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Davies 3. Past Imperfect, Ilka Chase 7. They Were Expendable, W. White 8. Flight to Arras, Antoine de St. Washington Is Like That, W. Kiplinger The Valley of Decision, Marcia Davenport - 3. So Little Time, John P. Marquand 4. The Human Comedy, William Saroyan - 6. Parkington, Louis Bromfield - 7. The Apostle, Sholem Asch - 8. Hungry Hill, Daphne du Maurier - 9. The Forest and the Fort, Hervey Allen - Under Cover, John Roy Carlson 2.
One World, Wendell L. Willkie 3. Journey Among Warriors, Eve Curie 4. Guadalcanal Diary, Richard Tregaskis 6. Burma Surgeon, Lt. Gordon Seagrave 7. Foreign Policy, Walter Lippmann 9. Strange Fruit, Lillian Smith - 2. Forever Amber, Kathleen Winsor - 5. The Razor's Edge, W. Somerset Maugham - 6. The Green Years, A. Cronin - 7. Green Dolphin Street, Elizabeth Goudge - 9.
A Bell for Adano, John Hersey - Brave Men, Ernie Pyle 3. Under Cover, John Roy Carlson 5. Yankee from Olympus, Catherine Drinker Bowen 6. The Time for Decision, Sumner Welles 7. Anna and the King of Siam, Margaret Landon 9. The Curtain Rises, Quentin Reynolds Ten Years in Japan, Joseph C. Forever Amber, Kathleen Winsor - 2. The Black Rose, Thomas B. Costain - 4. Captain from Castile, Samuel Shellabarger - 9. Brave Men, Ernie Pyle 2. Dear Sir, Juliet Lowell 3.
Up Front, Bill Mauldin 4. Black Boy, Richard Wright 5. Try and Stop Me, Bennett Cerf 6. General Marshall's Report, U. War Department General Staff 8. The Thurber Carnival, James Thurber The King's General, Daphne du Maurier - 2. This Side of Innocence, Taylor Caldwell - 3.
The Miracle of the Bells, Russell Janney - 5. The Hucksters, Frederic Wakeman - 6. The Foxes of Harrow, Frank Yerby - 7. Arch of Triumph, Erich Maria Remarque - 8. Costain - 9. Marquand Peace of Mind, Joshua L. Liebman 3. Last Chapter, Ernie Pyle 6. Edmund Starling 7. I Chose Freedom, Victor Kravchenko 8.
The Anatomy of Peace, Emery Reves 9. Top Secret, Ralph Ingersoll The Miracle of the Bells, Russell Janney - 2. The Moneyman, Thomas B. Costain - 3. Gentleman's Agreement, Laura Z. Hobson - 4. Lydia Bailey, Kenneth Roberts - 5. The Vixens, Frank Yerby - 6. The Wayward Bus, John Steinbeck - 7. House Divided, Ben Ames Williams - 8.
Liebman 2. Information Please Almanac, , John Kieran, editor 3. Inside U. A Study of History, Arnold J. Toynbee 5. Speaking Frankly, James F. Byrnes 6. The American Past, Roger Butterfield 9. Boni, editor Together, Katharine T. The Big Fisherman, Lloyd C. The Naked and the Dead, Norman Mailer - 3. Dinner at Antoine's, Frances Parkinson Keyes - 4. The Golden Hawk, Frank Yerby - 7.
Raintree County, Ross Lockridge Jr. Shannon's Way, A. Cronin - 9. Pilgrim's Inn, Elizabeth Goudge - Crusade in Europe, Dwight D. Eisenhower 2. Liebman 4. Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, A. Kinsey, et al. Wine, Women and Words, Billy Rose 6. The Gathering Storm, Winston Churchill 8.
Roosevelt and Hopkins, Robert E. Sherwood 9. The Egyptian, Mika Waltari - 2. Mary, Sholem Asch - 4. Point of No Return, John P. Marquand 6. Dinner at Antoine's, Frances Parkinson Keyes - 7. High Towers, Thomas B. Costain - 8. Cutlass Empire, Van Wyck Mason - 9. Pride's Castle, Frank Yerby - How to Win at Canasta, Oswald Jacoby 3.
Cheaper by the Dozen, Frank B. Gilbreth Jr. Reilly 8. Peace of Soul, Fulton J. Sheen The Cardinal, Henry Morton Robinson - 2. Joy Street, Frances Parkinson Keyes - 3. Across the River and into the Trees, Ernest Hemingway - 4. The Wall, John Hersey - 5. Star Money, Kathleen Winsor - 6. The Parasites, Daphne du Maurier - 7. Floodtide, Frank Yerby - 8. Jubilee Trail, Gwen Bristow - 9. The Adventurer, Mika Waltari - Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book 2.
