the first semester! It served as an invaluable resource when studying for unit exams. It increased my knowledge, provided useful tables and was organized in an easy-to-follow outline format. The questions posted at the end of each section allowed me to concentrate on specific topics. I would recommend this book to ALL nursing students!

    5-0 out of 5 stars BEST NCLEX REVIEW BOOK, August 16, 2005
    I would highly recommend this book if you want to pass the NCLEX-RN exam on your first try. Information learned all those years in nursing school is compacted into this book in such a way that won't make you feel overwhelmed. Diseases and treatments are simply put. The questions at the end of each review tests what you've just reviewed and the rationales provided at the end of each section are excellent. This book is the best I've looked at and I am happy to report that I passed on my first try using this book as my primary studying aid.

    4-0 out of 5 stars My Favorite NCLEX-RN Review Book, April 27, 2000
    My search for the best NCLEX-RN book has ended; my sixth NCLEX-RN purchase and my favorite. I also have 1)PreTest by Dahlhauser, 2) The Princeton Review by Pearson, 3) Nat'l Student Nursing Assoc., 4) A Good Thinking Approach by Poorman, and 5) American Nursing Review for NCLEX by Bininger. I love the organization of the outline. It is very thorough yet concise. Each category includes a Pre-test and Post-test. The print and the paper are very comfortable to my eyes, too. Good Luck on the NCLEX! ... Read more


    17. Eat Right 4 Your Type: The Individualized Diet Solution to Staying Healthy, Living Longer & Achieving Your Ideal Weight
    by Peter J. D'Adamo
    Hardcover
    list price: $24.95 -- our price: $16.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 039914255X
    Publisher: Putnam Adult
    Sales Rank: 836
    Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Proposes that a person's blood type can both influence health and explain individuals' reactions to foods, and presents four different plans, based on blood type, for diet, exercise, and good health. ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Try it yourself, January 20, 2001
    Two of us have been following this plan for over 1.5 years. My partner lost about 20 pounds in the first few months, without counting portions or calories, and has maintained his ideal weight without effort. His energy returned to a level not experienced for several years - one of the keys was putting MODERATE amounts of organic beef back into his diet. Eliminating wheat, dairy products and foods with problematic lectins, while emphasizing beneficial foods such as leafy dark-green vegetables also helped. Since he's Type O and I'm Type A, the protein part of our diets differs somewhat, but we've quite easily found ways to cook together. We both noticed much clearer sinuses after just a week. He eliminated asthma symptoms and my allergies improved. I no longer suffer from PMS. I lived with knee problems since childhood, but these have now disappeared, as did the stiffness in my fingers and back in the morning. Digestive problems and stomach aches, a major problem for me since childhood, eased greatly in the first couple of months and are still improving. My complexion cleared and my heart stopped "skipping beats" - I could go on and on.

    I have been interested in nutrition and have kept abreast of various schools of thought for the last 25 years. When I first heard of Eat Right I dismissed it as a fad diet that was not based on scientific evidence. Before reading Eat Right I consumed what I believed were "healthy" foods for many years: whole grains, little or no meat, lots of fresh vegetables, fruit, legumes, "good" fats, spring water. Very few additives, prepared or fast foods or medications. However, some foods that were healthy according to the literature and research were healthy for other blood types but not for Type A. When I eliminated these foods and ate more of the beneficial foods I immediately saw results.

    I just read most of Live Right 4 Your Type and highly recommend it. Eat Right 4 Your Type was a great introduction, but it's several years old and much research has taken place since then. For someone new to the eating plan, reading both books would be helpful. The information in Live Right is more current, more specific for individuals and a little more technical. Beyond food recommendations, Live Right's information about cortisol and stress was very useful for me.

    Read the reviews of people who have actually tried the eating plan, then try it for a month and decide yourself!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Receipt for better living : "Eat Right for Your Blood Type", October 21, 1999
    While working in a health food store in Wichita, Kansas about a year and a half ago, I was exposed to Dr.D'Adamo's book. It took me a while to decide to take small bited of his recommended diet for my blood type. Quit frankly it seemed to me that I would have to give up every food I liked, and that staying on this program was a jail sentence which I was most likely to abort in a few short days. The theory made a lot of sense, but after many years of "yo-yo" dieting, I must admit I thought this was just the latest diet fad. I felt that I needed to do something about the way I was feeling both physically, and emotionally. I decided to make some suggested changes a bit at a time, finding at one point that I was ready to make a full commitment to the doctors advice, as I had started to feel better, and wanted to see if what I was experiencing could possibly get even better. I went to my family doctor who agreed to support me in my efforts, after she agreed to read the book! She took base line blood work,checked my vital signs, including a physical. She found that my blood pressure was too high, my triglyceride level was unacceptable, cholesterol was elevated, and my energy level was extremely low. I had complaints of leg cramps, fatigue,irritable bowel syndrome,depression,and carbohydrate cravings. I had also put on over 50 pounds in the past 3 years. Being 50 years old I was also struggling with postmenopausal symptoms. After 20 weeks of following Dr. D'Adamo's suggestions many of my symptoms subsided, and much to my delight I have dropped 27 pounds. I am even more motivated to continue my eating life style changes due to the drastic changes I have obtained. I highly recommend for anyone to explore this wonderful perscription for staying healthy, and see what taking control of your life feels like. The rewards are well worth the personal commitment toward living longer and, having the quality of life that makes you want to face every new day.

