PositiveThe New Republic...a tectonic shift in our understanding of nature, a story that David Quammen tells wonderfully in his exhaustively researched book ... Crisscrossing the country to interview scientists and visit labs, Quammen provides a vivid portrait of the scientific process, and of the quarrelsome, quirky, (in one instance) evil, and brilliant scientists behind it.
MixedThe New RepublicThe first part amounts to a comprehensive dissection of profiteering in sector after sector of the health economy, buttressed by extensive reporting on the human impact of these developments ... Rosenthal doesn’t claim to propose one major systemic reform—though she briefly reviews a few such proposals over a few pages—but instead to offer a slew of steps that we as individual patients can take to protect our wallet, or our health, together with relatively smaller scale reforms that mostly would not require Congressional action. Many of Rosenthal’s proposed solutions make sense...But many of Rosenthal’s solutions accept the basic merit of health care consumerism ... There is simply no way to square this circle: Price shopping requires cost-sharing, and cost sharing hurts us, both financially and medically. And in any event, the notion that people need 'skin in the game' so as to prudently 'consume healthcare' misses an essential fact of human behavior.
RaveThe New Republic...[a] delightful book ... Godfrey-Smith explores the issue from many angles, beginning with a succinct and thoughtful discussion of the evolution of animals, and extending to a look at the octopus’ remarkable neurological systems. His book includes vivid descriptions of the unique capacities of the animal, and includes apt discussions of the ideas of consciousness of Dehaene and others.
PositiveThe New Republic...as Schwarz’s book makes distressingly clear, the pharmaceutical industry apparently learned nothing from the first amphetamine epidemic it helped cause, when it began setting the research agenda for ADHD ... His book—a dazzling piece of journalism, based on extensive research and an enormous number of interviews—sheds some much needed light on what he calls a new 'American epidemic' ... While Schwarz’s book is an outstanding exposé, he has only seven pages on solutions, which feels tacked on to the end of the book.”
Peter D. Kramer
MixedThe New Republic[Ordinarily Well] takes a unique approach: though at times passionate and personal, it is mostly a detailed excavation of the thorny landscape of the empirical evidence for antidepressant medications ... Kramer, I should be clear, is in no way defensive of Pharma’s dishonesty. Indeed, he describes no financial conflict of interests with the industry, and he disclaims their chicanery in no uncertain terms. It is clear that his support for antidepressants comes from a combination of his clinical experience and his reading of the literature ... Yet, though he offers a host of objections as to why effects in clinical trials unfairly represent what happens in actual clinical practice, one can come up with a variety of counterpoints as to why effects in clinical trials could also inflate real-world effects.