Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorDavid H.MorseMS, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media
by Julie M. Fenster, 288 pp, with illus, paper, $24, ISBN 0-06-019523-1, New York, NY, HarperCollins, 2001.
Before writing a book review it is frequently instructive to carry out a literature search focusing on what has been written about the book's topic. Ether Day—the day in 1846 that ether was first demonstrated as a surgical anesthetic in the Ether Dome of the Massachusetts General Hospital—and the events leading to it comprise a topic that lends itself readily to such a search. Thanks to the computer, in seconds I discovered several hundred chapters, articles, and books on Ether Day, prompting the question of whether there is anything new to be published on the subject, and I wondered whether a book on Ether Day could keep the medical, nonanesthesia, or nonmedical reader interested.
Anesthesia HistoryEther Day: The Strange Tale of America's Greatest Medical Discovery and the Haunted Men Who Made It. JAMA. 2001;286(22):2877-2878. doi:10.1001/jama.286.22.2877-JBK1212-3-1