    5-0 out of 5 stars It's not just another nutrition book., July 4, 2000
    I have to disagree with the customer review that stated that this book was just another way of saying, "Eat better and exercise, and you'll lose weight." I have type O blood, and one of the many helpful recommendations Dr. D'Adamo gives is for type O's to avoid wheat, which is quite contrary to most health recommendations. I've tried all my life to eat whole wheat products because health experts recommend it. Little did I know how hindering it was to my body and my weight loss efforts to eat wheat. I also found that not all people benefit from strenuous exercise. For some blood types, yoga and tai chi can be more beneficial than strenuous aerobics. The whole point of this book is that people cannot follow the same diets and exercise programs to get the same results, and I completely agree. If this wasn't true, people who are trying to follow traditional health recommendations for exercise and eating wouldn't be finding themselves overweight and unhealthy, despite their efforts. I strongly recommend this book to anyone who is trying to lose weight, reduce stress, and increase their overall health. I have lost weight, but more than that, I am more healthy than I've ever been in my life. I don't believe Dr. D'Adamo would have done such strenuous research, nor would people be doing so well on the diet, if it was just another way of telling people to eat right and exercise.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Too much arm-waving, February 22, 2000
    I bought this book from Amazon after a referral from a friend who lives by it. The biggest problem I have with it is that the author presents virtually no scientific justification or research results behind any of the claims he makes. He freely dispenses all sorts of advice (e.g. type As shouldn't eat oranges because they interfere with digestion) and then expects readers to just take his word for it. As the world's biggest skeptic, I would normally advise people to stay well clear of this one, except for one little problem: the diet does in fact appear to be working, at least in my case. I didn't modify my lifestyle, and I haven't followed the diet to the extent that the author would have liked me to. I have, however, made a concerted effort to cut down on many of the foods he warns against for people of my type (A). In the 2 months since buying the book I've dropped an astonishing 20 pounds, down from 190. I don't know how well it works for other people, and I really don't like the unscientific manner in which the information is presented, but my own results force me to begrudgingly give it 4 stars.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Blood Type Diet Works--It's Real--It Changed My Life, July 30, 2000
    Eat Right 4 Your Type is great. It works. I'm a Blood Type A and it worked great. Believe me, I was skeptical when I read about it, but after getting the book and reading it, I decided to give it a try. It helps to read all of the book. Don't just go to the part about your own blood type and skip over the rest. After just a few days avoiding the foods the diet says aren't good for my blood type, I noticed a change. I started feeling better. I had more energy. I had trouble with my stomach for years, digestive problems. And I was overweight. The diet has helped to change that. I didn't feel sick to my stomach so much. The more I kept to the diet, the less my stomach hurt. Then it stopped hurting at all. And I started losing some weight. It wasn't any miracle weight loss, but after almost 6 weeks following the book, I lost about 12 pounds. Weight is still coming off. I feel better than I have for years, and I'm in my fifties. My wife bought Cook Right 4 Your Type also, for ideas about meals for people with different blood types. That's the hardest part, giving up almost all of the fast, easy stuff. I still want to eat Italian bread. I try not to watch the food commercials on TV. I miss fast food junk like that. But I love Eat Right and Cook Right. They helped me so much, and my wife. I'm still surprised. Dr. D'Adamo and Catherine Whitney make it all so easy to understand. Read this book from cover to cover. There's really good information here for everybody. My wife is Type O, and she feels great right now from following the blood type diet. There's also a blood type web site to get any questions answered. There's a message board in there that's a real help. Buy the book, read it, and then use it in good health. You're going to be surprised. The blood type diet works. It's great. I give it a Five stars rating, plus. I hope this helps you.

    5-0 out of 5 stars It Seems To Be Working For Me, August 26, 2000
    I purchased this book because I had been having a lot of digestive problems, like embarrassing gas everyday, and heartburn that was becoming more frequent. Also, during the past few years, I had gained 10 pounds and nothing I did seemed to make a difference. I attributed it to the fact that I was "middle-aged" and began to dread getting "old". I found the book to be very interesting, but wondered about the scientific aspect. Was he making this up, or could it be true? I decided to give the diet a try, just to see what would happen. As a "B" blood type, the information in the book revealed to me that the almost total vegetarian diet I had adopted in the past five years was incorrect for my blood type. I read the food lists, and discovered that many of my favorite foods were on the "avoid" list. I made some simple substitutions, giving up "avoid" foods, and replaced them with foods from the "highly beneficial" and "neutral" lists. I added meat and fish back to my diet a few times a week. To my great surprise, within three days, all of my digestion problems cleared up. The gas and heartburn disappeared, and have not returned for four months. An added benefit has been that I have lost nine pounds. This happened within the first two months. My energy has increased, and I feel pretty good! A few times when I have splurged and eaten foods from the "avoid" list, I have developed temporary digestive problems, but they immediately go away when I return to the Blood Type Diet. I asked a physician friend to read the book, and he refused to do so, because it had not been "peer-reviewed" in the medical journals he reads. He expressed concern about the unqualified people writing books and taking advantage of the simple people, like me. Well, all I can say in answer to him is that it simply seems to be working for me, and I cannot argue with the positive results I have seen. I am back to my high school weight and feel good.

    5-0 out of 5 stars IT CHANGED MY LIFE, August 16, 2001
    The blood type diet has changed my life for the better and I challenge all the scientist rubbishing it to try it themselves! From the age of 27 I started to suffer from acne and increasing weight gain. My Doctor prescribed anti-biotics for the acne and I ate less and less to loose weight; nothing worked. The weight gain although upsetting did not effect me like the acne as it completely took over my face and back and destroyed my self confidence. I suffered like this for six years until last year when I met my Nutritionist who I can only described as an 'Angel' at a business meeting. She, just by looking at my eyes told me I had serious digestive problems and to go and visit her. That day was the turning point in my life. I underwent a food tolerance test and the results were amazing. Every food that I had been eating, which I thought were healthy, my body could not tolerate. The list was endless of foods which I should not eat. The subject then came up about blood type and I was given a copy of ER4YT. When we compared my test results to the book I was amazed to see that every food I had shown an intolerance to was listed in the bad foods; from that point on I was converted.I am a B type and ate huge amounts of chicken, wheat, pasta and tomatoes, thinking they were healthy but they were the worst things I could have eaten. I left her office in shock but convinced this was the answer, it made sense! I changed my diet from that moment on and have never looked back. My skin cleared up almost immediately and I have lost the weight I wanted to.My energy levels have increased ten fold and I am a much happier. The most fantastic thing was it was so easy. OK cutting out bread was a bit of a problem at first but I now eat rice bread and rice pasta. The scientific evidence may not be there but what other evidence do I need? I have a clear skin, I have lost weight and I have my confidence back. STUFF the science, it works!

