Monday, July 11, 2011

Browsing books for July-American Health

Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America by Robert Whitaker. Call Number: RC443.W437 2010.
Getting What We deserve: Health & Medical Care in America by Alfred Sommer, MD, MHS. Call Number: RA445.S66 2009.
Sacrifice Zones: The Front Lines of Toxic Chemical exposure in the United States by Steve Lerner. Call Number: RA1226.L47 2010.
The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to our Brains by Nicholas Carr. Call Number: QP360.C3667 2010.
          Four controversial books on health make the reading list for July. In Anatomy of an Epidemic, Whitaker looks at the studies which evaluate the long-term use of psychiatric drugs and finds the benefits of use often misstated and patients suffering, while innovative programs are being developed which may offer far more effective alternatives.
          In the slim Getting What We Deserve, Dr. Sommer, a former Dean at Johns Hopkins, uses charts, graphs and innumerable statistics to show what we already should know: we spend more on health care than any other developed country and still aren’t better off than most of them. With sometimes acid humor, Dr. Sommer shows why.
          Sacrifice Zones spotlights an all-too-often ignored outcome of poverty: lower income communities are much more likely to be in proximity to—even surrounded by—toxic zones of industrial pollution. As jobs become critical, towns will gamble their health and the future of their children, in order to earn a living. From Alaska to Florida, from dioxin to PCBs from an old military base, the poor are often living in deadly environments.
          In The Shallows, author Carr expands on a past Atlantic article: that the Internet is making it harder for humans to think deeply and concentrate fully. Blending recent neuroscience and cultural critiques, he makes a strong case for e-moderation.

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