As WWII neared an end, 36 idealistic conscientious objectors, members of the Civilian Public Service, volunteered to be systematically starved. The project, headed by Dr. Ancel Keys, was designed to develop an understanding of the physiology and psychology of starvation and to provide strategies to manage the mass starvation that might follow the war's end in Europe. Tucker (Notre Dame vs. the Klan) provides a fascinating and moving history of the experiment, centering on the lives and experiences of the volunteers and the formidable obstacles they overcame. Tucker tells the story with verve and economy, providing provocative discussions on subjects ranging from the ethical problems inherent in the use of human volunteers to the history of cannibalism and the conscientious objector movement. One strength of the book is the tension and drama evident as the subjects struggle with their hunger. Another strength is the charismatic Dr. Keys (who invented the K ration), an accomplished man who combined compassion and intelligence with an unquenchable desire to advance learning (he later raised the first alarms about the dangers of cholesterol and fat in the American diet). Keys, his experiment and his 36 starving men form a compelling combination. 8 pages of b&w photos. (May 2)
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The heroic men of the title were 36 conscientious objectors who, at the end of World War II, volunteered to take part in a yearlong experiment on starvation. They were assigned to the Civilian Public Service Corp. Dr. Ancel Keys, the inventor of the K-ration, headed the experiment. For six months, the men ate a rigorously restricted diet similar to the wartime rations of Europeans. Many of these people, especially survivors of the concentration camps, were dying from malnutrition. During the next six months, Dr. Keys studied their rehabilitation in an effort to understand how best to help feed the starving people after the war. Tucker interviewed 12 of the volunteers and Dr. Keys, and this book chronicles their arduous undertaking and recounts the knowledge gained from the study. Bizarre but true. George Cohen
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
A must read in understanding the body and metabolic damage.Published 3 months ago by hanna banaszkiewicz
If I hadn't seen a throwaway reference to this experiment on a blog once, I wouldn't have known to look for this book. I'm so glad I did. Read morePublished 10 months ago by M.A.
Good if your interest is on the biological progress of starvation and its effects on the human body. Read morePublished 11 months ago by engel
Well researched, this book brings great balance to the story of WWII. Truly never have so many owed so much to so few. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Dr. Leslie J. May
The author did the effort and i acknowledge it, the fact that i have never heard about this experiment before was a great educational plus. Read morePublished 20 months ago by DraCaroline
Very interesting. Tucker goes into a lot of detail about the participants of the study. You really feel like you know these guys by the end of the book.Published 21 months ago by Jesse Stuart
I read this book and chose it off of a list of nearly 100 and I'm glad that I did! I learned a lot and it was very interesting. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Kim
Good overview of how starvation affects men. First half of the book is about the doctor's background; interesting but would rather have more info about the experiment itself. Read morePublished on April 24, 2013 by H. Ford