February 20, 1954

Courage is the Key

JAMA. 1954;154(8):726. doi:10.1001/jama.1954.02940420088038

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Not long ago, while browsing through the essays of William James, the philosopher, the editor of this anthology was moved to action by the statement, "We draw new life from the heroic example." This sentence inspired him to seek out representative heroic examples—accounts of the physical and spiritual adventures of both famous and little-known men and women who exemplified the undefeated, triumphant human spirit in the face of severe physical, psychological, economic, and social blows. These persons, subjected to extraordinary trials and suffering, not only overcame the handicaps imposed on them but in the process became far better human beings than they had been before catastrophe struck. The stories, written in fast-paced journalistic tempo, deal with such handicaps as arthritis, heart disease, poliomyelitis, cerebral palsy, blindness, deafness, epilepsy, amputation, and paralysis. The reader will find this book a testament to the undefeated human spirit.

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