October 30, 2009 | Comments Off
Dr. Kent: Welcome back to Sound Authors. My next guest on the show is Dr. D.A. Henderson. He’s the author of ‘Smallpox: Death of a Disease.’ This book is an account of challenges, obstacles and disasters faced by an intrepid international program in achieving the global eradication of smallpox. Fascinating, fascinating tale. Welcome to the show, Dr. D.A. Henderson.
Dr. D.A. Henderson: Delighted to be with you.
Dr. Kent: Give me a little background about it. What is smallpox?
Dr. D.A. Henderson: Smallpox was probably the most devastating disease known to history. It goes back at least 3500 years, and has caused tens of millions of deaths, hundreds of millions of deaths, over the century. It’s a virus disease: it causes a severe rash, a high fever. The person who acquires it has about a 30 percent chance of dying from the disease, and some of those who recover are left blind. Throughout history, it was regarded as probably the most feared out of all the diseases: it’s worse than cholera or yellow fever, or any of the other diseases.
Dr. Kent: My goodness. How was it part of Americans’ lives early this century?
Dr. D.A. Henderson: It certainly kept going throughout the US until 1949; that was when our last cases occurred. One of the remarkable things is that the American Indians, the natives here in this country and throughout the western hemisphere, were particularly susceptible to it. So death rates of 60 to 80 percent were recorded. In fact, they recorded the fact that so many people died, that they couldn’t harvest the food to keep going, and whole tribes disappeared.
Dr. Kent: Wow. The toll just during the 20th century, according to your bio, says that there were 300 to 500 million deaths.
Dr. D.A. Henderson: That’s a fairly conservative estimate. Before the disease was eradicated (the last case occurred in 1977), we estimated that there were at least 300 million deaths. One compares that to what the New York Times has said how many people died as a result directly or indirectly of our conflicts in the 20th century, they estimate about 120 million, so it was more than two and half times that number dying as a result of smallpox in various countries throughout the world.
Dr. Kent: There’s such a hubbub around vaccines these days. Celebrities are starting not to vaccinate their children. This buzz is starting. With a father who’s a physician, he always tells me it’s foolish not to vaccinate, and part of the reason is because there’s such power in vaccines, and of course, with smallpox, my goodness, of course 500 million deaths, that’s a huge number that can be prevented by a vaccine. So tell me about the vaccine: how it works, how you started to think about coming up with it, or how the whole community did.
Dr. D.A. Henderson: The smallpox vaccine is actually largely comprised of another virus called cowpox, which did infect cows. It’s sort of a cousin of smallpox. It started very early that they found they could inoculate this material into the arm, and there would be an infection: a little pustule would form. The individual would then develop protective antibodies, antibodies in the blood, so that when the individual is exposed to smallpox, the antibodies would fight off the infection. This is the way vaccines work. Some of them, what they call ‘kill’ vaccines, you take a virus, like influenza, and you grow up a certain quantity of it, and you kill that virus and actually you inoculate it into the skin, and that really is your vaccine. Your body makes protective antibodies against that virus, which is dead – it’s growing – and when you are then exposed to the live virus, those antibodies are fighting off the invasion of the live virus.
Dr. Kent: Wow. How do you eradicate, even using something as incredible as this vaccination, how do you eradicate a disease? How can you get every single case?
Dr. D.A. Henderson: In fact, we did not try to get every single case. What we tried to do was provide a vaccine protection to let’s say 80 percent of the population. Now smallpox cannot infect animals, and it cannot just lie in the soil and infect people. So therefore, that virus, to keep going, it has to infect one person after another. One after the other. Think of it as a chain of infection. Now if we can stop that virus from infecting one person, and one person from infecting another, we then can break that chain and gradually get rid of the disease. So what we did was try to first of all protect a lot of people, by vaccination, and then we did something that’s called surveillance and containment: basically, find the cases. Once you’ve found a case, a team would go out and they’d vaccinate, in Africa for example, 30 houses around where the case was, all of the people there. Those people would then be protected. Then the patient could not spread the disease to anybody else. The chain would be broken, and little by little, you’d stop the spread of smallpox throughout the area.
