Late Night Thoughts on Listening to Mahler's Ninth Symphony

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9780670703906: Late Night Thoughts on Listening to Mahler's Ninth Symphony

This magnificent collection of essays by scientist and National Book Award-winning writer Lewis Thomas remains startlingly relevant for today’s world. Luminous, witty, and provocative, the essays address such topics as “The Attic of the Brain,” “Falsity and Failure,” “Altruism,” and the effects the federal government’s virtual abandonment of support for basic scientific research will have on medicine and science.

Profoundly and powerfully, Thomas questions the folly of nuclear weaponry, showing that the brainpower and money spent on this endeavor are needed much more urgently for the basic science we have abandoned—and that even medicine’s most advanced procedures would be useless or insufficient in the face of the smallest nuclear detonation. And in the title essay, he addresses himself with terrifying poignancy to the question of what it is like to be young in the nuclear age.

“If Wordsworth had gone to medical school, he might have produced something very like the essays of Lewis Thomas.”—TIME

“No one better exemplifies what modern medicine can be than Lewis Thomas.”—The New York Times Book Review

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About the Author:

Lewis Thomas was a physician, poet, etymologist, essayist, administrator, educator, policy advisor, and researcher. A graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Medical School, he was the dean of Yale Medical School and New York University School of Medicine, and the president of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Institute. He wrote regularly in the New England Journal of Medicine, and his essays were published in several collections, including The Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology Watcher, which won two National Book Awards and a Christopher Award, and The Medusa and the Snail, which won the National Book Award in Science. He died in 1993.

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