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April 24, 1996

A History of Medicine in the Early US Navy

Author Affiliations

Naval Hospital Pensacola, Fla

JAMA. 1996;275(16):1287. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03530400075045

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Ship's Doctor, by Terrence Riley, 294 pp, with illus, $29.95, ISBN 1-55750-721-X, Annapolis, Md, Naval Institute Press, 1995.

Dr Langley is eminently qualified to author this fascinating book. As curator of naval history at the National Museum of American History of the Smithsonian Institution, he has long held an interest in the early US Navy. His previous book, Social Reform in the US Navy, 1789-1862, is a classic study of 19th-century social reform and its impact upon the navy. With the publication of his latest book, Dr Langley has again filled a huge void in the historical literature on the early US Navy, and it, too, is destined to be a classic.

Dr Langley remarks in the preface that his book "traces the evolution of medical practice in the US navy from the building of the first frigates in 1794 to the establishment of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery