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Stephen Fried is a journalist and author. His books include Thing of Beauty: The Tragedy of Supermodel Gia, Appetite for America: Fred Harvey and the Business of Civilizing the Wild West-One Meal at a Time, Bitter Pills: Inside the Hazardous World of Legal Drugs, The New Rabbi, and Husbandry. He näytä lisää and Patrick J. Kennedy wrote A Common Struggle: A Personal Journey through the Past and Future of Mental Illness and Addiction. He won the National Magazine Award twice and is an adjunct professor at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. (Bowker Author Biography) näytä vähemmän

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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA
University of Pennsylvania (1979)
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I'm the author of THING OF BEAUTY: The Tragedy of Supermodel Gia (which inspired the Emmy-winning film Gia and introduced the word "fashionista" into the English language), BITTER PILLS: Inside the Hazardous World of Legal Drugs, THE NEW RABBI, an essay collection, HUSBANDRY, and a new historical biography, APPETITE FOR AMERICA: How Visionary Businessman Fred Harvey Built a Railroad Hospitality Empire that Civilized the Wild West. I teach magazine writing at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and write for national magazines. I live in Philadelphia with my wife, author Diane Ayres. www.stephenfried.com



“here we are, without our families, totally out of our heads, and we don’t know where on earth we are. That was the feeling of the early seventies—nobody knew where they were.”
― Stephen Fried, Thing of Beauty

Given to me by a friend for a gift. I had seen a film on Gia, with Angelina Jolie playing the lead role.

In case, you have not hear d of her, Gia was..well Gia was beautiful. Truly beautiful. And she was a super model. She tragically died of AIDS.

I did enjoy reading this although it was very sad..heartbreaking actually. It gives you a look inside the world of modeling but really its focus is on Gia herself. I have to say the book was written so well and though I only gave it a three that is because of how bitterly sad it was.

I recommend the movie as well.
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Thebeautifulsea | 8 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Aug 7, 2022 |
In 2020, The National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution Library introduced a Book Club with recommended readings. Rush was one of the first recommended, and I found it very informative. This Founding Father, who was also a signer of the Declaration of Independence, has not been as extensively covered as others such as John Adams and Thomas Jefferson -- incidentally, Rush helped the two reconcile their temporary rift in their friendship. This book fleshes out Benjamin Rush and his accomplishments. He was a doctor who had some ideas that include those regarding mental illness and abolition of slavery that were unfortunately not common during his time.… (lisätietoja)
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ValerieAndBooks | 7 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Sep 28, 2021 |
Very well researched and breezily written book on a Founding Father few know about. Benjamin Rush's contributions to our nation's fight for independence, interactions with all the "main players," and immense efforts at not just medical practice but advocacy for mental health cannot be understated. Rush led by example by not simply writing about abolition, but helping to found some of the first African-American churches in the country and promoting the idea that we're all the same intellectually. Had more heeded his words, we might have avoided a civil war...

Unlike most historical books/biographies, there are illustrations throughout. This is nice because the images are placed at appropriate places, rather than scores of pages after individuals are referenced. This gives the reader a better sense of the book's subjects in "real time."

Highly recommended.
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Jarratt | 7 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Oct 15, 2020 |
This was one of the best biographies I’ve read in a long time, and I’m so glad this was the book that introduced me to Benjamin Rush. He was amazingly multitalented, and I have no idea how one person could do so much. He spent most of his time studying and practicing medicine, but for a time he also became involved in politics and even signed the Declaration of Independence. Later, he became disgusted with politics and withdrew to go back to medicine, but he maintained a voluminous correspondence with both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. He also became an abolitionist and freed the single slave he had. He also made efforts to lobby the Constitutional Convention to “include language abolishing slavery and offering full voting citizenship to free blacks.” (Page 297). In addition, he became friends became friends with several black preachers and helped them found their churches. He was also a fierce proponent of public education, including higher education, and founded a college. He supported educating women to the same extent as men, arguing among other things that children learn first from their mothers.

He was also very accomplished as a medical doctor. During the Revolutionary War, he wrote to Washington and asked him to order all his troops to be inoculated against smallpox. Washington agreed, and it is estimated that this three-paragraph letter saved more lives than anything else any doctor did during the Revolutionary War. Later, he taught at the first medical school in the United States. He is also considered the founding father of American psychiatry, and for decades his face was on the seal of the APA. Rush was one of the first people to believe that “madness” was actually an illness that could and should be treated using the best medical knowledge available, as opposed to an issue of morality or some other personal failing. For example, he was one of the first to recognize alcoholism as a physical illness: “In 1784, after less than a year on the hospital staff, he published a ten-page pamphlet called “An Enquiry into the Effects of Spirituous Liquors upon the Human Body, and Their Influence upon the Happiness of Society,” which offered one of the first modern descriptions of the effects of chronic alcohol use.” (Page 265). He also supported using the forerunners of modern occupational and talk therapy.