The Baby 3. Kon-Tiki, Thor Heyerdahl 6. Jones, Meet the Master, Peter Marshall 7. Your Dream Home, Hubbard Cobb 8. The Mature Mind, H. Overstreet 9. Campus Zoo, Clare Barnes Jr. From Here to Eternity, James Jones - 2. The Caine Mutiny, Herman Wouk - 3. Moses, Sholem Asch - 4. The Cardinal, Henry Morton Robinson - 5. The Cruel Sea, Nicholas Monsarrat - 7. Melville Goodwin, U. Return to Paradise, James A. Michener - 9. The Foundling, Cardinal Spellman - Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book 3.
Better Homes and Gardens Garden Book 5. Unknown 21 December at Atif Manzoor 28 December at Unknown 17 February at Unknown 1 February at Unknown 28 February at Unknown 10 March at Tumors again receded, and before long he was declared a picture of health and sent home.
In fact, this man, who a week earlier could not breathe without extra oxygen, flew home in his own airplane. For a time, all continued to go well. Then an American Medical Association announcement appeared in the press definitively denouncing Krebiozen as a worthless drug.
Wright read the report, relapsed again, was readmitted to the hospital, and was dead in two days. Wright was first reported in a psychiatric journal in by Rorschach test pioneer Bruno Klopfer, who was fascinated by the personality profile of this patient. Skeptics may or may not believe it or may scoff that it is just one case and in itself proves nothing. But virtually everyone who tells or hears it in our own time understands what kind of story it is: it is a story about the double-edged power of suggestion.
What, though, do we mean by this? What is suggestion, and what kind of power do we think it possesses? To understand, we need to see the way in which the story of Mr. Wright is grounded in the assumptions and tropes typical of the oldest and most generative narrative of mind-body medicine. This is a skeptical narrative that I call the power of suggestion.
In its classic form, this narrative invariably begins by introducing at least two characters: a vulnerable, nave, or needy person often a patient, quite often a woman and an authority figure typically a doctor, healer, hypnotist, or priest, and invariably a man who is believed to possess either personal charisma, special skills, powerful medicines, or expert knowledge that brooks no skepticism. If he says something will happen, it will!
The narrative then classically recounts a series of exchanges, often quite ritualized, between these characters. The sequence and substance of these exchanges can and does vary, but in all of the iterations the patient is helpless to resist: he or she believes whatever is said, does whatever is said, andstrangest of allphysically experiences whatever is said.
The authority figures words and acts seem to open up channels of communication between the patients mind and body that are normally impassable.
He or she may shake with cold or perspire with heat, or may undergo surgical procedures without discomfort. Sometimesas happened in the story of Mr. Wrightif he or she is ill, all of his or her symptoms may disappear, either on the spot or over time. But usuallyas also happened with Mr. Wrightrecovery is only temporary. The narratives conclusion is clear: suggestions cures are at best palliative and at worst fools gold.
The patient under the influence of suggestion has not actually been cured by her doctor, but has instead brought on all the changes herself, using her own mindand these changes remain, in a sense, only mental. Her body is less cured than it is tricked by both her mind and her doctor, in a collusion that bypasses the patients own consciousness. Put another way, the powers of suggestion depend on a Faustian bargain in which the patient yields her autonomy to an external authority, lays her troubles at his feet, and hopes to receive in return access to powers and experiences she could otherwise never hope to enjoy.
It is a sweet, almost erotic visionbut a dangerous one. For the effects of suggestion are ultimately illusory, and therefore in practice they are highly unstable. Unmask the reality behind the theater, undermine the patients trust, and everything collapses in a moment. Among the six narrative templates of modern mind-body medicine to be explored in this book, the power of suggestion is the one most likely to make us uncomfortable.
It is true that we are sometimes intrigued by the idea that we possess deep and generally untapped powers to influence our bodily functioning, but we are also highly ambivalent about the idea that these powers are for others, and not us, to command.
Yes, some stories about suggestion celebrate the uniquely trusting relationship between doctor and patient that enables suggestion to work its effects, but more common versions are scornful of patients who are susceptible to the suggestive interventions of authority figures. There is often an implication that, if suggestion can cure ailments, then these ailments must have been all in the patients head in the first place. We may also be suspicious of the ethics of any doctor who uses suggestion as a therapeutic method for illness.
