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The Book Forum
July 13, 1964

The Risk Takers

Author Affiliations

Chapel Hill, NC

JAMA. 1964;189(2):167-168. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03070020095040

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The Risk Takers is an interesting chronological account of numerous highlights in the development of cardiac surgery, dating from Rehn's successful suture of a cardiac laceration in 1896 to the present. Perhaps we should emphasize that this book is written for an intelligent lay audience rather than the medical profession or the medical historian. Nevertheless, Mr. McLeave's use of historical information and technological advancement in cardiac surgery will interest the general medical reader and, we hope, stimulate an interest in medical history and the history of science among medical students and house officers.

The scope of this book, on the other hand, leaves it open to criticism. In a medical specialty developing as rapidly as open heart surgery, the short time span does not permit mature judgment on the relative importance of individuals or the definitive validity of all opinions and techniques. As a result, important persons, as well as

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