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December 17, 1960

A CENTURY OF ANAESTHESIA

J. H. T.
JAMA. 1960;174(16):2066-2068. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.03030160052014
Abstract

If more medical historians were endowed with his capabilities and displayed the same interest in the Gilbert and Sullivan approach to the subject as W. Stanley Sykes,1 how delightful the dreary discourses could become. I am fully aware that Gilbert and Sullivan were not sufficiently sophisticated for some critics, but for me they composed pleasing words and verse on many subjects, including gout, as in "I Stole The Prince" from The Gondoliers. In a similar style, Sykes has described with levity the first 100 years of anaesthesia. He has included a number of asides in his history that would be appropriate in an Alexander King profile in The New Yorker. Sykes has wandered far in some instances, but he has not wandered alone. He takes his readers along and none dares forsake him for fear of losing an interesting incident, related or unrelated to anaesthesia. How satisfying it must

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