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Books: Heart Warming Stories

05/29/2015 08:52AM ● Published by Aimee Cormier

By Ray Saadi—Book Editor

FALLEN LEAVES By Will Durant, Simon and Schuster $25

Here, in 22 delightful chapters is a surprisingly welcome find.

Durant, the brilliant author of the 11-volume “Story of Civilization” and the one-volume “Story of Philosophy,” left behind after his death the manuscript of his “Last Words on Life, and Love, War, God” and more. Each chapter is short and personal, the results of a span of 10 years writing his personal philosophy. Not even his heirs knew he had completed it and it wasn’t until 31 years later that it was found in a granddaughter’s trunk. Even though he prefaces his words with “Here I am, going on 95; by this time I should have learned the art of silence.” We are grateful that he didn’t and that he left us with these very inspiring, thought-provoking gems. 

THE MAN WHO TOUCHED HIS OWN HEART By Rob Dunn, Little, Brown $27

Among the many fascinating stories the author tells of medical pioneers who paved the way for today’s heart miracles, is young doctor Daniel Hale Williams who in 1893 performed what must be the first open heart surgery by cutting open the chest of a knifing victim, stanching the bleeding organ and stitching together his torn pericardium. The man in the title, 25-year-old Werner Forssmann had only the year before received his medical degree, but in 1929 was intrigued with the idea of reaching into a beating heart through a tube in the arm. Ordered to experiment first on animals, impatient Forssmann performed the procedure on himself. Threading a tube in his arm as far as it would go until an X-Ray showed it inside his heart. He had done it! So did two Americans who had adapted and refined his method. All three were eventually awarded the Nobel Prize.  

Life+Leisure, Today, In Print FALLEN LEAVES
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