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