Books | Page Publishing

What I Was Thinking

Simon Gelman started to think about writing a book seventeen years ago, at the end of his chairmanship. Initially, he saw quite a few obstacles. His hesitations were related to his lack of knowledge of the English language, lack of knowledge of American culture, and lack (rather a complete absence) of experience in writing nonmedical text. Over the years, the conceived idea was maturing, and the question of whether writing the book or not gradually converted into how to write it. Gelman managed to overcome the uncertainties and decided just to tell the story.

The first chapter of the book is a memoir. However, it is written as a retrospective analysis of the thoughts Gelman had and actions he chose at different periods of his life. The following chapters address certain subjects like how to be a chairman of an academic medical department, relationships between doctors and patients, socialism and capitalism, and anti-Semitism.

These chapters describe Gelman's views and how they changed over time, affected by his maturing and life in three different countries (Soviet Union, Israel, and United States) with very different social structures and cultures.

A few of Gelman's friends who read the first drafts of this book were saying that these chapters that describe his changing views on the subjects can be helpful to understand many different, often not-well-justified actions in human lives. The book does not suggest what should be done in one or another circumstance. It rather tells the story of how and why the decisions (right or wrong) were made depending on the background and acquired knowledge.

--Simon Gelman

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