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Books, Journals, New Media
September 1, 2004

Benjamin Rush

Author Affiliations

Books, Journals, New Media Section Editor: Harriet S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA; David H. Morse, MS, University of Southern California, Norris Medical Library, Journal Review Editor.

JAMA. 2004;292(9):1085. doi:10.1001/jama.292.9.1085-a

According to its dust jacket, this is "the only full biography of Benjamin Rush." This allegation ignores the somewhat longer biography by David F. Hawke, Benjamin Rush, Revolutionary Gadfly (1971), and the biographies by Nathan G. Goodman (1934) and Carl Binger (1966). Brodsky refers to all of these, as well as to primary and other secondary sources. He most often cites Hawke, whose work I will compare with Brodsky's in this review.

There are two topics with which only Brodsky deals: the yellow fever epidemic of 1793 and Rush's lengthy libel litigation against William Cobbett. The litigation had been based on political differences but focused on the accusation that Rush's excessive bleeding constituted malpractice.

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