“How close we came to extinction, and it is forgotten now.” So begins Nobel Prize-winner Bernard Lown’s story of his fight against the nuclear symptom of what he calls “the disease of militarism.” It is still an active and highly contagious disease, as witnessed by events in Iran, North Korea, Pakistan and many other places. In his new memoir, Prescription for Survival, Dr. Lown probes the past to help us understand what drove, and continues to drive, nuclear proliferation. Although this compelling story is concerned with weapons of almost unimaginable destructive capacity and a potential clash of superpowers, Lown writes, “At the heart of these cascading events is a human narrative.” Ultimately he offers us a blueprint showing how concerned citizens working together across national boundaries can end nuclear proliferation. Dr. Lown will give an author talk at the Newton Free Library on Wednesday, July 23 at 7:00 pm. The talk will be followed by a book signing with books provided by New England Mobile Book Fair.
In 1981, brimming with anxiety about the escalating nuclear confrontation with the Russians, Lown launched a USA-USSR antinuclear movement with Soviet cardiologist Evgeni Chazov: International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW). Over the next four years, Lown and Chazov recruited more than 150,000 doctors worldwide to join their movement, held numerous international conferences, met with world political leaders and appeared on specially produced television programs broadcast throughout the USSR and the U.S. In 1985, despite active opposition from the U.S. government and NATO, Lown and Chazov accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of IPPNW.
Bernard Lown, MD, is Professor of Cardiology Emeritus at Harvard and is the inventor of the defibrillator. In addition to co-founding International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, he co-founded Physicians for Social Responsibility, SATELLIFE, ProCOR and the Lown Cardiovascular Research Foundation. He is the author of The Lost Art of Healing. (NewtonFreeLibrary)