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February 22, 1971

Appendicitis: The Seven Anomalies

Author Affiliations

University of Cincinnati

JAMA. 1971;215(8):1330. doi:10.1001/jama.1971.03180210074035

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This genteel volume has the appeal and flavor of a well-preserved period house, complete in the decor and bric-a-brac of a once notable era and now open for leisurely visitation on Sundays. The main furnishings of the book consist of skilled clinical observations and histories derived from the author's long and dedicated experience with appendicitis. In truth he records a lost art.

As in a gracious home, where the arrangement of contents is determined more by the individual taste of the owner than the rational expectations of the guests, the chapters offer a succession of personal descriptions cast in the phraseology of the master clinicians of an earlier time when the surgical literature dwelt on "squirting borborygami," "clean tongues," and treatments such as sea voyages and olive oil by mouth, because so little else merited conscientious discussion.

And so the generous reader of today cannot be overly troubled if the