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January 5, 1979

What You Should Know About EstrogensOr the Perils of Pauline

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, University of Chicago.

JAMA. 1979;241(1):47-51. doi:10.1001/jama.1979.03290270037017

WHILE maturing, America seems to have lost its sense of humor. A younger, more vigorous, democratic nation preserved its perspective with the help of great humorists such as Mark Twain, Will Rogers, Oliver Wendell Holmes, William D. Howells, Josh Billings, and George Ade. Today we are amused at the contrived "one-liners" of our comics, but with few exceptions their only mission is to generate a guffaw. Ralph Nader would probably have been laughed out of town by Mark Twain, who said in his autobiography:

It seems a pity that the world should throw away so many good things merely because they are unwholesome. I doubt if God has given us any refreshment which, taken in moderation, is unwholesome, except microbes. Yet there are people who strictly deprive themselves of each and every eatable, drinkable, and smokable which has in any way acquired a shady reputation. They pay this price for