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Promising Hypothesis, September 24, 1999
    I had heard about the ER4YT book about two years ago and considered it to be a bunch of bunk at the time. Friends told me about it and I didn't even bother to read it before I condemned it. How could I, a Type A, who eats healthily, be told to avoid such delicious foods as whole wheat, tomatoes, mushrooms, potatoes, etc.! The corrleation between food selection, health, and blood type seemed to be complete fiction, especially since I had no health complaints with my current eating patterns.

    Well, curiosity got the best of me and a month ago I bought the book version of ER4YT. I was intrigued when two acquaintances related their almost miraculous improvements in their well-being by following Dr. D'Adamo's advice.

    My wife insisted I check out the book with our family doctor before I became a fanatic of ER4YT. My doctor was quite dismissive of the whole idea and said that as far as she was concerned there wasn't any research to unequivocally back up D'Adamo's hypothesis. I left her office feeling like I'd just been hoodwinked by another book-fad. For another perspective I called my brother-in-law who has a doctorate in biochemistry and is currently doing research in San Diego in immunology. He said that various lectins are regularly used in his lab to induce tumours in lab animals and that the link between health, cancer, lectins, and blood type is only beginning to be understood. Ah ha!

    Anyways, I have read the book and have been on the Type A diet for 2 weeks and these are my impressions:

    o the anthropological info is amusing reading but it seems extraneous to the rest of the book

    o the chapters on blood type, lectins & diet, cancer, etc. are well-written and convincing

    o the diet is cumbersome to get used to -- some of the ingredients are hard to find or just strange to incorporate into daily life (would you like another scoop of steaming kasha?)

    o I have been on it for 2 weeks and have noticed no health benefits excepts a great reduction in gas, which is nice. I also have noticed that when I stray from the diet my digestion feels very unhappy. I will give it more time and hopefully I will become a full convert to the ER4YT gospel!

    o the most important thing to me is that my doctor said that the diets Dr. D'Adamo prescribes are NOT harmful, and in her opinion, the reason why most people notice improvements in their well-being is because they are finally incorporating fresh whole foods in their diet instead of fast-or-packaged foods. She's probably right, but I'm also banking on D'Adamo's hypothesis.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Does it work?, January 24, 2004
    Let me get a few things out of the way before reviewing the book itself. I've been on the Blood Type O diet for 9 months now and have lost 30 lbs. To give you some background I started a new job in a new industry about 3 years ago and had gained nearly 25 lbs due to the long hours and free snacks and dinners (which I ate because I was working 60-90 hours a week) - in addition to the 20 lbs I had gained since getting married almost 7 years ago. Both my wife and I searched for a diet that would work for the both of us. My sister and her husband had some success with the Atkins diet, but it seemed too stringent for us. It was my wife who suggested this diet and I admit to being sceptical.

    After reading the book I searched the internet for further information about Dr. D'Adamo's research. Not much came up other than the "official" website. Does this mean that Dr. D'Adamo is wrong or that his book is just another diet clothed in new language? Perhaps, perhaps not. And therein lies a caution I would give you: be careful not to glorify this diet or Dr. D'Adamo beyond it, or his, relative worth. I've met many people over the years who have tried a variety of diets with varying degrees of success. Many tend to dismiss the diet if it doesn't work for them and, on the other hand, present it as the one-and-only true diet if it does work.

    My criteria for deciding whether or not to try the Blood Type diet was twofold: 1) is it a radical diet that emphasizes one or two types of food to the exclusion of all else or does it recommend a balanced intake of a variety of foods, which in my opinion is the right way to go and 2) is it something that I can incorporate as a lifetstyle change rather than being a fad. In my opinion, and my experience, the answer is yes to both. However, I would also say that your success with this diet may be different as I believe a number of psychological factors are also applicable, to any diet e.g. willingness to follow a regime and a recognition of when it is ok for them personally to "cheat".

    The book itself provides information about the different diets and, in general terms, why they work. Dr. D'Adamo doesn't provide details of his research - though he does describe some case studies, again in general terms. While that isn't the purpose of the book the fact that you virtually can't find the information if you wanted it is a little disconcerting. It provides a few recipes, but you should buy the supplemental recipe books if you have trouble creating them on your own. The first three chapters cover general information about Dr. D'Adamo's approach and the next four cover diets for each blood type. Chapters on the individual diets give some background information and then a list of foods categorized as Highly Beneficial, Neutral, and Avoid. At least for the Blood Type O diet a list of the foods that encourage weight loss and a list of foods the contribute to weight gain are also given.

