Publishers Weekly

 

By bringing chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) out of the shadows and squarely onto the nation’s health agenda, Johnson’s groundbreaking, compelling report does for it what Randy Shilts’ And the Band Played On did for the AIDS epidemic. Once derisively dismissed as “yuppie flu,” CFS was recognized as a legitimate, cohesive disease entity by the Centers for Disease Control only in 1990, six years after the first mass outbreaks.  An infectious immune disorder that affects millions worldwide (the exact pathogen is unknown), CFS causes debilitating exhaustion, severe aching and headaches and fever, and in many cases affects the brain, causing memory and cognitive impairment, seizures and brain lesions.  Freelance journalist Johnson (herself a CFS sufferer) interviewed hundreds of patients, scientists, doctors and government officials.   Writing with quiet fury, she builds a devastating picture of the U.S. government research establishment’s decade-long strategy of avoidance and denial.  Her epic-length report draws chilling parallels between CFS and AIDS: desperate CFS patients organize support groups, underground clinics, activist coalitions; trials of Ampligen, a promising drug, are halted by the FDA; patients lose medical insurance simply for being diagnosed with CFS—a policy that continues to the present among major carriers.  FYI:  The title refers to Canadian physician Sir William Osler (1849-1919), who exhorted his medical students to be on guard against lockstep thinking. See Book News (Dec. 4) for the story behind the book. 

Author’s note:  One month after interviewing me for an article about the writing of Osler’s Web (see "Crown’s Chronic Fatigue Saga"), Publishers Weekly published this starred review of the book, which designates "books of unusual interest and merit.” 

 

Garet Field-Sells

Field / Sells Studio, 3451 Loma Lada Drive, Northeast Los Angeles, CA, 90065

For over a decade, Garet's creative design, branding, and strategy career spans over interactive, print, technology, film and fashion for some of the world’s leading brands. Fusing contemporary business solutions with innovative ideas, Garet inspires entrepreneurs, start ups, small and large teams to conceptualize and deliver ingenious results. Based in Los Angeles, California – Garet has worked as a creative director overseeing big-picture projects from concept to launch with Paramount Pictures, EMI Music, Virgin Music, Helmut Lang, Converse, IBM, Ford, Canal+, HP, The Ritz Carlton and the U.S.' premiere plant-based culinary empire, Matthew Kenney Cuisine. As a marketing and business strategy consultant, Garet's regional work with Apple, Nike, and Equinox – alongside TBWA/Chiat/Day's creative team – helped form his approach to lean business models with simplicity, celebrating honest and compelling visceral experiences. Co-founder of Installation Media – Garet built groundbreaking platforms and interactive experiences for art institutions around the world, collaborating with The Getty, LACMA, MoMa, MOCA, The Barbican Centre, Tate, The Armory Show, Volta and the internationally regarded Southern California Institute of Architecture. As a producer, content creator, art director and multi-media specialist, he lead partnerships with BMW, Ruinart, Cadillac and Barney New York.