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Here are some of the latest reviews on this site.

Murderous Medicine

  • The case that the Third Reich engaged in biological warfare using typhus as an ethnic cleansing agent against Jews, gypsies, and Slavs is carefully constructed and fully documented here. Typhus can assume epidemic proportions when living conditions are unsanitary and nutrition is inadequate. Baumslag demonstrates that Nazi Germany deliberately sought to create environments that would engender typhus in the ethnic communities slated for liquidation, and then transported the lice-ridden inhabitants to extermination camps as a public health necessity. That contemporary medicine and public health measures were available to prevent typhus is attested to by the fact that in WW II only 104 cases of typhus were reported in all the Allied armed forces. In contrast, “at least 1.5 million prisoners died of typhus as a direct consequence of murder, malpractice, or deliberate negligence by German doctors.” Through silence, interest in profit taking, and desire to engage in human experimentation, the International Red Cross, the German pharmaceutical industry, and the German medical establishment, respectively, collaborated with Hitler’s Final Solution….Recommended. All academic libraries.
  • Baumslag’s book is an impassioned plea for her fellow physicians to remain committed to the “traditional medical ethics” of the Hippocratic Oath. By exposing the immorality and inhumanity of Nazi doctors, the courageous resistance and dedication of Jewish doctors and the cowardly behavior of the International Red Cross, she hopes to keep alive the memory of an atrocity that we dare not repeat.
    February 2006
  • Baumslag provides useful background information that helps provide the context within which the Nazi regime justified its despicable policies. Thus, Murderous Medicine provides a description of how anti-Semitism influenced the organization and delivery of public health and medical care in the ghettoes of Eastern Europe. It also describes some of the processes by which the Nazi doctors made their decisions to conduct human experiments….The extensive documentation will be helpful to students interested in expanding their knowledge of what must be the worst example of human depravity on record.
    —American Journal of Epidemiology
  • In this book this terrible situation is systemically illuminated. It is written for a broad audience, and is an easily understandable presentation of the epidemiology, medical history and political use of typhus. The essential context and research on typhus is clearly presented. The author also describes the struggle of the Jewish prisoner-doctors against the typhus and their exploitation throughout the Nazi occupation. The analytical distance that Naomi Baumslag, a respected pediatrician from Georgetown University Medical School brings is admirable as is her dedication to human rights and engaging the role of medicine and the political use of public health.
    —German Medical Journal
    May 2006
  • A MUST READ FOR ALL….Naomi paints a grim but very real picture of the pathetic conditions of Jews during the Holocaust. The prisoners were kept in pathetic, unsanitary and overcrowded conditions facilitating the spread of typhus… They were then killed under the garb of preventing further infection to other inmates. The horrendous acts of Nazis thus got passed of as acts of great benevolence, even as international agencies like the Red Cross kept watching helplessly.
    —Anil Aggrawal’s Internet Journal of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology
    January-June 2006
  • [W]e would do well to pay attention yet again to the lessons of history.
    —The New England Journal of Medicine
    April 13, 2006
  • Baumslag documents the complicity by German and Austrian doctors in human experiments and genocide through the exploration of typhus and biological warfare.
    —SciTech Book News
    September 2005
  • Murderous Medicine is thorough, profusely and admirably illustrated and tackles the medical issues clearly.
    —The Jerusalem Post
    March 2, 2006
  • Murderous Medicine is an important book, a valuable contribution to the literature about Nazi “medicine” (the qualification is deliberate, as the Nazis’ “medicine” and “experiments” were neither; they were bestial and torturous, ethically and morally bankrupt). The book should occupy a place on the shelf….Murderous Medicine forces us to remember, and hopefully to reflect….Today’s headlines and newscasts remind us that we still have much to remember and learn. That is why this book is important. We are all responsible.
    —JAMA Journal of the American Medical Association
    March 1, 2006
  • [T]hose who continue to ponder Nazi medical atrocities and want to reflect on the moral failures of Nazi doctors, pharmaceutical companies, and humanitarian organizations will find this book useful.
    —JCI The Journal of Clinical Investigation
    December 2005
  • In Murderous Medicine Naomi Baumslag documents the complicity of Nazi doctors and pharmaceutical companies in murderous medical experiments related to epidemic typhus to further Jewish genocide….Baumslag argues that doctors pressured Nazi officials to proceed swiftly to quarantine and ghettoization to further the “eradication” of the disease – not typhus, but the Jews themselves. Typhus prevention rituals, including shaving and gassing, were used under the subterfuge of providing health care. Several million Jews were murdered as a direct consequence. Underlining the point that the goal was to kill Jews, she notes, “with all their barbaric and unethical experiments the German researchers were unable to control typhus and get rid of lice.” Jews were left in a diseased environment and doomed to die. It is an important story, and one well worth documenting.
    —Journal of Clinical Medicine
  • Baumslag explores in impressive detail how typhus was characterised by Nazis as a Jewish plague.
    —The Lancet
    September 2005
  • Endorsement From Edmund Pellegrino, M.D.
    Professor Emeritus of Medicine and Medical Ethics
    Center for Clinical Bioethics, Georgetown University:
    The central message here is the betrayal of the medical profession of its trust as a healing profession. Evil can never be done so that good may come of it. How often is that dictum violated with the Nazis and the other twentieth century physicians who have allowed arguments, from survival, patriotism, or exigency to drown out the voice of ethics.
  • Endorsement From Solon Beinfeld
    Emeritus Professor of History
    Washington University, St. Louis:
    Baumslag offers a wide range of disturbing material dealing with the perversion and abandonment of medical and humanitarian ideals on the part of those sworn to uphold them: in the first instance the German medical and scientific community but also international organizations like the Red Cross. Written with passionate anger for those who betrayed their calling, Baumslag is equally passionate in her praise for those in the ghettoes and in camps who struggled to do all they could to protect inmates. At the same time, she gives the general reader a lively and informative introduction to the complex interrelation of war and disease.

