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April 9, 1932

Tuberkulose als Schicksal: Eine Sammlung pathographischer Skizzen von Calvin bis Klabund, 1509-1928.

JAMA. 1932;98(15):1326. doi:10.1001/jama.1932.02730410090035

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This is an interesting addition to the several available collections of biographies of tuberculous geniuses. The only criticism of this one is its brevity. The accounts are, as the author intends, simple word pictures, too often tantalizingly brief, comparable to pencil sketches. To make up for this lack, Ebstein cites references in abundance, which will enable the interested reader to pursue desired biographic investigations further. In all, fifty-two "pathographic sketches" are included. A number of these are of men and women of minor note, but the list also includes John Calvin, Chopin, Eleonora Duse, Ehrlich, Goethe, Gorki, Albrecht von Graefe, Keats, Laënnec, Louis XIII, Molière, Paganini, Rousseau, Schiller, Spinoza and Laurence Sterne. As would be expected, in most cases the account deals only with the tuberculosis, real or suspected, of the person concerned. In a few cases a more general medical history is given. John Calvin suffered from "dyspepsia," severe