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Sept 2, 1968

La Chirurgie Moderne: ses Debuts en Occident: XVIe-XVIIe-XVIIIe Siecles

JAMA. 1968;205(10):707. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03140360067033

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This is a luxury book—beautiful typography, on excellent paper, lavishly illustrated and well bound, and in a limited edition of only 3,000 copies. It would make a handsome gift book. As history, however, it is rather sketchy.

The first volume in this series told the story of surgery from the fifth to the 15th centuries. This volume presents surgery in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries. Yet there are only 118 pages of text to tell this story, and the text fairly bristles with names—often more than 20 per page. The narrative portions are rather thin, disclosing various operations, procedures, and instruments; telling who was the first to do this or that; and who did what and when. It narrates some of the medical problems of the era, but is not strong in presenting any overall development of thought during the three centuries in question, or integrating surgery with the