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The New York TimesHardly your evocative memoir, mellowed and illuminated by the years. The author's grievances are not retrospective; they are told as if still present. And that is the point. The book is defective as a memoir; it is something else in fact.
Dr. Nuland's iciness chills until we come to realize it is directed at himself. He had to reject his father's pain and humiliation, had to hold them at a distance; it was a vital need. And he is guilty and ashamed, which is not the same thing as apologetic because that would imply that things could have been different. Shame goes deeper; it is a tragic recognition of the inevitable. — Richard Eder