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June 5, 1948

Plague: Laennec (1782-1826) Inventor of the Stethescope and Father of Modern Medicine

JAMA. 1948;137(6):568. doi:10.1001/jama.1948.02890400072029

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According to the author's brief preface, this volume is the second edition of the book whose first edition (1930) was limited to "six copies." It seems questionable whether everyone would agree with the author that his medical hero is the "father of modern medicine," as stated in the title. Whereas the best biographic history should be written from the point of view of the times in which the person lived, one can certainly affirm that this volume is so written; for the book is replete with philosophic references to the turbulence in France during the student days and professional activities of Rene Laennec. To cite an example: "And his (Carrier's) people had objected violently that children of the nobles would eat tarts that rightfully were only for their own. Later when men tired of killing, looked about and could see only error where before they had only seen right, it

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