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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Looking and past mistakes and hoping for a better future
Let me start by saying that if you're new to diabetes, this book is probably not for you.

Mostly this is because of the book's coverage of the recent history of diabetes treatment and all of the shortcomings. In the early part of the 20th century the hope of insulin followed by the realization of the complications caused by living with elevated blood...
Published on January 2, 2007 by Bernard Farrell

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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars What is the audience?
This is an interesting book and I liked Hirsch's personal accounts and writing style, but I disagree that anyone with diabetes or with a family member with diabetes should read it. This is the most depressing and sobering book I have ever read. If you want history, read Michael Bliss's "The Discovery of Insulin." If you want medical information and advice, contact the...
Published on February 1, 2007 by Typeone1969


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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Looking and past mistakes and hoping for a better future, January 2, 2007
By 
Bernard Farrell (North of Boston, MA USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Cheating Destiny: Living With Diabetes, America's Biggest Epidemic (Hardcover)
Let me start by saying that if you're new to diabetes, this book is probably not for you.

Mostly this is because of the book's coverage of the recent history of diabetes treatment and all of the shortcomings. In the early part of the 20th century the hope of insulin followed by the realization of the complications caused by living with elevated blood sugars.

Hirsch has a lot to say about what's gone wrong in the past and in the present day. This includes the lack of coverage for proper diabetes care and the ongoing promise of 'a cure' in the near term. And he also has some eye-opening statistics about the cost of diabetes care and complications.

But readers might also be dismayed by the immediate future for diabetes. The author covers some of the research that's happening towards such a cure, without being unrealistic about the likelihood that positive results will occur any time soon (my personal bet is that we won't see anything significant before 2015).

I just wish that he had laid out a plan for how things might be made better. I know that in the end this would just be one person's opinion, but having a chapter entitled something like "Effectively Dealing with Diabetes until We See a Cure", where he made specific proposals such as how healthcare and research dollars might be best spent, would have made this a much more worthwhile read.

My one hope is that if enough people read this book they might start to talk with their legislators. Then maybe diabetes care and research might be handled in a way that would improve the quality of life for those with the disease now, and would yield significant health care savings for all of us along the way.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Reading for Diabetics or people that live with or love Diabetics, January 9, 2007
This review is from: Cheating Destiny: Living With Diabetes, America's Biggest Epidemic (Hardcover)
This book has the passion and the feeling of how Diabetes affects every part of your life. The author is knowlegdable and has lived through what most diabetics have. The book has many facts that I did not know and the stories bring the book home to every reader. If you live with or love someone with the disease you should read this book. The author shows the struggles of everyday living with the disease and also the succeses. Great book with wonderful stories that can be felt by each reader.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book, January 9, 2007
This review is from: Cheating Destiny: Living With Diabetes, America's Biggest Epidemic (Hardcover)
I agree with those who thought this was a really good book. I've read Bernstein's book as well. I'm not sure why someone would think this is a book on diabetes treatment. It's a personal account with some historical, scientific stuff thrown in. Personally, I found it really fascinating and kind of comforting. As a diabetic, I've known that we really are on our own with only other diabetics to relate to. I think this author relays this well.

As for Bernstein, I'm actually following a lot of his advice, and, yes, I have seen improvement. But keep in mind, Bernstein's approach is rigorous and one of extreme denial of food, and extreme rigidity and control. His approach remains controversial. Not everyone can live like that. Part of the human existence is enjoying life, and food is a very important part of that. I can't imagine expecting a child to adhere to Bernstein's rigorous program.

