Monday, January 20, 2014

Nonfiction Monday: For the Good of Mankind? by Vicki Oransky Wittenstein

For the Good of Mankind?: The Shameful History of Human Medical Experimentation
Definitely not one for story time, or light reading before bed (unless you care to feed your nightmares), a fascinating and informative read nonetheless.
The subtitle, "The Shameful History of Human Medical Experimentation", pretty much sums it up. Some older readers may have heard of experiments performed by Nazis on people they considered subhuman, but will be shocked to learn of cases sanctioned by our own government, even conducted by American military doctors.
For the most part, the people who conducted these experiments felt they were completely justified, and many important discoveries were made as a result. Appendices include abundant source notes and sources for further study, but it is the section of critical analysis questions that set this apart from similar books that may just seek to shock the reader. I can see this being used in high school programs for teens interested in entering the medical field, or in a higher level English class where the teacher wants to encourage critical thinking and debate.
Not a fun read, but one with a definite place on high school library shelves. Thank-you to Twenty-First century Books for the review copy.

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