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My Books

Of these, my seven books:


- Five have already been published, two others are almost complete.


- Five are in English, two in Dutch, and there's a German version of one of the English works.


- Six are non-fiction, the other my recently published first novel.


To learn more about any of these books, please scroll down this page or down the column on the right. If you then click on the title (in blue or white), the information will appear here on the top of the page.



Ursula Dreaming (available also in German)

This novel is available as an eBook for $0.99. Click on the tab directly below this description to visit the relevant page on the Amazon website.


When you consider my non-fiction books and my academic background, the themes which permeate my recently published first novel, Ursula Dreaming, should come as no surprise. Dreams, to be sure. And then there's language psychology (linguistic relativity and the languages of the Native Americans), architecture and skyscrapers, and ethnic identity.


Here's a summary:


When Ursula Cocheta, a young artist from an Apache reservation in Arizona, enrolls in a course on dream psychology at NYU, she hopes to gain self-knowledge, and inspiration for her artwork. But then she sees the young lecturer Dr. Jonathan Cohnheim and hears his passionate talk about the intricacies of the human psyche. When he tells a dream of his which is uncannily like one of her own, Ursula senses that their destinies were meant to entwine for some unknown higher purpose.


Ursula is unsettled by the intellect and erudition of Jonathan, who is game for no more than a fling. Furthermore, she is experiencing an identity crisis around her Indian heritage just as he is about his Jewish heritage. Both peoples are disappearing as distinct ethnicities due to assimilation and intermarriage, all the more in the megacity. But Ursula draws power from her spiritual ancestor Lozen, the fierce real-life female warrior who confounded the overwhelming might of the US cavalry with her brilliant tactics and seemingly paranormal gifts.


Sex as a weapon, tactical deceptions, extrasensory spying, cruel retaliation – all's fair in love and war. Jonathan and Ursula's intimate warfare is played out from the depths of her psyche, as they explore her dreams and artwork in her Lower East Side flat, to the heights of New York's iconic skyscrapers.


Ursula hardly has the chance to savor her victory over her intimate adversary before events from her teenage past come back to bedevil her, shattering her bond with him.


When the media report a bizarre ritual murder of a cult leader on an Apache reservation in Arizona, Jonathan recalls one of Ursula's dreams and realizes she is the perpetrator. As Ursula gets entangled in a web of suspicion, Jonathan knows there is only one way to get his guilty ex off the hook – a technique based on a strange characteristic of her Apache language. He's inclined to dismiss her pleas that her horrific murder was morally justified. But he's also tempted by his rekindled passion for her and a vision of a half-Indian girl in a dream.


Jews and Medicine: An Epic Saga

This book is in print and available directly from the publisher KTAV. you can click on the link below to go to their website.


For more than a millennium, in so many lands, under all varieties of circumstances, and even in the most intolerant surroundings, Jewish physicians have been the medical superstars. And their less renowned brethren have been as much as fifty times – 5,000 percent – overrepresented in the profession compared to their gentile colleagues.


In this 600-page book, unique in its scope, I endeavored to tell the whole sweeping panorama of Jews in medicine. We begin with prehistoric practices and believes about health and illness, then move to the Biblical era and the Mosaic rules. We see how in the Diaspora, Jewish physicians became the masters of the rational Greco-Roman medical theories of Hippocrates and Galen, which reached their zenith in the Islamic Golden Age in the centuries around the turn of the second millennium. We trace the role of Jews in the transmission of this classical medical knowledge back to Europe as Italy, Spain, and France awakened from the Dark Ages and transitioned into the Renaissance.


After a brief detour to the Orient and the Chinese Jewish physicians, we follow the shift from southern to northern Europe, beginning with the development of microscopy in Netherlands, as medical knowledge evolved into a true science. We see the pivotal role of Jewish medical men in the enormous breakthroughs in, particularly, the Germanic lands in the course of the nineteenth century and the triumph over infectious disease. We follow the great triumphs and tragedies of the twentieth century, among which, the development of psychoanalysis in Austria, chemotherapy in Germany, antibiotics in England, and how great advances by Jews in hematology and genetics were perversely used against them during the Third Reich. We consider the development of medicine in Israel and conclude with the role of Jews, beginning in colonial times, in the rise of America as the predominant medical superpower in the twentieth century.


