by Alan R. Rushton, 209 pp, $45, ISBN 0-8018-4781-8, Baltimore, Md, The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994.
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Recent revolutionary discoveries in the field of medical genetics, such as the gene for certain breast and ovarian cancers, command the attention of practicing physicians, even though practitioners have not always been willing to be distracted from their day-to-day care of patients by the importance of genetic or hereditary influences. Any physician with an interest in genetics and a historical bent will want Dr Rushton's book, Genetics and Medicine in the United States, 1800-1922. It is the first to tell the full story of how genetics as related to medicine got where it is today.
Thirty-four pages of references are evidence of the massive amount of literature covered. The book focuses on medical genetics in a historical context. It fulfills the author's expressed hope that it will act as a useful index to the literature on heredity and disease for the period covered.
The book begins with "The Early Years,
Nation EF. Genetics and Medicine in the United States, 1800-1922. JAMA. 1995;273(9):752. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520330084046