    I gave this book 3 stars for a couple of reasons. The lack of further detailed information about the research leading to his conclusions and the contradictory categorization of foods that are beneficial, neutral, and to be avoided throughout the "series" of Blood Type books. The end results is that I have lost 30 lbs and have been able to keep it off. But I must also give myself some of the credit for being able to make the lifestyle change necessary to make it happen.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Magic, November 10, 2001
    Hello. This book gives me the type of feeling I get when I watch "Street Magic" on TLC. I'm Awed. Incidentally, I am a BRUTAL reviewer. If I smell a quack or a fraud, I go for the jugular, (to save someone time and money). D'Adamo knows his stuff. Here's the lowdown: I am an O+ blood type. Recently I had serious health problems. I saw a lot of doctors and did a lot of research, and it turned out to be Candidiasis and serious food allergies. I took a test called ELISA/ACT to find out what stuff I'm allergic to. Now, when you develop food allergies and intollerances, the first things your body starts rejecting are: 1. The stuff you never should have eaten, that your body could somewhat put-up with before, when you were younger and stronger. and 2. The stuff you ate on a very regular basis during the period of increased immune response (brought on by Candida). You want to know something? About 90% of the stuff I can't tolerate is on D'Adamo's Avoid List. DAMN IT! Magic. (The other allergies are to some stuff I ate EVERY DAY, which is normal). So my particular case helps prove him right. You want to know what else? As a child I was a very finicky eater. I loved certain foods, and I hated others. Most of the ones I hated as a kid are on his Avoid List. DAMN IT! Magic again. How does he do that? Do yourself a favor and A) Get this book. B) Get a gluten intollerance test if you are an O+ (gluten is in wheat, oats, etc...). C) Get the ELISA/ACT test (very expensive, but your health is worth more than that patio furniture you want). Here's food for thought: Most Americans are O+. Wheat is a HUGE staple here. Most O+ people are intollerant to wheat to some extent (which increases as you grow older). Some people are FLAT OUT allergic to it. Some people get different levels of A.D.D. from it. Some people are AUTISTIC because of it. Get that GLUTEN intollerance test PRONTO (and you might say good-bye to the inexplicable moodyness and lethargy you get after eating).
    Good luck in your search for better health! ... Read more


    18. Tarascon Pocket Pharmacopoeia 2011 Classic Shirt-Pocket Edition
    by Richard J Hamilton
    Paperback
    list price: $15.95 -- our price: $10.85
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0763793051
    Publisher: Jones & Bartlett Learning
    Sales Rank: 956
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    Tarascon Pocket Pharmacopoeia,® 2011 Classic Shirt-Pocket Edition continues its tradition as the leading portable drug reference packed with vital drug information to help clinicians make better decisions at the point-of-care. Each edition is meticulously peer-reviewed by experts and is now available in multiple formats. It details typical drug dosing (both FDA approved and off-label uses), available trade and generic formulations, metabolism, safety in pregnancy and lactation, relative drug pricing information, Canadian trade names, and an herbal & alternative therapies section. Multiple tables supplement the drug content, including opioid equivalency, emergency drug infusions, cardiac dysrhythmia protocols, pediatric drug dosing, and much more! Save time and improve patient care with the 2011 Tarascon Pocket Pharmacopoeia®.New for the 2011 Edition: Black Box Warning Indications; Updated Drug Content; New Figures & Tables ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Drug Reference Book, December 14, 2010
    I recommend the Tarascon Pocket Pharmacopoeia to anyone who works in the medical transcription field. Medical transcription requires one to have up-to-date drug references at hand, and it's important to be able to find needed information quickly. This is my favorite resource for this.

    Many times, the one piece of information a medical transcriptionist needs is whether a medication name is a brand or generic, in order to format it correctly. The Pocket Pharmacopoeia's index makes it super-fast and easy to confirm this and to double check spelling. Beyond that, it's a cinch to find information on available formulations, strengths, and common dosages.

    A unique strong point of this publication is that the medications are arranged by diagnostic area, which can be very helpful. If one knows that, say, the mystery drug is a blood pressure medication, it's easy to skim that section to find the right name.

    Finally, this book is very reasonably priced for a reference of this type, and I LOVE its "pocket footprint." It takes up very little desktop real estate to keep it right at hand for quick reference.

    I recommend the Tarascon Pocket Pharmacopoeia to all of my medical transcription staff and students. Try it once, and I predict it will be an annual purchase for you thereafter. To borrow a quotation from an old copy of the book: "It's not what you know, it's how fast you can find the information." ... Read more


    19. Tao II: The Way of Healing, Rejuvenation, Longevity, and Immortality
    by Zhi Gang Sha
    Hardcover
    list price: $27.95 -- our price: $17.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1439198659
    Publisher: Atria
    Sales Rank: 2045
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    Millions of people are searching for secrets,wisdom, knowledge, and practical techniques to heal, rejuvenate, prolong life, and move toward immortality. The way to accomplish all of these is to reach and meld with Tao.

    This book, the successor to Tao I: The Way of All Life, reveals the highest secrets and most powerful practical techniques for the Tao journey, which includes one’s physical healing and rejuvenation journey and one’s entire spiritual journey. Its essence can be summarized in one sentence:

    Jin Dan Da Tao Xiu Lian is the way to heal, rejuvenate, prolong life, and move in the direction of immortality.

    Shou Yi Yan Jin Ye is the most important daily practice for reaching Tao. “Shou yi” means focus on the Jin Dan area below the navel. “Yan jin ye” means swallow Heaven’s sacred liquid and Mother Earth’s sacred liquid.

    Tao II: The Way of Healing, Rejuvenation, Longevity, and Immortality explains the significance of this highest secret and exactly how to do it. It gives you the sacred key for your whole life’s practice and shares two hundred and twenty sacred phrases that include not only profound sacred wisdom but also additional simple and practical techniques.

    Practice. Practice. Practice.

    Reach fan lao huan tong, which is to transform old age to the health and purity of the baby state.

    Prolong life.

