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Closing Time

Thomas Laqueur

18 August 1994
How We Die 
by Sherwin Nuland.
Chatto, 278 pp., £15.99, May 1994, 0 7011 6169 8
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... friend with the news that the atheist philosopher David Hume had died well and without repentance. ‘The horror of death, which I had always observed in Dr Johnson, appeared strong tonight.’ SherwinNuland a surgeon from Yale, speaks to the Johnson in each of us, to our hunger for knowledge of our inevitable end: ‘Everyone wants to know the details of dying ... we are irresistibly attracted by ...
4 July 1996
The Same and Not the Same 
by Roald Hoffmann.
Columbia, 294 pp., $34.95, September 1995, 0 231 10138 4
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... as in the immense, neo-Darwinian undertaking of Stephen Jay Gould, the books of Lewis Wolpert, Peter Medawar’s essays, the psychiatric narratives of Oliver Sacks or the clinical deliberations of SherwinNuland; and finally the heroic attempts to describe a single discipline, including its technical details and particular kind of reasoning. For inclusion in this category I would suggest Milton A ...

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