Dr. Kent: Fascinating. Is that a technique that has been used before?
Dr. D.A. Henderson: Yes, it actually goes back a long time. Our first vaccine, the smallpox vaccine, goes back to 1796, and this was the discovery that you could take cowpox, or a little infection off of a cow and protect an individual person with that. So it had been used off and on, although it had been used pretty much on, until the time of eradication. But it was impossible really to get that vaccine out to distant areas, so that it wasn’t destroyed by feat, then to get it properly inserted in the skin so that it would really grow, and to do this throughout a lot of parts of the world which are very remote, and which are virtually inaccessible. So, it left places, areas and people where the smallpox could keep going and did keep going.
Dr. Kent: Wow. What other diseases could potentially be eradicated completely? There’s so many out there in the world, is it possible to eliminate some of these, and are efforts going on?
Dr. D.A. Henderson: It’s pretty hard to get rid of a lot of diseases. A number of them, like tuberculosis, an individual gets infected, and they get perhaps temporarily cured, but they’re still carrying the organism and can still transmit it. Poliomyelitis, for example, the individual spreads the disease, but you can’t tell where it is, because only one person in about 200 will get paralyzed, and the others will be infected, but there will be no symptoms, so that makes it difficult. There are some organisms that really largely exist in animals, and so we only get in contact with them periodically, like rabies: people know about that in dogs, and man does not get infected very often. So there are a lot of diseases that we cannot eradicate. Smallpox, fortunately, having been the most disastrous of all the diseases, had this weakness that it did not infect animals, and individuals, when they recovered from the disease, if they did, they were protected: they’d never get another case for the rest of their lives. So this was what we took advantage of with smallpox, and then tried to eradicate it.
Dr. Kent: Smallpox was essentially destroyed, but you talk about that there are stockpiles of this disease in certain places, and that could potentially be used as a weapon.
Dr. D.A. Henderson: It’s a worry. We do know that back in the ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, that the Soviet Union was working with smallpox. It was the preferred agent that they would use if they were going to use a biological weapon. So, this was a concern. When we got our last case, which actually occurred October 26, 1977, we then wrote to laboratories, contacted people all over the world who might still have some virus of smallpox. They were asked to destroy these; governments were asked to check their laboratories and to destroy them, or to transfer them to one of two laboratories which had been research laboratories that were working with us: one being actually in Moscow, one being in Atlanta, Georgia. After a while, all of the laboratories insisted finally that they had destroyed the virus or transferred it. It left us just the two places that we knew had the smallpox virus. Since then, there’s been continuing discussion as to whether those should be destroyed or not. This has been studied by many experts and scientists. I think most believe that it would be a good idea, let’s just destroy it. There’s some who believe that we might be able to learn something by retaining it, keeping it, and working with it, but there’s always a risk in that. The question is: are you going to risk having it escape, for example, or are you going to destroy it? This is something that is being discussed in the World Health Assembly and the World Health Organization: trying to reach a decision on this.
Dr. Kent: Well, it’s been such an honor talking to Dr. D.A. Henderson. He’s the author of ‘Smallpox: Death of a Disease.’ It’s so riveting thinking about all of this. I appreciate you being on the show, and I hope to talk to you again.
Dr. D.A. Henderson: Thank you very much; nice to be with you.
Dr. Kent: Again, you can find that book all over the place. It’s called, ‘Smallpox: Death of a Disease,’ by Dr. D.A. Henderson.
October 30, 2009 | Comments Off
Donald Ainslie Henderson, known as D.A. Henderson, is an American physician and epidemiologist, who headed the international effort during the 1960s to eradicate smallpox. As of 2005, he is a Resident Scholar at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Center for Biosecurity and a professor of public health and medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. He is also a Johns Hopkins University Distinguished Service Professor and Dean Emeritus of the School of Public Health, with a joint appointment in the Department of Epidemiology. Dr. Henderson is the author of, ‘Smallpox: The Death of a Disease.’
