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Konrad Lorenz. The man and his ideas

Medical History
Cambridge University Press
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  • Book Reviews
  • Biology
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Book Reviews JOHN Z. BOWERS and ELIZABETH F. PURCELL (editors), Advances in American medicine: essays at the Bicentennial, 2 vols., New York, Josiah Macy, Jr. Founda- tion, 1976, 8vo, pp. viii, 918, illus., $25.00. For these excellent commemoratory volumes the editors have gathered together nineteen solicited essays by distinguished medical men, all but two being American. Each is a comprehensive survey of the development in the United States of a medical topic, with extensive documentation and fulsome indices. Most parts of medicine are represented: human genetics, infectious diseases (microbiology), metabolism and endocrinology, neoplasia, undergraduate and graduate medical education, medical care, public health and preventive medicine, immunology, the heart and lungs, pathology, the neurosciences, surgery, the origins of medicinals, biomedical com- munications and 'The federal impact on biomedical research'. There are also two essays on non-American viewpoints, British and Swedish. It is fascinating to read how many have been the advances achieved, mainly in the last century. During the previous one hundred years American medicine had depended heavily on Britain, France and Germany, in that chronological order. The relatively short period of time necessary for this nation to reach such a high order of excellence in medicine is remarkable, and the anthology presented here gives a detailed and authoritative account of it. Although the articles often deal with highly technical material, they can, nevertheless, be read by the layman as well as by the professional. They provide, and will continue to provide for some years, a most important source- book for the history of recent American medicine. But it is not only a mine of infor- mation, it also presents a stimulating record of an admirable achievement. The editors, the contributors, and the Macy Foundation deserve praise and thanks for offering us all this at a very modest price by present-day standards. Their book will be of the greatest value

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