    The final goal is to reach immortality to be a better servant for humanity, Mother Earth, and all universes. ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Simply amazing!, November 3, 2010
    Reading Tao 2 was a big surprise. After reading Tao 1 I was a bit unsure if I would be able to follow the deep wisdom provided in Tao 2. But I am in awe, the wisdom is even easier to understand but still on a deeper level! Every sentence brings you deeper wisdom from the Divine, from the Tao. And I simply love the new Tao song! Words simply are not enough to share my experience. Try it for yourself! It is such a small price and the book with the free CD brings to you sooo much for it! I cannot thank Master Sha and the Divine enough!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Tao II: Another Instant Classic, November 28, 2010
    The "Tao II" book is another instant classic by Dr. and Master Zhi Gang Sha. In this book, Master Sha reveals "Jin Dan Da Tao Xiu Lian" (The Big Tao Golden Light Ball Purification Practice) as the way to heal, rejuvenate, prolong life, and move in the direction of immortality.

    Jin Dan Da Tao is the simplest, most powerful, and direct way to reach Tao. This practice gathers the jing (matter), qi (energy), shen (soul), xu (emptiness), Dao (complete emptiness) of everyone and everything to form and build the Jin Dan to heal, rejuvenate, prolong life, and move towards immortality. The Jin Dan is the greatest treasure of all life.

    The serious practitioner will love this book. A new practitioner will love this book too. I know that what was written in this review might not make a lot of sense for people new to these teachings. That is okay. You just need to read this book. The wisdom is explained in a way that you can understand and learn easily. Then, practice by applying the techniques. You will believe more and more as you progress and experience the results on your healing and soul journey.

    (Note: I also recommend "Tao I: The Way of All Life" by Master Sha to be read and practiced too.)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Impossible Is Possible, The Unimaginable Is Real, November 8, 2010
    I really cannot say more than the title of my review. Do you want to heal completely, and heal not only your physical body, but also your emotional, mental and spiritual bodies? Do you want to rejuvenate and have a long, long healthy and vibrant life? Do you want to be a better servant for humanity, Mother Earth and beyond? You can, you can and you can! Read this book to learn the simplest and best way how - and for much, much more. The ancient Taoist masters all wish they had the simplest teachings and practices revealed and freely shared by Dr. and Master Zhi Gang Sha, the purest of divine channels, vehicles and servants. Taste the pear: read the book, do the practices. You will know how sweet it is!

    5-0 out of 5 stars The way of life is given here for everyone, November 28, 2010
    Dear everyone i have waited for all lifetimes to reach a level of peace, stillness and love that separates any of my concerns about the life on Mother Earth. Life on Mother Earth is getting difficult. This book carries the essence of all life including health, energy, life transformation including finances and relationships. The truth is here in this book which will serve every aspect of your life. The way of all life presented in this book has been shared from the Divine to clarify the secrets from china, to add the wisdom of over 5000yrs of study & spiritual practises that has served millions of people in Asia. If you have tried any of the asian martial arts or chanting/meditations you will experience another level of energy vibration and frequency that will blow you away. Its heart touching for your soul. Its heart touching to the generosity of this Master & Dr Zhi Gang Sha. We are blessed that his heart is so open to share these secrets and practises to all humanity. We are blessed

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Title Says It All, November 28, 2010
    Yes, you can definitely judge this book by its cover. The title says it all: Tao II: The Way of Healing, Rejuvenation, Longevity, and Immortality. This book delivers what the cover promises. If you have read spiritual classics like Paramahansa Yogananda's Autobiography of a Yogi and Spaulding's The Teachings of the Masters of the Far East, and Eva Wong's Tales of the Taoist Immortals, then you are familiar with the possibility of immortality. What this book presents is the Way of immortality for folks like you and me. Incredible! Incredible becomes credible when you do the practices and meditations in this book. This is a treasure for humanity. This book opens a way of being on planet earth that blesses all souls. This books prepares one to be a better servant of all. Get this book. Use this book for healing...! Use this book for rejuvenation...! Use this book for longevity...! Use this book for immortality !...!...!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wisdom of the Ages, November 25, 2010
    It may 100 years before humanity realizes the depth and power of the wisdom revealed in the book TAO II. The teachings of this book are the equivelant of that of the I ching or the Tao de Ching when they where revealed to humanity centuries ago. Master Sha is a blessing to humanity and generations to come. Know that these words and all of his books are divnely guided wisdom. These wisdoms are experienced not understood. This is what seperates true wisdom from fake teachings. Experience the wisdoms for yourself and wrap your soul in the nectar of these soul empowering teachings. Hao

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wow! This is not only a book, this is so much more..., November 28, 2010
    There is no other book on mother earth I know, which speaks from Longevity and Immortality much less describing in detail the way to come there. And there is no other book on mother earth I know containing not only sacred wisdom and knowledge for healing and rejuvenation but also Divine download treasures. I am very confident that everybody who is reading the book and doing the practices as recommended can also experience the power of this book like I did and still do. Therefore I can recommend this book from my heart to everybody who is interested on the highest levels of spiritual healing or is looking for rejuvenation, longevity or even immortality.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Simple but Profound, November 28, 2010
    In Tao II, Dr. and Master Zhi Gang Sha has taken ancient esoteric teachings and made them accessible and understandable to everyone.Readers are guided step by step along the path to longevity and,if they are diligent and committed to the practices taught within the book,even immortality!

    This seemingly simple book, is in fact very profound, in both its content and it's potential results. It's a treasure to humanity offering hope, healing and blessings to all who are called to read it and wise enough to heed it. I am very grateful to Master Sha for sharing these ancient sacred secrets with humanity at a time that it is most needed. I will read Tao II many times, to glean deeper levels of its wisdom.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Grateful for this Jewel, November 28, 2010
    I am loving this book and will probably read it 40 more times before I feel I have truly fully absorbed the teachings. Simply because it is profound on so many levels. I love Jin Dan Da Tao Xiu Lian, the complete explanation written in English & Chinese & that there is a CD provided to teach pronunciation. Thank You Dr Sha for sharing this treasure with us.