September 8, 2009 | Comments Off
Dr. Kent: Welcome back to Sound Authors. Well, on the show today we were just talking with the author of a great novel about what if a therapist could go to the White House before the former President finished taking office, and now we’re continuing with another therapist, a counselor, a licensed mental health counselor Sarah Allen Benton, and she has written a book called Understanding the High Functioning Alcoholic: Professional Views and Personal Insights as a recovering alcoholic herself, and as one who works with many alcoholics, this will be a great conversation. Welcome to the show, Sarah Allen Benton.
Sarah Allen Benton: Thank you for inviting me.
Dr. Kent: Well tell me about this book.
Sarah Allen Benton: Well, it’s a pretty comprehensive book in that there’s research, I’ve done interviews with sober, high functioning alcoholics and addiction experts, and there’s also my own general writing, starting from the age of 14 when I first started drinking, and some reflective pieces at the end of each chapter. So it really kind of shows from a clinical perspective and then from a first person personal perspective as well.
Dr. Kent: Well, and alcoholism is still, it’s been around since alcohol has been around, of course, but it’s still such a taboo topic in so many ways. You know, you go to parties and there’s always alcohol. You know, people go to church and there’s alcohol, it’s everywhere.
Sarah Allen Benton: Yeah, and that’s part of why I wrote this book is that it is part of our culture. Drinking is part of it, so when a person either has to get sober or is an alcoholic, they oftentimes because of the stigma don’t want to either admit it, or they don’t feel comfortable reaching out for help. And that’s, you know, helping, hoping to change the face of the alcoholic. I think for so long the stereotype has sort of been that homeless person on the street, but you know, but even my book cover is a young woman with a professional suit on, and kind of changing the face of what it means to be alcoholic, that it’s not so much about the outside things, but really what happens to you when you drink alcohol.
Dr. Kent: Well, and as a person who went to a prestigious small college as I did, there was a ton of alcohol on campus, and people getting drunk all the time, and I know it hasn’t changed much, and it’s a complicated thing for the administrations of those colleges, because it’s such a, I don’t want to say problem, but it’s such an occurrence all over. And all of these brilliant young minds then go out into the world, and they’re successful people but they’re also alcoholics.
Sarah Allen Benton: Well, you know, and I do address that, I do a chapter on college in particular. But what happens is for an individual to start drinking before the age of 15, they have about a 40% greater chance of developing alcohol problems. So what we’re seeing in college is there are people that are drinking heavily, but about 72% will phase out of that type of drinking. So it’s just a phase and they move on and sort of normalize their drinking. But there’s 22% who don’t, either they didn’t drink, or they developed alcohol related problems. And you know, as we move into young adulthood, which I personally noted, when I was drinking I started to stand out. When your college drinking ways don’t die, it really can start to affect you in many ways. But again, being part of our society and part of the business world, you know, people are moving on from college and continuing that type of heavy drinking, and it can eventually develop into a problem or already be a problem before the person even realizes it.
Dr. Kent: Well and it’s, so tell me about, you talk about “high functioning alcoholic.” What does that mean?
Sarah Allen Benton: Well, a high functioning alcoholic is an alcoholic, so it’s not a different type of alcoholism. But what it is is a person who is able to maintain their outside life so they’re able to show up for school, for work, and they’re either providing for their family, or they’re really able to keep that…I’m sorry…(cough)
Dr. Kent: No trouble. The coughs are going around a little bit.
Sarah Allen Benton: I’m sorry. They keep their outside life apart. (cough) So sorry. They’re able to keep their outside life looking good, but on the inside they’re still struggling with alcoholism. So it’s not that they’re losing their job and they’re losing their housing, which is what many people expect for alcoholics. And so because they’re able to maintain that outside façade, it really increases their denial as well as the denial of all those people around them.
Dr. Kent: And you talk about denial, that’s a big part of alcoholism, right?
Sarah Allen Benton: Exactly. And it’s even greater for people who are able to function, because you know, it’s harder to have denial when you’re losing your job and you’re losing your house and losing your family. But…
Dr. Kent: And that’s kind of a stigma, right? It’s, “Oh, I’m not an alcoholic because I’m holding down my job, I’m, you know, everything’s going fine.”
