Imaging & Imagining the Fetus -- The Development of Obstetric Ultrasound by Malcolm Nicolson and John E.E. Fleming, Johns Hopkins UPress '13, $50, 317 pages, ASIN #1421407930. Index, notes, no bibliography, b&w images sprinkled through text.
Most medical patients whose doctors perform more than cursory examinations on them are familiar with procedures called the ultrasound and magnetic resonance (MRI), whose value lies in their ability to visualize the internal structures of the living body.
In their new book, the authors trace the development of these imaging techniques from early experiments in 1956 by obstetrician Ian Donald and engineer Tom Brown in Glasgow, "where their prototypes were based on the industrial flaw detector, an instrument readily available to them in the shipbuilding city."
Illustrating the wide scope and utility of these imaging devices, Donald not only supported the use of ultrasound technology for clinical purposes, but "as a devout High Anglican he imbued the images with moral significance." He opposed abortion, the authors write, "and he occasionally used ultrasound images to convince pregnant women not to abort the fetuses they could now see."
About the authors:
Malcolm Nicolson is the director of the Centre for the History of Medicine, University of Glasgow. John E. E. Fleming worked as an engineer with Tom Brown to develop the first ultrasonic scanner to go into production, then as research technologist in Ian Donald's Department of Midwifery.
How Should We Live? -- Great Ideas from the Past for Everyday Life by Roman Krznaric, BlueBridge '13, $22.95, 339 pages, ASIN #1933346841. Index, notes, illustration credits, bibliography, b&w images sprinkled through text.
From the dust cover:
"There are many ways to try to improve our lives -- we can turn to the wisdom of philosophers, the teachings of spiritual guides, or the latest experiments of psychologists. But we rarely look to history for inspiration -- and when we do, it can be surprisingly powerful. In How Should We Live?, the cultural historian Roman Krznaric explores 12 universal topics -- including love, family, and empathy; work, time, and money -- by illuminating the past and revealing the wisdom we have been missing.
"There is much to be learned from the ancient Greeks about the different varieties of love, for example, from medieval and Renaissance Europeans about living with passion and facing the realities of death, from various indigenous cultures on bringing up our children, and from Japanese pilgrims on the art of travel.
"Whether it is the different uses of the senses or nature across time, or changing attitudes toward belief and creativity, How Should We Live? is full of ideas and stories from the past. A wonderful work of 'practical history,' it sheds invaluable light on the decisions we make every day and shows what history can teach us about the art of living."
Author Roman Krznaric is a cultural thinker, writer, and founding faculty member of The School of Life in London. He has also taught sociology and politics at Cambridge University and at City University, London.
The Myth of America's Decline -- Politics, Economics, and a Half Century of False Prophecies by Josef Joffe, Liveright '14, $26.95, 327 pages, ASIN #0871404494. Index, notes, no bibliography, b&w images sprinkled through text.
Conventional wisdom about America's political and economic health tends to run in decennial phases, with general admiration for America's strength alternating with what author Josef Joffe calls "decline time," citing the 'We shall bury you' era of the 1950s Soviets to Jimmy Carter's famous 'malaise.'
The author cites a number of pundits and authorities who believe that in the final analysis, America will prevail. He cites former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger: "The Myth of America's Decline effectively lays to rest the belief that America has lost its preeminence. Joffe's well-documented research confirms an entirely different story: that the United States stands near or at the top of every ranking used to measure a nation's strength and vigor. It is a book that should be of interest to all who may be worried about America's future."
About the author:
Publisher-editor of Die Zeit and the author of Uberpower, Josef Joffe was educated at Swarthmore College and Harvard University, is a frequent contributor to Foreign Affairs and Foreign Policy, and is a founding board member of the American Interest.