    5-0 out of 5 stars When the Teacher Appears, Grab the Teacher!, December 5, 2010
    When I chant the Sacred Text of the Tao of Healing, Rejuvenation, Longevity, and Immortality, I can feel changes taking place in my body on the spiritual, mental, emotional and physical levels. It's difficult to explain, but it's almost like a powerful force enters my body and begins to heal and change the vibrational frequency of my being. There is a feeling of being re-created. I have similar experiences as well with doing the other practices in the book.

    Based on these experiences, I would have to conclude that the wisdom and power here are truly authentic. These are very exciting times, to be able to have access to wisdom, knowledge and practices that can bring about the kind of life-transformation that so many rarely even dream of. I feel in my heart I have found the right teacher and the right book. Thank you, Master Sha. ... Read more


    20. Deadly Spin: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR Is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans
    by Wendell Potter
    Hardcover (2010-11-09)
    list price: $26.00 -- our price: $17.16
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1608192814
    Publisher: Bloomsbury Press
    Sales Rank: 1429
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    Wendell Potter is the insurance industry's worst nightmare.

    In June 2009, Wendell Potter made national headlines with his scorching testimony before the Senate panel on health care reform. This former senior VP of CIGNA explained how health insurers make promises they have no intention of keeping, how they flout regulations designed to protect consumers, and how they skew political debate with multibillion-dollar PR campaigns designed to spread disinformation.

    Potter had walked away from a six-figure salary and two decades as an insurance executive because he could no longer abide the routine practices of an industry where the needs of sick and suffering Americans take a backseat to the bottom line. The last straw: when he visited a rural health clinic and saw hundreds of people standing in line in the rain to receive treatment in stalls built for livestock.

    In Deadly Spin, Potter takes readers behind the scenes to show how a huge chunk of our absurd healthcare spending actually bankrolls a propaganda campaign and lobbying effort focused on protecting one thing: profits. Whatever the fate of the current health care legislation, it makes no attempt to change that fundamental problem.

    Potter shows how relentless PR assaults play an insidious role in our political process anywhere that corporate profits are at stake—from climate change to defense policy. Deadly Spin tells us why—and how—we must fight back.

    ... Read more

    Reviews

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good Summary of Health Care Insurance Issues, November 16, 2010
    Wendell Potter was formerly in charge of public relations for Humana and then Cigna. Potter's intent in "Deadly Spin" is to expose the deceptive techniques of public relations in the insurance segment of health care. He does this quite well, and also provides readers with insight into the two events (the large turnout, including many with illusionary health insurance, for a free Pennsylvania dental and medical clinic; the death of a young girl after his employer dithered and delayed approving a necessary transplant) that turned him against continuing to defend the industry he had been part of for some 25 years. Potter begins by introducing readers to a sampling of tested phrases that have served the industry quite well, such as 'socialized medicine,' 'government-run' medicine, and 'government takeover' of medicine. Readers also gain exposure to other P.R. favorites, such as identifying with patriotism and the American way of life, testimonials, name-calling, smearing opponents (eg. Michael Moore and his "Sicko"), identification with plain folks, fake grassroot campaigns, junk science and statistical analyses, and euphemisms. A brief tour of the darker side of health insurance practice likewise is given - rescissions (retroactively canceling policies of those with large medical bills, using whatever pretext possible), and purging less than profitable accounts via large rate increases. Missing, however, is any comment on the fact that if the uninsured paid the same rates as insurance companies, much of the need for health insurance would go away, and a large proportion of medical bankruptcies avoided.

    Universal health coverage began under Germany's Otto Von Bismarck in 1883, with Social Security following in 1889. The motivation was neither altruism or socialism, but to provide leverage against the labor and socialist movements of the day. Health insurance quickly spread - Austria (1888), Hungary (1891), Norway (1909), England (1911), Russia (1912), and the Netherlands (1913). Unfortunately, the momentum took almost 100 years to get to the U.S.

    Some of the most disturbing revelations in "Deadly Spin" are that 'ObamaCare' is not a 'cure-all.' For example, it will not stop employers from only offering high-deductible plans such as the $30,000 for some families in Maine. Nor does it remove the ERISA liability protection for employer-sponsored plans. However, it will sharply reduce medical bankruptcies, the key reason for 62% of personal bankruptcies in 2007. Hopefully, it will also reduce the amounts paid for executive salaries and retreats - WellPoint spent over $27 million on staff retreats in 2007-08, while William McGuire, United Health CEO for 12 years, was paid almost $2 billion for his leadership ($620 million was 'clawed-back' because of fraudulent option back-dating). (Comparison: Dr. Donald Berwick, an extremely well-regarded expert in charge of care for the 103 million receiving Medicare or Medicaid, receives only $176,000/year.) Hopefully, the $52.4 billion spent on stock buybacks instead of medical care by the 7 largest insurers from 2003-08 will also either cease or be drastically diminished.

    An important side effect of our market-based health-care system is the very high administrative overhead - about 31%, per some estimates, compared to 3% for Medicare. Duplicity and high lobbying costs are two more - America's health insurance plans donated $86.2 million to the U.S. Chamber's lobbying against 'ObamaCare' in 2009, while promising President Obama on tape that they were in support.

