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Book and Media Reviews
August 18, 2010

Years of Change and Suffering: Modern Perspectives on Civil War Medicine

JAMA. 2010;304(7):802-803. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1180

Whereas essay collections in honor of a noted historian or focused on aspects of a particular American Civil War battle are fairly common, a collection of essays on Civil War medicine is unusual and perhaps unique. Editors James Schmidt and Guy Hasegawa have invited 6 other authors, mostly physicians, to examine a rather wide range of topics in the history of Civil War medicine.

After a brief foreword by Lowry, an inveterate researcher at the National Archives, the editors provide an overview of the articles, loosely tying them together. In the first essay, Koste, archivist at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, provides a useful look at the development of that institution, with a focus on its importance for educating Southern physicians as the only Confederate medical school that remained open during the entire Civil War.

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