January 1972

Disability in Antiquity.

Author Affiliations

New Orleans


By Fareed Haj, PhD. Price, $6.50. Pp 188. Philosophical Library Inc, 15 E 40th St, New York 10016, 1970.

Arch Intern Med. 1972;129(1):145-146. doi:10.1001/archinte.1972.00320010149025

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Disability in Antiquity is a rather curious little book. The author's interest in the topic resulted from his first job as an itinerant teacher for the blind in a Galilean Arab community. Subsequently, he decided to make it the subject of his dissertation for a doctorate in education at New York University. Regrettably, the manuscript was published in dissertation form—complete with definition, aims, objectives, conclusions, big "A," little "a," and so forth. The book, however, is redeemed by the intriguing subject matter and occasional flashes of writing when the author lets himself go.

Saracen, or Arab, history is an esoteric subject, and Saracin medical history is even more obscure. Few Westerners are qualified to work with Arabic sources, and the subject has been left to a small group of specialists. Haj has the necessary background, but he lacks historical training and has only a limited medical knowledge. His footnotes give

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