Sarah Allen Benton: Exactly, and that feeds into that denial of, “Well, I don’t have a problem because I’m (inaudible) academically. You know, I personally, I graduated with honors, I went on to have a successful career. But that didn’t change the fact that I was still drinking alcoholically when I drank. And that’s the thing that people don’t understand. You know, you don’t have to be a daily drinker to be alcoholic, you don’t have to drink in the morning. There are always myths out there, and really what it is is when you know, a person takes a drink who is alcoholic, it sets off a craving for them to drink more, and they have trouble controlling their intake and may end up having blackouts or passing out. They’re obsessing about alcohol, even if they’re not drinking. So say, they’re drinking on the weekends, binge drinking, but they’re thinking about it all weekend long, and they’re fixated on when they’re going to drink, who they’re going to drink with. And they’re compromising their values and morals when they’re drinking and behaving in ways that are not like them. And they’re continuing this pattern even when they’re trying to control it. You know, I spent about four years trying to cut back on my drinking, and I just couldn’t get under control.
Dr. Kent: So you, it’s a very insightful book, and even what you’re talking about now can be obviously a very important step for many people, among many different sort of patterns for healing. What do you recommend, you know, how does someone figure out if they’re an alcoholic, how do they know if it’s a problem, and how do they get help?
Sarah Allen Benton: Well there, you know, again I sort of listed off some of the characteristics of people who are having an alcohol problem, but there are so many other warning signs. And I, actually on my website I have online some links to online screening tools that may be helpful for individuals to sort of figure out what, where their drinking falls on the continuum of drinking problems. And if they determine, you know, I always recommend, try cutting back. You know, try controlling your drinking and see if you’re able to. Because that’s a huge sign if you have, if you’re alcoholic or not. And if you do determine that you are in that, or you know, you have a problem and want to reach out for help, there are programs that are throughout this country that are free, there’s Alcoholics Anonymous, Smart Recovery, and Women for Sobriety. Even going to your doctor, going to a therapist, just starting somewhere, taking action, telling a friend, telling somebody that you think you need to get help. And holding yourself accountable in effect.
Dr. Kent: Well, and so from that step your book is talking about this high functioning alcoholic, and I find it fascinating because it’s not often that people will talk about alcoholics as those people that you meet at work that are just like everybody else, outwardly.
Sarah Allen Benton: I know, and that’s the piece that I thought you know, there are a ton of books out there that are on the subject, but so often they’re just the tragic stories of people who have lost everything, very dramatic, and that’s you know, the movies that are made, that’s (inaudible), but the high functioning alcoholic is an interesting topic because it’s not as obvious. It’s a more subtle situation, and it’s one in which we see everywhere. In fact, at least 20% of alcoholics are high functioning, and a lot of them are not getting help because they’re functioning. So they’re kind of sliding through the cracks in terms of even people you know. It’s harder to confront someone when they’re showing up for work every day, and they’re doing well in school, and they’re in medical school. You know, I have stories of sober high functioning alcoholics who are reflecting back on making it all the way through medical school drinking daily, one of them I talked about. And so it really does, kind of baffles people that they’re able to function yet be alcoholic, and it’s not a topic we talk about more, and that’s definitely why I wrote this book, because I felt that it was a real gap in the literature out there. And for people who are high functioning when they go to get help they feel, kind of like they stand out, like their story isn’t dramatic enough, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t, that they’re not alcoholics.
Dr. Kent: And now, in this book you revealed a whole lot of your own personal story, and that takes a lot of courage as an author, but it’s also a great experience in a lot of ways. What was it like bringing yourself into this book?