Most chapters highlight the life and work of prominent Jewish medical men – Maimonides, Nostradamus, Paul Ehrlich, Sigmund Freud, Selman Waksman, to name just a few. But these are always told against the broader backdrop of the scientific, social, and political circumstances of the respective times and places.


Jews and Medicine was reviewed very positively in some 20 journals, magazines, and newspapers, including The New England Journal of Medicine.  

Language and Its Disturbances in Dreams

Through the centuries, dreams had been defined as a visual process. But as a vivid dreamer with a background in linguistics and psycholinguistics, I was long aware that dreams are not 'silent movies'; that there is a 'soundtrack' with dialogue between the characters in the dream scenario. My doctoral dissertation in medicine (University of Groningen) was entitled "Theoretical and Empirical Investigation into Verbal Aspects of the Freudian Model of Dream Generation." My experiments with dozens of subjects showed that speech in dreams (as recalled) is ubiquitous, usually grammatical, often syntactically complex, and generally appropriate to the scenario.


That verbal language, the highest cognitive faculty of homo sapiens, is apparently functioning at the wakeful level of competence in the dreaming state had, I argued, profound consequences for theories of dream generation. (Neo-)psychoanalytic theories and the recent highly influential neurophysiological activation-synthesis hypothesis were fully inadequate in this regard. Far more promising, I maintained, was the then-new psychoneurics model of dream generation, the analogue of the psycholinguistic model of language generation.


This research was incorporated into my book Language and Its Disturbances in Dreams: The Pioneering Work of Freud and Kraepelin Updated, published in 1993 by Wiley-Interscience. It also included relevant historical material, some newly discovered, on speech in dreams, which I translated from German into English. Most notable was the work of Emil Kraepelin who, though somatically oriented and not interested in psychoanalysis, is considered to be, along with his contemporary Freud, the founder of modern psychiatry.


The book was very positively reviewed in, among other periodicals, the leading academic journal Linguistics and The British Journal of Psychiatry. It has been cited in many academic books and articles on dreams and their generation.

Berichten uit Dromenland (Reports from Dreamland, in Dutch)

For a couple of years, I wrote a feature every weekend in De Telegraaf, the largest newspaper in the Netherlands, with a print circulation of a million. The feature was called "Bericht uit Dromenland" (Report from Dreamland), analogous to a newspaper correspondent reporting from a foreign country. The topics were surprisingly diverse. To give a few examples: Freudian and Jungian depth psychology, recurring dreams, children's dreams, out-of-body experiences, supposedly prophetic dreams, night terrors. Also covered were other aspects of sleep, such as insomnia, sleeptalking and walking, circadian rhythms, siestas, apnea, narcolepsy.


In 1992, a selection of some 60 of these features was published by the prestigious literary publisher Balans.

Dromen: Fantasie en Werkelijkheid (Dreams: Fantasy and Reality, in Dutch)

In 1993, Teleac, the Netherlands Foundation for Public Broadcasting, presented a six-part television series "Dromen: Fantasie en Werkelijkheid" (Dreams: Fantasy and Reality). This was based on the coursebook I wrote, which six chapters corresponding to the six broadcasts. The content can be seen from the titles: "The Stuff of Dreams – Mind and Body"; "The Dream As Message"; "A Mirror of Society?"; "Peculiar Universal Dream Themes"; "Extraordinary Kinds of Dreams"; "Myths, Fairytales and Dreams." The book contains scores of illustrations, including artwork by two prominent Dutch illustrators,

