Greg's Reviews > Anatomy of an Illness: As Perceived by the Patient

Anatomy of an Illness by Norman Cousins
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's review
Sep 03, 08

bookshelves: history-and-biography, personal-development
Read in January, 1983

I read Cousins' first edition of Anatomy of an Illness way back when...it was terrific then, and hasn't lost any of its relevance today. It essentially energized an entire movement around mind/body health, and cracked open the possibility in many previously closed minds that there might be more important inputs into human health than drugs and surgery. Indeed, as I recall, Cousins became the first non-MD member of the faculty at a prominent medical school, based on his experiences and writing.

The hope he gave (and that his books continue to give) to many who are facing serious illness and diminishment of quality of life is extraordinary. Attention to nutrition, spiritual and emotional health, and personal involvment in medical decisions are all still powerfully motivating forces in improving the health of people around the world. Simply recognizing the impact of maintaining a humorous perspective is an astonishingly powerful insight, let alone Cousin's numerous other contributions. His own recovery from a (thought to be) fatal illness, and his later recovery from a heart attack, add vitality to his thoughts on health.

Highly recommended.
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