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Books, Journals, New Media
April 23/30, 2003

Heart Disease, History

JAMA. 2003;289(16):2144-2145. doi:10.1001/jama.289.16.2144-a

This book is provocative and fascinating. The author, a well-known cardiologist and historian with many publications on the history of cardiology, has taken irritable soldier's heart, a peculiar form of functional cardiac disease, and analyzed the changes in the concept and its understanding, from the US Civil War through World War I. Dr Wooley's analysis does not end at mere description of the condition. Provocatively, he writes in the introduction of his intention to show that "The organized military and civilian activities of both sides of the Atlantic during the 57-year interval from Fort Sumter to the end of World War I saw the coming of age of Anglo-American cardiology." I believe that the author has made his case.