Milk, Money, and Madness

  • …not intended as a “how-to” manual but rather as an analysis of the medical, historical, social, economic, and political issues surrounding breastfeeding. Strongly in favor of breastfeeding under virtually any circumstances, the authors convincingly illustrate its medical and economic benefits to mothers, infants, and the general population. Useful appendixes include, among other items, a brief directory of organizations involved in the promotion of breastfeeding, a summary of recent legislation, and a recommended reading and resources list. With its in-depth analysis of the topic, this highly readable work is a worthwhile addition to public libraries and all large health sciences collections.

    Library Journal
  • With well-founded indignation, Baumslag and Michels describe a medical, political, economic, and historical background that has deprived too many infants of their nutritional birthright. Breastfeeding should need no defense….Yet a combination of forces, including sexism that distorts the breast’s functional role and corporate greed that promotes artificial feeding in developing nations, has created a public health problem in which infants die unnecessariuly for lack of breast milk.
  • This book provides much information that parents and health workers need in order to understand the evolution of formula feeding and the impact made by associated advertisements.
    —Midwifery Matters
  • There’s nothing wishy-washy about the authors’ attitude about breast-feeding versus bottle-feeding: they marshal a range of medical, economic, cultural, and psychological arguments for the proposition that “all infants would be better off if they were to receive some breastmilk.” Baumslag…[and] Michels focus on “why to” (rather than “how to”) breast-feed. The authors survey the history of breast-feeding and its substitutes in a variety of cultures; explain the nutritional and immunological differences between breastmilk and various infant “formulas”; and examine the issues’s economics, including the roles of formula manufacturers, governments, and employers of working mothers in the U.S. and around the world. A thorough analysis; includes tables, charts, and appendixes.
  • This book covers a great deal. It contains a lively chapter on the history of breast-feeding, another on the value of human milk and a long chapter called “Breastmilk Economics” that covers the corporate and government politics.
    —The Women’s Review of Books
  • Endorsement From Dr. Richard JollyActing Executive Director, UNICEF: I commend the authors of Milk, Money, and Madness for the considerable contribution they have made by voicing their opinions, contributing their knowledge, stimulating debate and challenging conventional wisdom.    

  • Endorsement From Dr. Michael C. Latham

    Professor of International Nutrition, Cornell University: This book is informative and daring, articulate and courageous, highly interesting and hugely provocative.

  • Endorsement From Lee Ann Deal

    Executive Director, Le Leche League, International: I see Milk, Money, and Madness as the perfect guide to help young women understand, well before they become pregnant, the miracle substance they are capable of producing and learn to respect the magnificance of their bodies.

  • Endorsement From Penny Van Esterik

    Associate Professor of Anthropology, York University, Toronto
    : The authors have provided an easy-to-read, up-to-date source for understanding breastfeeding from a wide variety of perspectives–historical, medical, economic, and political. More significantly, they make this information accessible by addressing commonly-asked questions: Is the milk good enough? Isn’t formula just a Third World issue? Is mother’s milk always safe? How should formula be sold?