Rush’s first full-length book, titled ““Medical Inquiries and Observations,” became the first American medical book widely known across the country, and even in Europe. Patients and physicians even began contacting him and asking for diagnoses by mail. And when he tried to tactfully discourage this practice by explaining that postage rates were too high for him to respond to all the letters, the letter writers simply began including money to pay for postage along with the letters.

During the great 1793 yellow fever epidemic in Philadelphia, he stayed behind to treat the ill rather than leave Philadelphia with his wife and children. His actions were heroic, considering that there was no cure for yellow fever at the time, no one knew what caused it, and he did end up contracting the disease from the people he treated for free, although he survived. It’s worth pointing out that even today there is no cure that specifically targets the yellow fever virus, although there are several preventative measures – mosquito control and a yellow fever vaccine (receiving the vaccine is a condition for travelling to some parts of Africa and other areas where yellow fever commonly occurs). He insisted in his letters that staying behind to treat the ill, even at his own risk, was a religious obligation – he said that while the Old Testament required men to love their neighbors as themselves, the New required them to love their neighbors better than themselves. Despite his strong religious convictions, he ardently supported the separation of church and state and corresponded with atheists and Deists.

Some other physicians also stayed in Philadelphia to treat patients, and they used different methods to treat yellow fever than Rush did. This precipitated an ugly battle of egos between Rush and competing physicians, as well as a conflict over race:

“Carey’s [a competing physician] book refueled every fight that had just died down in the medical and political communities and instigated a new one between the races: he reported that the black men and women who had been so heroic [in staying behind to help treat yellow fever patients] had also overcharged many people and plundered some of their houses…Rush did not respond publicly to Carey’s book…But he no doubt encouraged the book-length response to it written by Absalom Jones and Richard Allen. Their book, “A Narrative of the Proceedings of the Black People, During the Late Awful Calamity in Philadelphia, in the year 1793: and a Refutation of Some Censures, Thrown upon Them in Some Late Publications,” was published on January 24, 1794, and became a landmark in many ways. It was the first copyrighted book ever written by African Americans, and it was also the first time black authors challenged a prominent white journalist – and some of Philadelphia’s more racist (yet unnamed) citizens – in print.” (Pages 368-369).

It was widely believed at the time that black people could not contract yellow fever (obviously this isn’t true, as shown by city records, although many had doubtless been exposed in Africa and had become immune), and they were encouraged to stay behind to help treat the ill. Many did, and Rush hoped this would help improve race relations. Unfortunately, it did not.

In addition to new editions of “Medical Inquiries and Observations” (which included his thoughts on mental illness), Rush wrote a book defending his treatment methods during the 1793 epidemic. By 1794, his most recent edition of “Medical Inquiries and Observations” and his book on yellow fever became known in England and Germany. The yellow fever book was also published in London, where it became well-known and “aggressively” reviewed.

Rush was also active as a medical school professor at the University of Pennsylvania. In addition to his regular duties in training physicians, he also wrote and delivered a new “Introductory Lecture to courses of Lectures upon the Institutes and Practice of Medicine” to start the school year each fall. He started doing this in 1791, as soon as the medical school opened, and looked forward to giving a new one each year:

“In the years to come he gave a lecture on Hippocrates; another “On the duty and advantages of studying the diseases of domestic animals, and the remedies proper to remove them” – which would be considered the beginning of veterinary medicine…One year he even took on “the duties of patients to their physicians, which, among his advice on specific ways to follow doctors’ orders, also explained the right way to fire your physician.” (Pages 414-415).

In the fall of 1812, Rush published his magnum opus, “Medical Inquiries and Observations, upon the Diseases of the Mind.” As the book explained,

“The title was meant to link the book to his life-long medical text project, but most people referred to it by the shortened name embossed on the spine: Rush on the Mind. It was a late-career effort by the most celebrated doctor in America to bring all his credibility as a physician, a scientist, a revolutionary, and a man of faith to the most vexing and painful problem of all: mental illness, and society’s failure to understand and care for some of its most marginalized members.” (Page 468).

It was the first American book to specifically deal with mental illness and addiction, and Rush’s greatest legacy to American medicine
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Jennifer708 | 7 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Mar 21, 2020 |



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