Robert Klitzman The Trembling Mountain

ISBN 13: 9780306457920

The Trembling Mountain

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9780306457920: The Trembling Mountain

Robert Klitzman was 21 years old when he was invited by the Nobel prize-winning scientist Dr. Carleton Gajdusek to conduct original research among the Stone-Age Fore group in Papua New Guinea whose ritual cannibalism had infected them with Kuru, an incurable disease akin to Mad Cow Disease. The adventure he embarked on would change his life, and provide keys to understanding Mad Cow Disease, potentially the world's next major deadly epidemic.Battling the dense primordial rain forests penetrated by few outsiders before him, Klitzman tracked down Fore patients and family members, overcoming their suspicions and superstitions so that he could document the progress and patterns of Kuru. Confronting cultural gaps and his own limitations, he came away with a deeper understanding of human nature. His work with the Fore trained the future doctor in ways that would far surpass medical school.At once a gripping medical mystery, an exotic travelogue, and a stirring coming-of-age story, The Trembling Mountain is a powerful first-hand account of life on the frontiers of science.

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Review:

The key word here is personal. Physician Robert Klitzman tells us his life story and humanizes what could easily have been a tabloid-size horror story of Stone Age cannibals and rotten-brained cows. Vivid portraits of the men and women he helped and worked with lift this book above mere sensationalism, showing one people's tragedy in the hopes that others can be averted.

Kuru is a fatal disease formerly epidemic among the Fore people of New Guinea, with symptoms including involuntary laughing, dementia, and loss of motor control. Traced to their ritual cannibalism, it was found to be caused by nonliving crystal-like proteins in the brain. Klitzman traveled to New Guinea before attending medical school to work with these people and quickly learned how little Western medicine could do for the afflicted--he could only make their deaths as comfortable as possible. His despair is palpable.

Fortunately, most Fore have been convinced to give up the most dangerous of their ancestral practices, and the disease has largely abated. But mad cow disease (and others like it), caused by the same class of protein as kuru, remains a threat to Westerners--a threat Klitzman would rather we not face. His very personal story forces us as readers to examine our own lives and our own ancestral practices, perhaps to make some changes ourselves. --Rob Lightner

About the Author:

Dr. Robert Klitzman, currently an Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, is the author of Being Positive: The Lives of Men and Women with HIV, A Year-Long Night: Tales of A Medical Internship and In a House of Dreams and Glass: Becoming a Psychiatrist. He graduated from Princeton University and Yale Medical School, and has been a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania. His work has appeared in scientific journals and textbooks, as well as the New York Times and other publications. He has recieved numerous honors and awards, including a Burroughs Wellcome Fellowship (for Future Leaders in Psychiatry) from the American Psychiatric Association, an Aaron Diamond Foundation Fellowship, and a Picker/Commonwealth Scholar Award. He has also been a Fellow at Yaddo and MacDowell.

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Klitzman, Robert
Verlag: New York, Robert Klitzman (1998)
ISBN 10: 030645792X ISBN 13: 9780306457920
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Buchbeschreibung New York, Robert Klitzman, 1998. dunkler kartonierter Einband mit Schutzumschlag; sehr gut erhaltenes Exemplar 333 Seiten Estnisch 1g. Artikel-Nr. 78525

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