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May 21, 1927

Master Minds in Medicine. An Analysis of Human Genius as the Instrument in the Evolution of Great Constructive Ideas in the History of Medicine, together with a System of Historic Methodology.

JAMA. 1927;88(21):1667. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02680470053033

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This massive volume, dedicated to Charles and William Mayo, consists of thirty-one essays on varied themes, related, in some way, to the centric idea conveyed in the title. It represents a lifetime of serious study and research in the history of medicine. The initial chapters stress a new line of thought, namely, the lack of training in "methodology," which has rendered so much of recent historical writing scrappy, irrelevant and irresponsible. The inspiration of these chapters is to be sought in such books as Ostwald's "Great Men" and the brilliant output of the Leipzig school, particularly Sudhoff's view that, to date, medical history has been "a casual science, without any well planned elaboration or method." In a highly philosophical examination of this matter, Hemmeter differentiates clearly at the start between history (the evolutionary process) and historiography (the mere record), the lines of approach (method) being narrative (frequently fictional), pragmatic or

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