Friday, January 4, 2013

December, 2012

*Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power by Pulitzer Prize–winner Jon Meacham “brings vividly to life an extraordinary man and his remarkable times.” Jefferson is depicted as a great and complex human who hated confrontation, and yet was able to marshal ideas, to learn from his mistakes, and to prevail. Passionate about women, his family, books, science, architecture, gardens, friends, Monticello, and Paris, Jefferson seemed to love the idea of America most. Meacham lets us see how Jefferson found the means to endure and win in the face of rife partisan division, economic uncertainty, and external threat. Meacham’s use of original letters and speeches is impressive scholarship, but makes the book a slower read than necessary.

*The End of Illness by  David Agus tackles some fundamental questions about modern medicine and “taking a cue from physics, he views the body as a complex system and helps us see how everything from cancer to nutrition fits into one whole picture.” The result is both a useful guide on how to stay healthy and a fascinating analysis of the latest in medical science.  A bold call for all of us to become our own personal health advocates, “The End of Illness is flawed only by his overemphasis on the potential of work being done by a company he helped found.

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