Do read this book if you are a diabetic. It is not a manual for treating diabetes.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars interesting book, January 8, 2007
This review is from: Cheating Destiny: Living With Diabetes, America's Biggest Epidemic (Hardcover)
My experience reading Hirsch's book was quite different. I couldn't put it down. I found his style of writing and presentation interesting, and believe he played devil's advocate with Dr. Bernstein's recommendations. A common theme throughout his book from Joslen to Bernstein to various diabetics interviewed, is that many people who manage their diabetes well eat low-carb, exercise, and maintain tight control. I found his message empowering as he encouraged diabetics to educate themselves and not rely passively on their physician's to help them. I was shocked to learn how little training physicians receive on treating diabetes (2 hours?), and how the powers that be aren't too interested in finding a cure due to vested interests. In terms of the physician who cared and couldn't make a living, that's where my profession is at in regard to insurance companies.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth Reading, December 19, 2006
This review is from: Cheating Destiny: Living With Diabetes, America's Biggest Epidemic (Hardcover)
As a parent of a newly diagnosed diabetic, I was looking for exactly this type of book that had a comprehensive but layman's overview of the disease, info on current technologies/trends and insight into life with the "big D." The fact that this book was also tender, authentic and well written made the information very accessible. At times it was not easy to read because I resonated with the emotions described, but it was well worth reading. Highly recommended. I have already bought copies for gifts to our extended family.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Anyone that has diabetes or knows someone with diabetes should read this book!, January 21, 2007
By 
TTFN "acaduser" (Pleasant Prairie,WI) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Cheating Destiny: Living With Diabetes, America's Biggest Epidemic (Hardcover)
As a parent of a child with type 1 diabetes and family members with type 2 I found this book fasinating! It gave the history of diabetes treatment, the discovery of insulin and the future of research. As a parent, Mr. Hirsch "validated" my fears of having a child of diabetes. My friends would always tell me that I worried too much about my child. I always told my friends " You never put your child to bed and worry they will not wake up.... I do every night." Though it may seem overreaction it is a fear we parents of children with diabetes share. I could not put this book down.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Type 1 Diabetic, March 25, 2007
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This review is from: Cheating Destiny: Living With Diabetes, America's Biggest Epidemic (Hardcover)
I LOVED this book! I have had type 1 diabetes for 24 years and I am very well managed and complication free. This book was interesting and informative in so many ways... the history of diabetes treatment; the hurdles and challenges of treatment & research given today's healthcare system, pharmaceutical industry, rewards systems and cultural landscape; and a first person perspective of a knowledgeable long time diabetic. You may not agree with everything Hirsch has to say, but this is a GREAT read nonetheless.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A diabetes masterpiece, November 2, 2006
By 
James (New York, NY United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Cheating Destiny: Living With Diabetes, America's Biggest Epidemic (Hardcover)
James Hirsch is not only an amazing writer, he has a truly extraordinary perspective from which to write this definitive book on diabetes in 2006. He has diabetes, his brother is a leading endocrinologist who has diabetes, and while researching the book his young son was diagnosed with diabetes.

The historical analysis is fascinating, as are the stories of diabetes pioneers he brings to life.

As a parent of a child with diabetes I found some parts upsetting to read. And yet I very much appreciated the intelligent analysis of all the facts, whether bitter or sweet.

This book is a great contribution to those seeking to understand diabetes - the best I have encountered to date.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A 'must' for any concerned about diabetes and its effects on the individual and society; especially public lending libraries., February 8, 2007
This review is from: Cheating Destiny: Living With Diabetes, America's Biggest Epidemic (Hardcover)
CHEATING DESTINY: LIVING WITH DIABETES, AMERICA'S BIGGEST EPIDEMIC blends history, health, and autobiography in a hard-hitting survey of the diabetic sector of American society. It comes from a personal perspective, in that Hirsch has been a Type 1 diabetic for nearly 30 years. But it also comes from a historical, cultural and scientific level as it combines insights on studies, evolving psychological understanding, and details on a diabetic's daily lifestyle challenges. A 'must' for any concerned about diabetes and its effects on the individual and society; especially public lending libraries.

Diane C. Donovan

California Bookwatch
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cheating Destiny: Living With Diabetes, America's Biggest Epidemic, February 20, 2007
By 
M. E. Meeker (Walla Walla, WA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Cheating Destiny: Living With Diabetes, America's Biggest Epidemic (Hardcover)
This book is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand the emotional and economic issues of diabetes. It is far more complex than the last "educational"/fund-raising blurb you received. Mr. Hirsch describes the economics, politics and promises of research from a patient and parent perspective. He is an informed voice in the wlderness of vested interests of a multi-billion dollar industry. Read this book to feel empowered and inspired!
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Cheating Destiny: Living With Diabetes, America's Biggest Epidemic
Cheating Destiny: Living With Diabetes, America's Biggest Epidemic by James S. Hirsch (Hardcover - November 8, 2006)
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