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February 16, 1957

Rattlesnakes: Their Habits, Life Histories, and Influence on Mankind. Volumes 1 and 2

JAMA. 1957;163(7):602-603. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02970420084026

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At first thought, the publication of a work, especially one of such magnitude, devoted to a single group of snakes might seem an event of interest and value only to the specialist in reptiles. It is a rewarding discovery to find that the author, in addition to setting a new pattern of writing natural history, has compiled a rich store of accurate information useful in many fields. Although the title would seem to limit the scope of the two volumes to the discussion of rattlesnakes only, this is far from true. Within 48 hours after its receipt, the excellent bibliography and index furnished references needed by a student of the history of medicine on the use of serpents for healing purposes in ancient Greece. This was in addition to specific information in the text. The ethnologist, the folklorist, the herpetologist, and the physician should all find sections that are of

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