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July 1974

The Life of Hamilton Bailey: Surgeon, Author, and Teacher of Surgery.

Author Affiliations

Brookline, Mass


By SV Humphries, FRCS, FICS. Price, $10. Pp 72. Publisher: British Book Centre Inc, 996 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10021, 1974.

Arch Surg. 1974;109(1):126. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1974.01360010100035

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In this small book, Dr. Humphries has provided an entertaining trove of Baileyana. Those of us who have read, learned from, and still use Hamilton Bailey's Emergency Surgery and Demonstrations of Physical Signs in Clinical Surgery have already pictured what type of person Bailey was. It is not surprising to find out that he was brilliant, outspoken, energetic, autocratic, rude, impatient, eccentric, and an inverterate photographer and workaholic. What I did not know was that he was extremely charitable and took active means not to accumulate money for himself. He operated swiftly, not elegantly, but would take on and pull through patients whom others had abandoned as hopeless. He disliked wasting time and seldom read a book outside of the medical and surgical field; yet, he knew the Bible well although he was an atheist. He had many successes, but disproportionately few honors, probably the result of his unusual ability

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