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Books, Journals, New Media
October 16, 2002

History"On Second Thought" and Other Essays in the History of Medicine and Science

Author Affiliations

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


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Copyright 2002 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2002American Medical Association


by Owsei Temkin, 272 pp, $42, ISBN 0-8018-6774-6, Baltimore, Md, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002.

JAMA. 2002;288(15):1915-1917. doi:10.1001/jama.288.15.1915-JBK1016-2-1

This collection of essays, written over a half century by one of the English-speaking world's preeminent historians of medicine, appears as a sequel to Temkin's earlier collection The Double Face of Janus (1977). Some of the essays included here, Temkin tells us, were excluded from the earlier collection owing to special limitations. Others are republications from edited works and journals, especially the Bulletin of the History of Medicine. Two introductory chapters correspond to the book's title, amounting to "second thoughts " or reappraisals of earlier beliefs. Reflections on investigating ancient medicine and teaching the history of medicine make up much of the discussion of the first chapter, "On Second Thought." Chapter 2, a reassessment of historical judgment, is limited to Temkin's retranslation and reinterpretation of the Hippocratic oath.

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