"The Fountainhead of All Tears": Ayn Rand and the Ecstasy of Architecture

The Fountainhead, published in 1943, is indisputably the novel of architecture. In it, Ayn Rand told of the more than decade-long struggle of the fictional architect Howard Roark to build in his radically innovative Organic style. His antagonists are envious fellow-architects, status-seeking potential clients, socialists resentful of individualism, scandal-seeking yellow journalists, conservative businessmen fearful of offending popular taste,


My new book of 500 pages, now almost complete, is the first ever to approach The Fountainhead from the perspective of architecture – and vice versa. Drawing from over 100 sources, especially Rand's extensive journal notes and correspondence plus her later recollections, we begin with the fabled architecture of St. Petersburg, where Alissa Rosenbaum grew up early in the twentieth century and which she, as Ayn Rand, described in her first novel We The Living. We then explore refugee Rand's stint in Hollywood as an aspiring scriptwriter and particularly her treatment of scripts involving skyscrapers.


The scene switches to New York in the 'thirties, the city Rand loved and where, the shadow of the Empire State Building, she intensely researched the background for The Fountainhead. We explore the ways and extent to which the stories of the architect characters Rand created were inspired by the careers and works of Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Sullivan (the great and tragic 'father of the skyscraper'), Raymond Hood, and other real-life architects. We see how Rand's yellow-journalism mogul character drew from the life-stories of, among others, William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer; and how her archvillain character drew from the writings and activities of the eminent architecture critic Lewis Mumford and others.


The book tells of Rand's scripting of the film version of The Fountainhead, in the late 'forties. We go on to consider architectural aspects of her subsequent novel Atlas Shrugged, her philosophy of Objectivism, and her theory of art. The book concludes with the story, two decades after Rand's death, of the rebuilding of the destroyed World Trade Center – and the controversy which aroused the passions of her followers and had uncanny echoes of fictional events in The Fountainhead.


The most explosive language-related issue in American history erupted late in 1996. The school board of Oakland, California, declared that "Ebonics," the vernacular of African Americans, and specifically of the children in their school district, was "genetically based and not a dialect of English" but grounded in "African Language Systems." The affair was nationwide front-page news, even prompting a special hearing by a subcommittee in the US Senate.


Along with historical linguistics, psycholinguistics, generative grammars, and the like, my academic background in the science of language included the African American vernacular and a Bantu language. This put me in a position to separate the truth from the nonsense about the Ebonics controversy. I was contracted by a publishing house to write a book and deliver it in record time. (The cover shown here was their design.) Unfortunately, the publisher was running into financial difficulty and subsequently went bankrupt.


It was long my intention to return to the Ebonics issue. My book, now almost complete, has been greatly expanded as well as revised and updated. Most notable is Chapter 1, now entitled "The Science of Language." My assumption is that, on average, even well-read audiences know virtually nothing about linguistics. I endeavor to introduce the reader to the discipline in an unusual way – by telling how in the course of centuries linguists (or philologists, as they were once called) came to know what they know. I particularly elucidate how the meaning of the term "genetic" is used in linguistics, which has nothing to do with human genes or races.


Armed with this fundamental knowledge of the science of language, the book tackles the explosive issue of African American speech. We begin with the West-African languages spoken by the ancestors of African Americans. We then look at the English maritime trade pidgin – the common lingua franca – spoken as a second language by many Africans who fell victim to the slave trade. We follow the evolution of this speech in the New World as it became a creole, the mother tongue of the descendants of the transported Africans. It is shown how in the course of three centuries its grammar gradually became more like standard English, while simultaneously making some unique grammatical innovations of its own.


On our journey, we also travel to Suriname on the coast of South America and consider the deepest of all English creoles and its surprising potentialities. We go to South Africa and see how a White creole became a standard national language. We look at the political and social status of minority tongues around the world and at educational policies aimed at their perpetuation rather than extinction. And we consider whether such policies could or should be applied to the African American vernacular in the US.


Historical linguistics, sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, transformational-generative grammar, language education policy – all these come together in the story of the most volatile language event in US history.