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Books, Journals, New Media
December 12, 2001

Anesthesia HistoryEther Day: The Strange Tale of America's Greatest Medical Discovery and the Haunted Men Who Made It

Author Affiliations

Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorDavid H.MorseMS, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media


Not Available


Copyright 2001 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2001American Medical Association


by Julie M. Fenster, 288 pp, with illus, paper, $24, ISBN 0-06-019523-1, New York, NY, HarperCollins, 2001.

JAMA. 2001;286(22):2877-2878. doi:10.1001/jama.286.22.2877-JBK1212-3-1

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.

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