    Mr. Potter is unquestionably qualified and sincere in his effort. Unfortunately, limiting the scope to his personal expertise both enormously understates the size of America's health care problem, and unfairly skews the focus towards insurance firms. The U.S. spends 17.3%+ of GDP on health care, despite not covering some 40-50 million. Compare that to competitors Japan (about 7.2%), Taiwan (about 6%), and China (4%). Reducing our expenditures to Taiwan's level would save about $1.7 trillion/year, and also reduce unfunded Medicare and other health care liabilities for retirees by close to $30 trillion. Most of the problem is due to excessive service charges (about 2X those of other nations), and excessive utilization by profit-maximizing physicians. Solutions require not just Potter's recommendations for limiting monopolistic practices by health care insurers (providers are also guilty) and mandating higher MLRs, but also restructuring health care to combine insurance and care provision in the manner of Kaiser Permanente (California), the V.A., the Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic, Bassett Health Care, and Geisinger Health System. Physicians must be predominantly paid by salary, to discourage excess care. It will also require that the U.S. emulate every other developed nation that I'm aware of by mandating strict price-controls for medical services, and limiting the ability of drug makers to mislead patients and providers with overly expensive 'new' products that are no better than existing ones.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating glimpse at the "men" behind the curtain, November 19, 2010
    Health care continues to limp on in the United States. We are ranked 46th out of all the Top 50 nations for health care in the world. Part of the issue is that health care is run like any other business and yet it isn't truly a business--profiting on someone's else's health or denying coverage for a pre-existing condition (or stating that a technique is experimental when, in fact, it isn't so as to deny coverage and keep the patient alive)is a form of gambling but it gambles with people's lives which makes it Wendell Potter worked for what he would probably characterize as the "enemy" now for over twenty years. As a PR executive he would weave lies into a positive "truth" for the company he worked for (Cigna) making it appear that they were always doing the right thing for their patients. Using statistics to lie is one thing (for example dropping people off the unemployment rolls that are reported to make it appear that the nation is covering when it isn't)but Potter would often twist the truth or help craft messages to appeal to middle America to scare the public from reform in health care.

    One day Potter had an awakening and realized what he was doing was wrong leaving the industry that had nurtured him and becoming an advocate for proper health care and a government based system to force corporations to play fair. He just couldn't stomach hiding greed behind the veneer of double speak falling into a rabbit hole with language that only George Orwell would recognize. He chronicles his rise in the industry and his disillusionment and how the media is manipulated, patients, government to make decisions that are profiting major corporations at the cost of our health and lives. This is as much the story of his awakening as it is about the PR manipulation of the public around health care issues and trying to demonize the discussion of universal healthcare as part of the debate.

    Potter's exceptional book "Deadly Spin" takes us behind-the-scenes into the wheeling and dealing that goes on with multiple PR flacks that try and spin doctor any change that threatens their profit as bad for the average consumer. Potter gives us a history of the PR game to help us understand WHY and HOW this is unethical (especially by the ethics guidelines dicated by the PR association).

    The health care industry from health plans to pharmaceuticals have for too long had access to lawmakers (using the money that we pay them) to push forward their own agenda and "buy" politicians in Washington; that's nothing new it just just become more blatant than before. Using misinformation, front groups to suggest that any sort of reform is bad, these organizations have been directing America down a path with overgrown foilage and rough terrain where the patient must always suffer. Potter's book takes the curtain that these companies hide behind and let's us see the thought process, innner workings and how misinformation manipulates the public to make the wrong choices while allowing politicians to make those choices knowing they are wrong without ramifications.

    Is "Universal Healthcare" the way to go? I don't know but I do know that the insurance industry is scared of it. Potter points out how people like him would manipulate the media and politicians to paint Universal Healthcare as "communist" or "socialist" in nature to taint any and all intelligent discussion about the positives and negatives scaring people away before dialog had even begun.

    Potter suggests that having some sort of system like this in place would be helpful in redefining the way we take care of our health. The recent changes with Obama Care he points out aren't perfect but is a step in the right direction (--his complaint was that corporate America shaped it (this is Potter's opinion mind you I don't know that I agree with him on this point but it is food for thought).

    I don't know that I agree with all of Potter's suggestions (for example I think that given our economy Obama Care should have been a lower priority--right in the middle of the worst economic downturn in ages-- and when it did become a priority it was so badly compromised that the changes--small as they were and some positive--are meaningless in the over all big picture)but I have to admire him for waking up from the money inspired opiate-like dream that has entranced everyone else in his former industry. I also feel that Potter would have done better to give us more in depth examples of why the system breaks down consistently but what we do get is pretty embarrassing.

    Regardless of where you stand on healthcare-- if you believe or don't believe in universal healthcare--Potter's book is essential reading for understanding the flaws in our system and how corporate profit continues to dictate who gets coverage, who doesn't and why we are ranked so poorly compared to other nations when it comes to health care.

    Recommended.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, yet lacking look at Health Care PR..., November 11, 2010
    I'll keep this short because, well, I can be lazy sometimes...
    This book kept me engaged thoroughly enough that I finished it in two readings. It has interesting, relevant information on the history of heath care PR that does give a glimpse into what motivates these companies.
    The problem is, most people already know or believe that money, profits and (sometimes) greed, is a detrimental factor behind the (sometimes) crappy service and treatment Americans can potentially receive.
    While this book did keep me engaged, it did feel a little thin. Maybe it's more of the cynic in me but I really wanted something more damning of the current system and didn't feel it.
    I personally did not like the reform enacted in this nation in the last year because of something the author touches on, the fact it won't do too much to control cost. I sort of wish this book did a better job of what could be possible remedies to that issue.

    A quick point also; the author does not in any way shy away from showing his progressive nature, however, this book seems to be written well and in an even fashion, mainly sticking to policy and behind-the-scenes information over partisan bickering...

    Anyways...I did rate it a 4, as it does have it's interesting moments and I do believe would be an interesting book for anyone not actually immersed and working in the health care or insurance process.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A gift to America from a very brave man, November 20, 2010
    Thank you, Mr. Potter, for your bravery in speaking out against a very evil and powerful industry. Regardless of the outcome for the millions of uninsured and underinsured in America, I will always be grateful to you for fighting for what is right. Giving your book to my doctors for Christmas.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great insights into an industry, November 27, 2010
    As Wendell Potter writes, this is "like watching sausage being made". If you think we live in a democracy where all subjects are openly discussed, this gives you some additional information. There is indeed open discussion, but some voices are much louder than others and some are distorted.

