RECLAIMING OUR HEALTH

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RECLAIMING OUR HEALTH

Exploding the Medical Myth and Embracing the Source of True Healing
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by JOHN ROBBINS (H.J. Kramer)

John Robbins, who took on the dairy and meat industries in his widely acclaimed Diet for a New America, aims his sights at the American medical-industrial complex in Reclaiming Our Health. In the engaged journalistic tradition of Upton Sinclair, Rachel Carson, and Ralph Nader, Robbins argues that the medical system should reflect ideals of service and justice, and embody a partnership rather than dominator model. The book is a powerful wakeup call, artfully delivered and instructive even for the well informed.

Starting with the suppression of midwives from the Inquisition to late twentieth century America, Robbins delivers a devastating indictment of the medicalization of menopause, the drugging of American schoolchildren with Ritalin, and the AMA's war on chiropractic and its incestuous relationship with the tobacco industry. In each case, the audacity of the medical establishment in upholding conventional methods despite the damage they cause, and suppressing alternatives despite the help they offer, is remarkable. Citing numerous studies that clearly demonstrate the ineffectiveness of chemotherapy and radiation in treating the vast majority of cancers and the mutilating effects of these methods, Robbins recounts stories of the pioneers of nontoxic cancer treatment and the full-scale legal assaults they endured.

Few will read these passages without a rising sense of outrage -- precisely the emotion that fuels the burgeoning mass movement for legislative protection for practitioners of complementary and alterative medicine. Robbins blends anecdotes, statistics, and analysis for each problem area he addresses. The value of his extensive reference section is diminished, however, when he quotes scientific studies, and then in many cases footnotes them with secondary references to lay publications rather than providing citations to the original source. This will limit the effectiveness of his arguments with skeptical academic and professional readers. Despite this shortcoming, Reclaiming Our Health provides a major contribution to public understanding of significant health controversies.

Institute of Noetic Sciences.
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By Daniel Redwood

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