At best, we may feel such a method undermines patients autonomy; at worst, it puts them at risk of being stooges of the unscrupulous. As a narrative with all of these connotations, the power of suggestion has existed in our culture for only about a century. Many of the key elements operating to give the narrative its real power are, however, much older.
Indeed, we can only make full sense of the haunted, uneasy nature of the power of suggestion by appreciating its Janus-faced roots. On the one side, it draws on key elements within the centuries-old and now largely defunct narrative of demonic possession; on the other side, it draws just as heavily on the skepticism that has dogged possession and its successive secular analoguesfirst mesmerism, and then hypnosissince at least the sixteenth century.
Were these strange states of mind the product of powerful external forcessatanic, physical, or psychological? Alternatively, were they the product of outright fraud? Or again, were they perhaps the result of unwitting self-deception? No other narrative of modern mind-body medicine is as fundamentally conflicted about its own epistemological and ethical message as this one, and its history is the primary reason. Possession, exorcismand their first skeptics To see how this all came to be, we need to begin with a phenomenon that has been documented in societies all over the world: possession.
In the s, anthropologist Erika Bourguignon analyzed available records on different societies. Using just the data in the published literature, she found that 74 percent of these societies told possession stories and that 52 percent had ceremonies for treating cases of possession.
If the available data had been more comprehensive, she argued, the percentages might well also have been higher. Often, they would also become physically ill vomiting, breaking out in skin rashes, suffering spells of suffocation, and succumbing to violent convulsions.
What could be done for these unfortunates? Jewish tradition provided a range of incantations and other rituals for driving out demons.
Later, of course, stories would be told of Jesus casting out devils in his role as itinerant healer. This familiar story from Mark is typical: And when He came to the disciples, He saw a great multitude around them, and scribes disputing with them.
Immediately, when they saw Him, all the people were greatly amazed, and running to Him, greeted Him. And He asked the scribes, What are you discussing with them? Then one of the crowd answered and said, Teacher, I brought You my son, who has a mute spirit. And wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast it out, but they could not.
He answered him and said, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me. Then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth. So He asked his father, How long has this been happening to him? And he said, From childhood. And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him.
But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us. Jesus said to him, If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes. Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!
When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more! Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him.
And he became as one dead, so that many said, He is dead. But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. Tellingly, the word that came to be used for the rituals modeled on this and other similar New Testament stories of demon-possession was exorcism, from the Greek word exorkizein, which means to bind by an oath. In other words, exorcism was to be understood as a process by which an individual compels demons to depart by calling on the binding power of a higher authorityin the case of Marks biblical story, the ultimate authority of God Himself acting through Jesus.
It wasnt until the late sixteenth century that the Catholic Church began to emphasize this plot element, in response to Protestants and dissenters who began suggesting that individual prayer and fasting might actually be sufficient to purge the devil from a possessed person.
In this sense, the Churchs new hard-line insistence that priests alone were qualified to wrestle with Satan was part of its larger campaign to reassert its authority against the Reformation. This asserted the reality of demonic possession and outlined the procedures for exorcism by priests. Rather remarkably, these procedures remained on the books essentially unaltered until A considerable number of prescribed props and rituals conspired to make the priests authority visible.
He was required to don a surplice and purple stole and to utter certain prayers for protection Litanies of the Saints, the Lords Prayer, Psalm He was then enjoined to call on the demon or evil spirit to make itself known.
At this point, it was common for the suffering person to collapse in convulsions. These were assumed to be at once an admission of demonic presence and an acknowledgment of the priests power to force the evil spirit to reveal itself. Indeed, it was understood that the demon must respond to the commands of the priest because demons were members of a universal hierarchy within which they were subordinate to God, and priests in their roles as exorcists were acting directly on behalf of God.
The climax of the exorcism came when the priest used ritual words and gesturesmaking the sign of the cross, invoking the name of Christ to banish the demon from the persons body.
And usually, the demon went.
When it did, the persons soul returned to reanimate his or her vacated body, typically with amnesia for all that had transpired. Even as this highly elaborate narrative was still in process of formalization, however, the conditions for its destabilization were already being fostered.
In the highly charged political atmosphere of the Reformation, when virtually all aspects of Catholic authority and practice were under scrutiny or attack, people began to raise the specter of fraud. Accepting in principle the possibility of demonic possession, some commentators suggested that not every case of apparent possession should be taken at face value.