Sarah Allen Benton: Well, it was really a gift. You know, I’ve been writing since I was a young girl. I started probably around 10 or 11 journaling. And I looked back upon my writing and I realized that I have been writing about drinking since I started drinking at the age of 14. So I decided to include these journal entries with some reflective pieces on those journal entries to sort of tell the reader what was really going on for me in that experience. And again, writing for me has always been very healing. I think it was, it was a risk to put it out there and to share this part of myself publicly. I am, you know, I am a therapist, but I felt that it’s one thing to speak clinically about something and another to show the reader through my own experiences that I understand and that I get it, and hopefully people out there who read it will connect with my story as well, and possible reach out for help. It was, you know, there were some scary moments, but I do feel that in the end I’m willing to put myself out there if it’s going to help other people.
Dr. Kent: Well, it’s been a real honor chatting with you. I’ve been speaking to Sarah Allen Benton, the book is called Understanding the High Functioning Alcoholic: Professional Views and Personal Insights, and one website is highfunctioningalcoholic.com. Can you give us some more information?
Sarah Allen Benton: Sure, yeah the book, there is a lot of information on the website, and the book is available through Greenwood.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and Amazon.com, as well as on that website. But there are also resources for people who want to get help that are on my website, as well as those who have loved ones, you know, there’s a program called Al Anon that’s helpful for (inaudible) friends or family members that are concerned about, and that are impacting their life negatively. So it’s just important for everyone to kind of get this topic out there and out in the open, and to do something about it and not be ashamed to reach out.
Dr. Kent: Well, it’s been such an honor chatting with you, and I wish you all the best of success with the book, and people can go to highfunctioningalcoholic.com to find out more.
Sarah Allen Benton: Thank you so much for having me, it’s been a pleasure, and thank you for addressing this topic.
June 2, 2009 | Leave a Comment
Dr. Kent: Welcome to Sound Authors! Today is a stormy day in New York, there’s thunder and lightening all around. It’s a great day for being on the radio. I have four guests on the show today, three authors and one musician, as always. At the end of the show will be musician Janet Paschal, and she’s got a new album out called Treasure. Before that I’ve got three authors, I’ve got Mark David Gerson, and he’s got a book that’s in the fantasy fiction category, and I’d love to talk to him about that. Mark Updegrove is a former Newsweek editor, and I’ll be talking with him about Baptism by Fire: Eight Presidents Who Took Office in Times of Crisis, and of course that applies today. And my first guest on the show is Kathryn Lasky, and she’s a children’s author. And without further ado, I’d love to chat with her, she’s on the line right now. Welcome to the show, Kathryn.
Kathryn Lasky: Oh, thank you. Happy to be on the line!
Dr. Kent: You’re the author of One Beetle Too Many. Tell us about this book.
Kathryn Lasky: Well, the full title is One Beetle Too Many: The Extraordinary Adventures of Charles Darwin. So it’s basically what we call, in the children’s publishing world, a picture biography, which means it’s illustrated, and it’s 48 pages. But it looks like a big picture book. It is about the life of Charles Darwin.
Dr. Kent: Just to get the fun stuff out of the way, first of all, are you running into anybody saying, “How could you do a biography of Charles Darwin?”
Kathryn Lasky: No, everybody’s saying, “That’s a good idea! It’s the anniversary of his birthday, 300 years.
Dr. Kent: That’s wonderful. I think there’s so much talk in the media about creationism versus all of that stuff. It’s neat to get to know Charles Darwin for what he really was, which is pretty extraordinary. Now tell us about Mr. Darwin.
Kathryn Lasky: Well, I decided to especially focus on the aspects of him, his personality, and his career that I thought would really appeal to children. So first let’s begin with the title, One Beetle Too Many. When Charles Darwin was a young boy, he wasn’t a very good student, actually. But he did love observing nature, and going out and collecting things, like beetles. One expedition, this is just in the countryside around his home in England, he found one, he loved beetles, and he found one that was gorgeous. And he had it in his left hand, and it was even more beautiful, and he had it in his right hand. And then he saw a third, and he didn’t have a third hand. So he popped the one from his right hand into his mouth and held it there, and then got the third one and went running home to put them in jars. So that’s the title, and it’s sort of very indicative of his personality, and his enthusiasm. He did try a few careers, but he did not succeed, well, studying for a few careers. He studied to be a doctor, and couldn’t stand the sight of blood. His father thought well, he should be a clergyman, but he didn’t like that much, but he was a fantastic observer of nature, and then he got his big break, which was to go as the naturalist on The Voyage of the Beagle.