    What struck me most was Potter's description of how the health industry tried to neutralize Michael Moore's film "Sicko" and, in their words, "make him radioactive", i.e. inacceptable for journalists and politicians. BTW, Michael Moore currently has this book chapter as a sample read on his web site.

    If you are interested in public relation and how public opinion is shaped, this is a book from a real expert writing openly about his experience. I bought the Kindle version because the paper version would have taken too long to deliver. Thank you to Amazon for the excellent Kindle App.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Should be required reading for every member of Congress, December 2, 2010
    The title of this book, "Deadly Spin: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans" is a bit off-putting. Reading it, I mentally prepared myself for a diatribe written by a disgruntled low-level employee out to get his pound of flesh. We all know that health insurance companies are in the habit of denying coverage and raising premiums, occasionally exorbitantly, but they aren't all that bad, right? Surely not as bad as the Wall Street firms that first took away our retirement savings and then our jobs.

    I worked in the financial industry for 25 years. Nothing I saw there was as heinous as what is revealed in this book. Put simply, Wall Street may take away people's money, but health insurance companies take away people's lives.

    Author Wendell Potter was an insurance company executive, heading up a PR department. For years, he participated in the shameless pursuit of profits over lives until he finally came face to face with the effects on real people of what he was doing. Visiting a clinic set up on a fair ground offering free health care to those who had no insurance and no means to pay for health care, he saw ordinary hardworking people reduced to being treated in animal stalls.

    He has written about his experience in the health insurance industry, as well as his epiphany, in a straightforward manner, making it more powerful than if he had penned an hysterical screed. He takes us, step by step through the changes in the health insurance industry from a privately held companies offering true health insurance to the modern publicly owned companies whose focus is on profits rather than health.

    The lengths to which health insurers go and the collusions in which they participate are extraordinary. They routinely deny coverage to people who need it and drop coverage of people who become ill. They hire outside PR firms who form bogus grassroots groups who lobby in favor of health insurers. They provide statistics to back up all of their false claims that any kind of healthcare reform is bad.

    Potter devotes an entire chapter to revealing how health insurers torpedoed Healthcare Reform using all of the dirty tricks he had discussed in previous chapters. The reason we have no public option is because it would put the health insurance industry out of business prompting them to wage all-out war against it.

    It took the death of a child who was denied a liver transplant to convince Potter to leave his job with CIGNA. He devotes his time now to healthcare reform advocacy and as a health insurance critic. He testified during the healthcare reform debates, but obviously not enough people listened to him.

    In my opinion, this book should be required reading for every member of Congress. They need to know how they have been bribed and manipulated by the health insurers to do what's best for the health insurance industry instead of what is best for the people who elected them to office.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Must Be Good...Borders Didn't have it....., November 25, 2010
    I tried to buy this at Borders at National Airport in D.C. this week, and it was "unavailable." The clerk could not say if that was because it had never been carried, or was sold out.

    If it was not carried, perhaps like the movie, _Sicko_, it is too dangerous to have a wide distribution...makes me want to buy it all the more.

    This book itself apparently provides evidence from Potter that censorship occurs in the U.S, but it is not lead by the government...Censorship is led by corporate insiders who prefer to make people hate the government so that people do not form unions to collectively bargain for better conditions from corporations.....all the corporations are in collusion, and they are far more powerful than any government....in fact, governments are just puppets of corporations, and do everything the corporations tell them to....

    Need more evidence? Look no further than the U.S. Supreme Court _Citizen's United_ decision...

    5-0 out of 5 stars Eye Opening !!, December 15, 2010
    I just finished Wendell Potter's book and, to be perfectly honest, am somewhat depressed about the state of politics and public decision making in our country.
    As a former healthcare executive in a for-profit company, I do understand the pressures and ofttimes conflict between the best possible care and the most profitable course. "Deadly Spin" portrays this accurately but goes much farther to show exactly how public opinion is molded and how decision makers at all levels are motivated to do the companies bidding. This book shows how out of whack our whole manged care and health insurance industry is where a few companies control prices and costs on both sides of the supply and demand equation. I have purchased a quantity of this title and will send it out to friends with the caveat that they too pass it on. This book is a must read for Americans looking to understand what is really happening in Washington regarding current and future health care. Thanks Mr. Potter.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best book I have read this year, December 3, 2010
    If you care about health care, your kids health care, or hope to HAVE health care in the future, then read this book. We are being screwed in the name of profits

    If the health care industry continues in it's current direction, the only people with health care with be healthy people. The rest with be governments problem

    READ THIS BOOK, GIVE TO ALL YOUR FRIENDS, READ THIS BOOOOOOOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    4-0 out of 5 stars It is nice to see acknowledgment of what has always been apparent to me..., December 2, 2010
    This is not a great book, and like so many "issues" books, it tiptoes along, holding off on this or that great revelation. It's message can be easily summarised as - "The healthcare insurance industry is indeed just as greedy, self-serving, and unprincipled as most big businesses across the globe, and is apparently making its lies and misrepresentations work successfully." In other words, just because their business involves healthcare, it does not mean that they are concerned about people's welfare, or even their health. They are, like all insurance companies, primarily concerned with making the biggest profits they can. (Think of Bob's boss in The Incredibles...) They do NOT want the pressure of a cheap public health insurance option to keep them honest.

    I did not find this surprising. Nor did I find the stories of the publicity management and news suppression surprising. Though it IS nice to have my suspicions validated!

    However, the scariest part of this book is at its very end. Wendell Potter has put together the buying-up of the newspaper industry with the new age of spin-dominated politics, and warned us of a future with less and less honest information available to the masses. This is a threat in all areas of life, not just healthcare. If ranting politicos can convince the very people that need it most that public healthcare is bad, what CAN'T they convince them of?? It bodes very ill indeed.
    ... Read more


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