In the late sixteenth century, the prominent case of one Marthe Brossier in France would prove particularly significant in raising the profile of this new skeptical stance.
Marthe Brossier was a twenty-two-year-old woman living in a village in the French province of Berry when she began showing the classic signs of possessionwild behavior, convulsions, and so on. But some authorities believed that Marthes symptoms of possession were more apparent than real. The girl was being manipulated, they said, by her family and the Catholic clergy. The family, they said, saw an opportunity for financial gain, while the clergy were interested in stirring up antiProtestant sentiment.
What Marescot and his colleagues did, however, was remarkableand, as it may well seem to us today, remarkably modern: they offered Marthe consecrated watersomething that demons cannot abidebut lied and told her that it was in fact plain water.
She had no reaction to it. They then read her passages from the Aeneid but lied again and told her that they were from the Bible. This time, Marthe responded with convulsions and every sign of distress. The conclusion from these and similar tests seemed clear, and Marescot summed it up with the memorable line Nothing from the devil, much counterfeit, a little from disease.
From now on, it would no longer be enough if indeed it ever really had been for a person simply to act in odd ways or to report powerful and disturbing experiences. He or she must also provide externally verifiable evidence that the experiences in question were demonically inspired. Marescot and his colleagues proposed the following as standard benchmarks: being able to speak and understand languages of which the possessed person had no prior knowledge; being able to discern secrets and predict future events; demonstrating abnormal strength and insensitivity to pain; and consistently demonstrating revulsion at holy things contact with holy water, reading of Scripture, etc.
Faced with the need to distinguish reliably among these things, rational people needed to have a battery of tests at their disposal. From invisible demons to invisible fluids But what if demons were not real? By the second half of the seventeenth century, the Church was facing a new kind of skepticism: skepticism not just about the credibility of particular cases of possession, but about the very possibility of possession itself.
There were many sources for such general skepticism, including new natural philosophies that emphasized the powers of nature to produce effects previously attributed to the work of spirits, as well as new forms of anticlericalism according to which demon possession was simply a device used by priests to keep ignorant people subservient to their authority.
As the political philosopher Thomas Hobbes complained in his classic work Leviathan, By their demonology, and the use of exorcism, and other things appertaining thereto, [the priests] keep, or think they keep, the people in awe of their power.
People came from all over to be healed, and in dramatic public performanceswitnessed by crowds from all sectors of societyGassner would oblige. Official records were made; competent witnesses testified to the extraordinary happenings. All agreed on the basic facts.
On being presented with a supplicant, Gassner would typically wave a crucifix over his or her body and demand in Latin that, if the disease he was seeing had a preternatural source, this fact must be made manifest.
The patient would then typically collapse into convulsions, and Gassner would proceed to exorcise the offending spirit. Sometimes he added flourishes to this basic routine: in one dramatic instance, for example, he ordered the demon inside a woman to increase the poor victims heartbeat and then to slow it down.
Following the second command, a witnessing physician was invited to examine the patient and declared her deadhe could find no pulse, he exclaimed; her heart had stopped! But Gassner remained calm and demanded that the demon responsible for these acts depart from the body of this woman at once.
The command given, the woman stirred and rose to her feet before the crowd, alive and well. The medical profession complained; the local authorities complained; and in , by order of Prince Max Joseph of Bavaria, a commission was set up to investigate all these goings-on. One of the experts invited to assist in the investigation was a young physician named Franz Anton Mesmer.
Mesmer was asked to assist because he seemed to have a perspective on Gassners performance that would be very useful for the skeptics and others who wanted to rein in Gassner. Today, Mesmer is rememberedif hes remembered at allas a charlatan, or a showman, or maybe as someone who discovered the existence of psychological processes that he did not himself properly understand. He considered himself, however, to be a child of the dawning enlightened, scientific age.
He was interested in the larger implications of Newtons ideas about physical forces and gravitation; and he was skeptical, both of the old supernatural ideas about the world, and of the old authority structures of the Church.
Mesmer was particularly interested in the medical implications of Newtons theory of gravitation. Newton had suggested that the human body might contain an invisible fluid that responds to planetary gravitation, like the tides of the ocean.
Taking up this idea, Mesmer performed an initial series of experiments in which he moved mineral magnets around the bodies of his patients. In response to such treatments, Mesmers patients reported experiencing strong sensations of energy moving through their bodies.
They also experienced all sorts of involuntary movements, including.