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One of the more provocative studies of why middle America is making increasing use of ritual healing and what that choice tells us of problems with biomedical care in technological institutions. . . . A welcome addition to anthropological studies of ritual healing in other societies, and it illuminates a huge component of our health care system that is poorly understood. --Arthur Kleinman, M.D., Harvard University An all too rare volume, namely a scholarly work on the practice of healing in suburban or what we might call middle-class America. McGuire, perhaps uniquely, has set out the religious or 'ritual' healing beliefs and practices that are usually strictly segregated and kept apart. . . . Anyone who takes seriously the need to understand 'healing' . . . should obtain this book. --Health and Healing The power of the book is in the larger cultural analysis it offers . . . a valuable contribution to medical sociology. --Sociological Analysis This welcome study of nonmedical healing among upper-middle-class and middle-class persons in Essex County, New Jersey, clearly shows how individuals become attracted to and influenced by alternative healing techniques. --Choice Develops an innovative sociological approach to the study of alternative healing practices through a methodologically sound qualitative study. . . . The high quality of research and conceptualization and the meticulous documentation of the relevant literature make [this book] essential reading for those interested in the sociology and anthropology of religion and of medicine, and in the study of health and illness in contemporary America. --Contemporary Sociology A major contribution. --The Christian Century The remarkable strength of this book about the exotic in the commonplace is that it demonstrates both that ritual healing is widespread in the heartland of medical technology, and that the wide variety of ritual healing practices are based on similar structures. --Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry Meredith B. McGuire is professor of sociology at Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas, and the author of Pentecostal Catholics and other books. Debra Kantor is acting director of education and training for the New Jersey Medical School National Tuberculosis Center.