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Published: Thursday 30 November 1995

Brutally frank Gordon K Durnil admits in his book, Making of a Conservative Environmentalist, that the only qualification he had to be on the American continent's senior environmental post was having served as a Republican party chairman in Indiana, and a close political friendship with former vice-president Dan Quayle. He was part of the panel that had called for the phasing out of elemental chlorine, a basic chemicaJ feedstock of modern manufacturing. Durnil describes the observations made in the five years that he spent in shaping environmental policy. According to him, "Scientists are too reticent about recommending action, despite having enough evidence to do so. Environmentalists are prone to drifting off into dream-world words. The Press suffers from lack of preparedness. Most government officials behave as though they'd been injected with a shot of Novocain".

The heart of a doc The Plague, Hot Zone and Outbreak had started a new trend of contemporary literature which brings out the horror of living with deadly diseases. Diseases which seem to baffle scientists the world over. Abraham Verghese, a doctor who battled with AIDS in Johnson City, America, has written a book describing his experiences. My Own Country: A Doctor's Story of a Town and its People in the Age of AIDS, is based on his experiences at his 'Miracle Centre', where patients came to seek treatment. Verghese's is a very emotional account of homosexuality and the innards of the American health care system where poorly paid and overworked doctors contend with the global scourge,AIDS.
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