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BOOK REVIEWS The Triumph ofSurgery. ByJürgenThorwald. Translatedfrom the Germanby Richard and Clara Winston. New York: Pantheon Books, Inc., i960. Pp. 454. $6.50. This book tells a fascinating story ofthe major achievements in surgery between 1880 and 1905. As in his earlier volume, The Century ofthe Surgeon, the author uses the device of an eye witness as a narrator, a fictitious American physician whom he has named Henry Hartmann. Hartmannispresented as a physician with profound interest in medical research and discovery and rich enough to devote hislife to meeting theleaders in surgery all over the world and seeing their achievements. It is altogether an admirable device for maintaining the reader's interest in the surgical problem which is being solved, the personalities ofthe various actors in the drama, and the medical, social, and political climate ofthe day. Dr. Hartmann begins his story with the meeting ofthe Third International Medical Congress held in London in August of 1881, presided over by William Jenner, and attended by James Paget, Louis Pasteur, Joseph Lister, Virchow, Robert Koch, Bigelow and Keenfromthe United States, as well as many otherfamous men, most ofwhom were Hartmann's friends. The theme of the conference was localization of function in the cerebral cortex, supported by Ferrier, but denied by Goltz. In the dramatic account, Ferner 's views prevailed and predictionsweremade thatnow braintumors could be localized and possibly removed. Hartmann visited Professor Macewen ofGlasgow when he learned that the dynamic Scot had opened the cranial cavity in man for the drainage of abcesses and removal of blood clots. He was present when Hughes Bennett diagnosed and successfully removed the first brain tumor. He was also present when Gowers and Victor Horsley diagnosed and removed the first spinal cord tumor. Perhaps the most dramatic chapter in the book describes the history ofthroat surgery and the tragic mistaken diagnosis in the German Crown Prince, later Emperor Friedrich III. In a long and bitter controversy, Bergmann and the German surgeons insisted that the Crown Prince had cancer ofthe larynx, whereas Morell Mackenzie, the favorite of the Queen, believed that the lesion was benign and could be healed by medical treatment. The death ofthe Emperor from cancer ofthe larynx dramatized the importance ofdiagnosis and radical surgery in this area. The story ofthe development oflocal anesthesia with cocaine and novocaine and the parts played by Sigmund Freud, Carl Killer, William Halsted, Karl Ludwig Sleich, and others is another interesting chapter. The book concludes with Hartmann's visit to Sauerbruch and a demonstration of his method for operating on the lungs and other organs within the chest cavity. Both laymen and physicians would enjoy these stories. And it would be hard to find a better book to place in the hands ofa young surgeon. TT . fpl „ Lester R. Dragstedt University oj blonda I23 ...


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