Melvin Berger Daphne Ann Hamilton - Essay

Daphne Ann Hamilton

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

The title [Medical Center Lab] is a slight misnomer, as the author describes the work of nine different labs which might be found in a large modern medical center…. While continually stressing the value of … research, Berger's one method of citing typical work done in the labs is much less applicable to research than to clinical labs, with the consequence that this section of the book is much less interesting and the work appears less vital—a distinct disservice to the subject. A few other problems occur: ECG is used for electrocardiograph, with no mention made of the less correct but more familiar term EKG; and in one account of a heart function experiment, the results are so exactly reflective of the reasons for choosing the experimental groups in the first place that one wonders why the experiment was conducted—or at least why it was recounted here. The book as a whole … is uneven…. (p. 10)

Daphne Ann Hamilton, in Appraisal (copyright © 1978 by the Children's Science Book Review Committee), Winter, 1978.

[Melvin and Gilda Berger's] coverage of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats is admirably clear [in The New Food Book], and more extensive than that in Hettie Jones' How to Eat Your ABC's … which concentrates on vitamins; but on the whole the level and direction of nutritional advice is comparable…. The Bergers then go on to other food-related matters, but their treatment of world hunger is characteristically bland, and their discussion of the Green Revolution, food shopping, additives, and food production is naive and complacent compared to Sara Gilbert's report on the industry in You Are What You Eat…. In place of Gilbert's genuine independent investigation, the Bergers riddle their text with simple "experiments"—e.g., check for the presence of starch in different foods or observe its breakdown in cooked potato slices—which function more as a nuisance than anything else. (p. 498)

Kirkus Reviews (copyright © 1978 The Kirkus Service, Inc.), May 1, 1978.