The Fasting Cure

The Fasting Cure.  The Fasting Cure is an enthralling and slightly perilous read. Upton Sinclair, a respectable and accomplished journalist but not a physician, wrote it. Sinclair appears to have been taken in by his subject matter without exercising his critical faculties sufficiently.

Fasting has been a part of health and religious practices since time immemorial; when done in moderation, it can be beneficial to the body and has a variety of well-documented effects. From this vantage point, Sinclair’s book is worth reading for the advice and tips on how to be a more sensible faster, as well as as a historical document of the “fasting fever” that existed at the time of writing. However, one thing that fasting is not is a cure for cancer or several of the other diseases claimed within. Another issue with this book is the author’s assertion that fasting for up to 40 or 50 days is common and healthy; modern medical advice suggests that this is far too extreme and extremely dangerous.

Rather than a single book, this is a collection of articles and letters by Upton Sinclair on the subject of fasting. Additionally, his remarks and comments on these are included, which serve to tie the sections together. While readers may be particularly interested in this work from a historical or anthropological perspective, they should not follow the instructions without consulting their physician first.