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The Antecedents ofMan. By Wilfrid E. LeGros Clark. Chicago: Quadrangle Books, i960. Pp. vii+374. $6.00. The subtitle ofthis book, "An Introduction to the Evolution ofthe Primates," better describes the theme than does the main title. Man himselfis given his due as a primate, but only as one among many, and the outstanding merit ofthe book is the presentation ofhuman evolution in proper perspective and setting. To a great extent, Antecedents ofMan is a revision ofa much earlier book by LeGros Clark. Since it was published, views which were at first greeted as biologicalheresy have become more or less orthodox, particularly the opinion that the australopithecines are close to the human ancestral line. The treatment follows the sequence: tree-shrews, lemurs, tarsiers, monkeys, apes, and man—which is the order oftheir appearance in time; and the general evidence ofskeleton, teeth, brain, senses, and the digestive and reproductive systems is presented in a straightforward and always interesting way. The book is offered as a textbook ofanthropology, biology, and anatomy, at not too advanced a level. Itis better suited perhaps as a collateral or extension study in connection with a rigorous course in comparative vertebrate anatomy. Certainly it should be read by all zoology and anatomy students at some stage in their careers, either as undergraduates or in the possibly more relaxed easy-chair attitude ofpost-doctoral life. N. J. Berrill McGiIl University Medicine and Society in America 1660-1860. By Richard Harrison Shryock. New York: New York University Press, i960. Pp. viii+182. $4.00. Four Anton G. Phelps Lectures on Early American History given by the author at New York University in 1959 are brought together in this volume. It is a thoroughly readable though well-documented book which synthesizes in less than 200 pages the essence of many weighty tomes on the history of American medicine. But its greatest value lies in Dr. Shryock's brilliant insight into the many social factors that tended to exert much greater influence upon the early American medical scene than did contemporary European scientific discoveries. The first lecture, "Origins ofa MedicalProfession," beginswith adescriptionofseventeenth -century British medicine, which served as an approximate model to the colonial physician, although few ofthem had a medical education resembling even remotely that provided by the mother country. It is estimated that on the eve ofthe Revolution not more than 400 ofthe },soo established practitioners had received formal training, and only half of those held degrees. With increasing urbanization came opportunities for "genteel" practice: then American medical schools founded by American graduates of foreign universities markedly changed the physician's educational aspirations. The urge for medical independence followed political independence; and in 1820 a new medical chauvinism led Dr. Chapman to proclaim, somewhat prematurely, in the first issue of his Journal oj Medical and Physical Science, "It may be safely said that in no country is 124 Book Reviews Perspectives in Biology and Medicine · Autumn i960 ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-8795
Print ISSN
0031-5982
Pages
p. 124
Launched on MUSE
2015-01-07
Open Access
No
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