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January 26, 1994

The Call of Service: A Witness to Idealism

Author Affiliations

Southwestern Medical Center Dallas, Tex, and New York University Medical Center New York, NY

JAMA. 1994;271(4):321-322. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03510280089045

The 1960s were an interesting but troubled time in which to complete the rites of passage leading to physician-hood. The Vietnam War quickly brought to the surface many barely slumbering American conflicts. Robert Coles, an early and articulate element of the social conscience of that era, has recently authored The Call of Service: A Witness to Idealism. Recognized as a participant in the "activist movement" in America, especially as it was associated with civil rights, he has not surprisingly extended his advocacy to the study of children. Perhaps his best-known works are a series, Children of Crisis, but his writings include volumes of poetry, biographical works, and collaborative efforts in other arenas—writings that reflect his capacity to handle issues of substantial complexity with a probing simplicity, rather than obscurantism, and which reveal an ingenious and creative mind fueled by intense scholarship and its practicality.

It may be trite to state

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