Past Time

The article "From Ashes to Amity" [Summer 2015] states, "After World War II, Germany faced the need to reconcile with its enemies; other nations could learn from how it did so." German Chancellor Angela Merkel described how her country rehabilitated its international reputation after World War II by reconciling with victims of Nazis and acknowledging the atrocities Germany had committed.

Israel is one of the countries that could learn from this. For nearly 50 years, Israel has brutally occupied and oppressed the Palestinians, including land and water theft, home demolitions, mass arrests, humiliating roadblocks and checkpoints, and a strangulation blockade on the civilian population of Gaza. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Israel massacred 2,200 Palestinians in Gaza last summer, roughly three-quarters of whom were civilians, including 500 children. It is past time for Israel to be held accountable by the world community for the many atrocities that it has committed and continues to commit against the suffering Palestinian people.

Ray Gordon, A&S '66
Bel Air, Maryland

Take Heed

"From Ashes to Amity" in the summer issue was particularly thought-provoking in light of current events in American cities like Ferguson, Baltimore, and Charleston, which have undertones of long-festering divisions. Lily Gardner Feldman's insights with regard to Germany's approach to reconciliation should be taken to heart at home to help avoid future domestic incidents; Japan's denial shows that the opposite approach is counterproductive.

Bob Wright, SAIS '73
Leesburg, Virginia

What Works

"Burned Out" [Summer 2015], about nursing ethics, very clearly describes a phenomenon that has long plagued the health care field. The emphasis on the ethical dimensions of this issue and the educational and institutional remedies suggested are very appropriate and thoughtful. However, it would be helpful to practicing clinicians if specific interventions (preferably evidence-based) might also be suggested.

I would like to briefly describe one such intervention that I and Dr. Martin Abeloff, the former director of the Kimmel Cancer Center who died in 2007, instituted in the Hopkins Oncology Clinic in the early 1970s. At the request of Dr. Abeloff, who had observed impending staff burnout in the clinic, I led a support group every two weeks that included all nonphysician staff of the clinic (nurses, social workers, aides, secretaries, etc.) to address issues they found stressful. Needless to say, ethical issues were frequently discussed and are recounted in a September 1973 International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine article I wrote describing the program. This support group proved to be beneficial to the participants and could be an adjunct to the very helpful suggestions in the current article.

Thomas J. Craig, SPH '67, HS '68
Springfield, Virginia

Shared Pain

I had to chuckle reading Luke Kelly-Clyne's piece, "Unforgivable Offense" [Afterwords, Summer]. I feel your pain, bro. I guess my destiny was to attend Johns Hopkins with a name like Ingram Roberts. For my entire life, I've been addressed as "Robert Ingram," "Bob Ingram," or "Mr. Ingram" (or even "Dr. Ingram"). My wife usually tells me, "Just use your middle name, Mark; don't even mention your first name." I'm one of those two-last-name guys, just like the original big guy, Johns Hopkins.

However, when someone screws up my name or the name of my alma mater, I always correct him or her immediately, no matter who says it. Syracuse lacrosse fans have made an art of "Blue Jay baiting" over the years, referring to us collectively as "John Hopkins." The rumor was that former Syracuse coach Roy Simmons used to say this on purpose just to "get our goat."

The most egregious example of political John(s) incorrectness in recent memory occurred when the Blue Jays visited the White House in 2005 after winning the NCAA lacrosse championship and were referred to by President George W. Bush as the team from "John Hopkins."

So for you, Luke, and all my fellow alumni: To quote former JHU basketball coach Jim Valvano, "Don't give up; don't ever give up." Continue to call out those with inattention to detail who just can't ever get it right—even if they're the president of the United States.

Ingram Roberts, A&S '72, Med '76
Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania


Worse still than Luke Kelly-Clyne's "Unforgivable Offense" [Summer 2015] was sportscaster Howard Cosell's commencement address at our son's graduation in 1987, during which he thanked John Hopkins for inviting him to speak.

Sam Wasson, A&S '62
Berwyn, Pennsylvania

The Man, the Legend

Colleagues have referred me to the Harvey Noyes letter [Dialogue, Summer 2015] about Hopkins' W.H. Gantt, who worked with Ivan Pavlov. They asked that I notify readers that the legend of W. Horsley Gantt continues to grow and thrive in the Alan Mason Chesney Medical Archives. Follow this link to the Horsley Gantt Collection.

Moreover, the collection continues to expand with the addition of 57.6 cubic feet of new materials donated by the Gantt family. Chris Ponticas, who serves as a volunteer in the archives, has been steadily working to process these additional materials. Ponticas, the former director of medical staff services for Johns Hopkins Hospital, has even had to refresh her shorthand skills in order to decode Gantt's notes. Several generous gifts have enabled the Medical Archives to digitize more than 3,000 photos from the Gantt Collection, which will soon be available in the catalog of the collection. Many of these images document the period during which Gantt served as a health officer in Russia with the American Relief Administration; his years with Pavlov; and his time at the Pavlovian Laboratory at Johns Hopkins. Thanks to recent grants, the films in the collection have also been restored and digitized.

We look forward to completion of the processing and cataloging projects within the next few months. The Gantt Collection, with the incorporation of new content and the digitization of visual materials, will serve as a remarkably rich resource for research of Pavlovian principles and investigative practices. It will be accessible worldwide via the Medical Archives website.

Nancy McCall
Archivist, the Alan Mason Chesney Medical Archives of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions


"Muslim Sci-Fi" [Forefront, Summer 2015] mistakenly said Saladin Ahmed's Throne of the Crescent Moon won the 2013 Hugo Award. It was a nominee, not the winner.

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The opinions in these letters do not necessarily reflect the views of the magazine's editorial staff.