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May 1969

Medical History for Students.

Author Affiliations

New Orleans


By John R. Green, MD. Price, $9.75. Pp 184, with 33 figures. Charles C Thomas, Publisher, 301-327 E Lawrence Ave, Springfield, Ill 62703, 1968.

Arch Intern Med. 1969;123(5):603-604. doi:10.1001/archinte.1969.00300150121025

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One of the most difficult tasks is to condense an enormous amount of history into the space of a few pages. Standard textbooks on Western civilization usually consist of two volumes, and all of their authors have been accused of making facile generalizations. Far less is known of medical history, a relatively new field, and one must know a great deal —or a very little—in order to attempt writing a summary history.

John R. Green, MD, has sought to give us both a history of medicine and a short survey of Western civilization, all within the space of 180 pages. The author does know a good deal about medical history, and he writes with some grace. His book, however, has all of the faults of a short survey. Green's history is clear-cut and orderly. Each period has its name and significant figures. Hippocrates, for example, is presented, complete with dates,

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