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May 5, 1951

James Lind: Founder of Nautical Medicine

JAMA. 1951;146(1):73. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.03670010077034

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This excellent biography of James Lind succeeds notably in associating the man and his works with the times and conditions in which he lived. The emphasis of the volume is on what Lind accomplished, his scientific demonstration of the prevention and cure for scurvy and his postulation of the fundamental principles of naval hygiene, rather than on his personal life about which little is known. Particularly satisfying is the integration of the subject with the broad panorama of nautical history and with the influence of scurvy, typhus, smallpox and other dreaded plagues at sea on the general history of civilization. The reader may be completely a landlubber and yet understand and appreciate this captivating biography.

The volume demonstrates clearly that there is no better way to gain an appreciation of medicine than through the study of its history. Its author paints an appalling picture of naval conditions prior to the

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