June 1932

Imhotep to Harvey: Backgrounds of Medical History.

Author Affiliations

By C. N. B. Camac. With a foreword by Henry Fairfield Osborn. Price, $3.75. Pp. 324. New York: Paul B. Hoeber, Inc., 1931.

Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1932;49(6):1096-1097. doi:10.1001/archinte.1932.00150130219017

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Camac, in this book (Imhotep representing early Egypt, about 3000 B. C., and Harvey representing the seventeenth century), has presented a general survey of medical history covering a period of, roughly, four thousand, five hundred years. The rise of medical science is shown in relation to learning in general, other sciences and philosophy. One might say that intellectual development (used in the broad sense) throughout this time is the fabric of the book, while medicine appears as the most conspicuous thread. This thread sometimes becomes so thin as almost to disappear, but when this occurs the fabric itself appears defective and all learning is at low ebb. The most conspicuous flaw is, of course, the Middle Ages.

The construction of the book deserves comment. The author devotes a chapter (sometimes two) to each broad division in the history of science, e. g., pre-Greek science, Greek and Roman medicine, the Middle

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