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We are lucky to have people like Dr. Herman who share their hobbies. This bright little book is very readable, the subtitle and an uninviting first sentence notwithstanding. It should appeal to anyone interested in medicine, especially those who prefer history in small doses. Dr. Herman offers a selective review and a descriptive bibliography. He is a self-effacing guide and sets the past directly before us with excerpts from the writings of old masters and numerous illustrations. The most striking attraction of the book is the clarity of the reproductions: there are no blurred images, every detail is visible.
Allowed to fend for itself, the material wins admiration for the ingenuity of our forebears and the "true grit" of their patients. It sometimes startles with a small, pleasant shock. I had forgotten that at one time the surgeon used his teeth during ureteral catheterization (Dr. Howard Kelly, no less) and
SEARS BR. Urology: A View Through the Retrospectroscope.. Arch Surg. 1974;109(1):125-126. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1974.01360010099034