Dr. Kent: How cool is that. Now, have you held two beetles in hand, and one in your mouth, just as part of your research?
Kathryn Lasky: No, I don’t think I have to go quite that far. I didn’t feel compelled. (laughter) But I did do a lot of research.
Dr. Kent: And what is, with a character like Charles Darwin, what was it about these creatures? I remember as a boy picking up a turtle and being so amazed, or catching my first firefly ad being so amazed at this little creature. What was that that Darwin felt inside, and how do you transfer that into a children’s book?
Kathryn Lasky: Well I think he was such a good observer, and he just started to feel, wonder how things are connected on earth. Somebody said recently, and I can’t remember the guy’s name, but he’s an evolutionary biologist from the University of Florida, and he said 99% of what we know today Charles Darwin didn’t know. But the 1% that he did know was really good. Darwin had this capacity to kind of glance over, peek over the horizon and start to wonder about these connections, and wonder about time and change. So my challenge in the book was, how do you explain evolution to young readers? So I tried to do it in kind of almost a visual and metaphoric way. And I just kept my thoughts trained on three basic things: the notion of continuing change, the pressures that can bring about that change in living organisms, and the scale of time. And you have to realize that when Darwin was born, people only thought the earth was something like, I don’t know, 6,000 years old. At the time he reached maturity, they were thinking in terms of millions of years. Somewhere when he was in his 30’s or so, they were thinking in hundreds of thousands of years. It’s only been in the 1920’s, maybe, that we started thinking in terms of billions of years. So you just kind of, I tried to capture the moments in his travels, in his observations, I guess you’d call those eureka moments, and how he wove all this stuff together.
Dr. Kent: Yeah, and he’s such a fascinating character from so many perspectives. So what made you start to think about writing this book? You’ve done a lot of things, and what made you write this one?
Kathryn Lasky: Well, first of all I have to tell you this story. It took Darwin 20 years to write Origin of Species. It took me 24 years to write this book. I started this book years ago. I wrote, obviously, many in between. But I was in Cambridge, Massachusetts, very close to Harvard College, and when my daughter was about two I thought, “I’ve just got to get out of the house, I’m being driven crazy with diapers, and little kids running around.” So I hired a babysitter and what I did was, I walked over to Harvard. It was only about a five minute walk from my house to the Science Center Lecture Hall, and I sat in and I audited the course of Stephen Jay Gould, who was the great evolutionary biologist. So that’s how it began. And I started just educating myself. From that course I went on and I audited another one that David Taube gave, who’s a paleoanthropologist on human evolution. So I just started putting all this together. I just think, I know some people look at the stars and they wonder about the origins of the universe, they’re looking out into space. And I just started looking right on earth. As a matter of fact, that was the name of the Stephen Jay Gould course, it was called Life on Earth. So that’s when I started, but it was a bumpy road to getting the book out, that’s all I can say. I won’t even bore you with the details. But I’m very pleased. I just want to say, the illustrations, which I did not do, but the wonderful Matthew Trueman did, are just fabulous. I mean, they’re just beyond belief, and the critics have just raved about these illustrations. He just went and broke new ground with the illustrations as a medium.
Dr. Kent: The most fun thing about being a children’s author is that you get some wonderful illustrations in all your books, right?
Kathryn Lasky: Yeah, you do. And this is certainly among the finest that I’ve ever had, and I’ve done a lot of picture books for kids.
Dr. Kent: This book is called One Beetle Too Many: The Extraordinary Adventures of Charles Darwin. Have you had a chance to read this for kids?
Kathryn Lasky: I’ve read parts of it for kids, but I’ve been really pretty busy. So I haven’t sat down and read it with a group of kids yet. All my kids are grown up and out of the house. But I have a granddaughter now, but she’s just 8 months old, so she might be a little too young.
