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Book and Media Reviews
May 25, 2011

Adam Politzer Volume 1: A Life for Otology

JAMA. 2011;305(20):2120-2121. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.693

The early 19th century gave birth to a scientific movement in central Europe that would transform medicine. Propelled by the newly realized powers of experimental physics and chemistry, an explosive increase in laboratory experimentation would replace unproductive, timeworn descriptions of human disease—descriptions that failed to address cause. This movement would replace the prevailing understanding of physiology, which was, according to Francois Magendie, “what it was in the time of Galen, a game for the imagination.” As clinicians extended the reach of physiological experimentation, new insights into pathology and new strategies of treatment would emerge. In Adam Politzer Volume 1: A Life for Otology, Albert Mudry offers an account of the life, career, and times of the individual who would fully apply this emergent approach to the study of the human ear and in doing so become recognized as the founder of modern otology.