PositiveThe Wall Street JournalIn 1949 an Australian psychiatrist named John Cade made the curious discovery that lithium was extremely effective in treating mania. As the psychiatrist Walter Brown writes in his thorough and highly readable Lithium: A Doctor, a Drug, and a Breakthrough, this was \'the first demonstration that a drug can alleviate the fundamental symptoms of a mental illness\' ... In Dr. Brown’s assessment, it is \'uniquely specific\' in its action, \'effective only in manic-depressive illness\' (now commonly known as bipolar disorder). But despite its chemical simplicity, we still have no idea how it works.
PositiveLondon Review of BooksPlokhy aims to replace the myth with history, drawing on newly released archive material and interviews with eyewitnesses. His narrative is thorough and well organized, but consensus is elusive. Those involved were working with different and often contradictory sets of facts, in the service of mutually incomprehensible agendas and ideologies ... As for the lessons to be learned from Chernobyl, Plokhy’s conclusion is anything but reassuring.
PositiveThe Wall Street Journal...a themed miscellany of scientific stories, told with his trademark combination of goofy wisecracking and an exceptional knack for communicating the principles of science ... Many of Mr. Kean’s tales are oft told, but he is adept at picking out fresh detail ... Like gases themselves, Caesar’s Last Breath holds together only loosely, and the reader must, as its author does, embrace the chaos.
PositiveThe Wall Street Journal...[a] deeply researched account...Mr. Coss, a first-time author, weaves the story of the epidemic together with the birth of what he describes as 'a new and distinctively American form of journalism' in a narrative that quotes liberally from the pungent 18th-century language of his sources.