March 1993

The Evolution of Cardiac Surgery

Author Affiliations

Cambridge, Mass


By Harris B. Schumacker, Jr, 476 pp with illus, $49, Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 1992.

Arch Surg. 1993;128(3):360. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1993.01420150120025

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The Evolution of Cardiac Surgery is the magnum opus of a man who has lived through and participated in the entire period of the so-called modern era of heart surgery. This is and will long remain the reference source for those entering the field of cardiac surgery or reviewing any part thereof. It is also of interest to historians. Each subject evokes a series of superlatives from the foreword by David Sabiston (a man not given to superlatives) that are hard for a reviewer to extend. The words encyclopedic or epochal may be such extensions. From these opening comments to the author's review of his own book through his look at the future, one finds no room for fault.

Even in areas of this complex cardiac field where the reviewer might fancy himself an authority on a given item, he finds it a mind-boggling and ego-shattering discussion.

If I have

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