Dr. Kent: You’ll have to wait a couple years to bring your whole shelf of books over. So tell us about your career a little bit, where you’ve come from and where you plan to go with what you’re writing now.
Kathryn Lasky: I am one of these children’s book authors who does a lot of different things, a lot of different genres. Perhaps, like I did a lot of historical fiction, but perhaps right now my most popular books are a series called the Guardians of Ga’Hoole, which is a middle grade fantasy series, no humans in it, and only owls and other animals. And it’s being made into a movie. And actually the director of the movie is Zack Snyder, who just did The Watchmen. So that is being made, as we speak. That fantasy series of owl books, Guardians of Ga’Hoole, has been enormously popular amongst kids. I’m starting up another series, another two series. I’m also doing a non-fiction book about spiders, and I call her Spider Woman, but she’s an arachnologist, and a professor of Biology at Lewis and Clark University. My husband, with the non-fiction books, he’s a former National Geographic Photographer, but he illustrates a lot of the non-fiction with photographs. So we are just back from following Greta Binford, the arachnologist, around in the Dominican Republic.
Dr. Kent: Did you have to actually get in touch with some spiders?
Kathryn Lasky: Yeah. Up close and personal with spiders, with tarantulas and the (inaudible) spiders, which their more common name is brown recluse, but there’s a lot of different kinds of brown recluse, so these were the ones in the Caribbean.
Dr. Kent: You are a brave human being.
Kathryn Lasky: I thought I was going to be scared. I really wasn’t that scared at all. What scared me more was driving on the roads in the Dominican Republic. I realized there was a lot better chance that I was going to get killed on a road than bitten by a spider.
Dr. Kent: I think it’s the same thing in New York here.
Kathryn Lasky: Yeah, so anyhow, that’s what I do.
Dr. Kent: It’s been such a pleasure speaking with the author of One Beetle Too Many: The Extraordinary Adventures of Charles Darwin. It’s written by Kathryn Lasky and illustrated by Matthew Trueman. Or True-man? How does he say it?
Kathryn Lasky: Trueman. Not spelled like Harry Truman, but pronounced the same way.
Dr. Kent: Well, and he has truly beautiful artwork in this book, there’s no question. What a neat topic to have for a kid’s book, and thank you so much for chatting with me about it. Hopefully we talk to you again sometime.
Kathryn Lasky: Oh, thank you. Have a nice day.
Dr. Kent: You, too. My next guest on the show is the author of Baptism by Fire: Eight Presidents Who Took Office In Times of Crisis. Come on back in one second, and we’ll chat with him.
March 30, 2009 | Leave a Comment
I enjoyed speaking with Dr. Allan Hamilton immensely, about spirituality and medicine — two topics not often mixed in polite company!
More from www.allanhamilton.com
Experience the Spiritual Side of Surgery:
Dr. Hamilton’s book, entitled The Scalpel and the Soul: Encounters with Surgery, the Supernatural, and the Healing Power of Hope is published by the Tarcher Division of Penguin Publishing, USA. The hard cover edition was published in March, 2008 and the paperback edition in April, 2009.
Based on thirty years experience as Harvard-educated brain surgeon, The Scalpel and the Soul: Encounters with Surgery, the Supernatural, and the Healing Power of Hope tells the stories behind remarkable patients and the moral and spiritual lessons they can teach everyone. In this book, Dr. Hamilton shares a rare glimpse of how the spiritual and the supernatural manifest themselves even in the high-tech world of 21st century intensive care units or operating rooms.
The soul often needs more than an Intensive Care Unit can provide:
The Scalpel and the Soul explores how premonition, superstition, hope and faith not only become factors in how patients feel, but can change the outcomes as well. The stories within this book validate the spiritual manifestations physicians see every day. The tales empower patients to voice their spiritual needs in medical situations. When the life is threatened, the soul can exert mysterious powers. Embracing that knowledge can help anyone, patient or caregiver, to cope with difficult and challenging times.
The paper back edition will be released in April 3, 2009. You can order now at ordered from Amazon.com, BarnesnadNoble.com, Borders, and all local, independent bookstores.