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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I am happy to acknowledge the many people who have helped me to think and write about nurses and nursing. My mother is a nurse and my father is a doctor. Their enthusiasm for nursing and medicine was the source of my own early interest, and influenced my decision to write on nursmg. The research for this study took place in a number of libraries. In each, my work was smoothed by pleasant and efficient staff members. The Nursing Archives and general collection at Boston University's Mugar Library provided most of the materials for this study. I have a special fondness for the Providence Public Library, where the long-suffering staff patiently transported volumes of nursing journals from remote corners ofthe stacks. The Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe and the Boston and New York Public Libraries each contained memoirs and novels unavailable elsewhere. The Library of Congress-the mother of us all-yielded new sources and provided office space as I revised the manuscript. Three grants gave me time at different stages of the project. The Ellen H. Richards fellowship of the American Association of University Women helped me to launch the dissertation on which this book is based. The University of Wisconsin Summer Fund supported the first months of my revisions. The Smithsonian Institution's post-doctoral fellowship supported a precious year off, and at the National Museum of American History, I benefited from the insights and company of a new set of colleagues. Elaine Haste and Susie Cox expertly typed the final copy, and cheerfully shared the many technical details of arranging the manuscript in finished form. At Brown University, MariJo Buhle, my advisor, provided support, encouragement, close readings, and stimulating criticism at every stage. Judith N. Lasker brought the perspective of medical sociology to her own careful readings Vlll ACKNOWLEDGMENTS and helpful criticism. A. Hunter Dupree was open to a kind of argument that strays far from traditional history of science, and offered insightful comments and suggestions. Many nurses have contributed to this study. In Providence , Rhode Island, I worked at the dialysis unit of a large teaching hospital, an experience that led me to study the history ofnursing. My own initiation and experience in hospital work alerted me to the complex mechanisms of work culture, and taught me its critical role in getting the work done. The nurses there answered my endless questions, taught me how to manage the stresses ofhospital work, and gave me a strong appreciation for the skills and satisfactions ofnursing. They will not approve of my title: I only hope that the book itself conveys the several meanings I have seen in this muchresented phrase. In collecting the oral histories of other nurses, I was deeply grateful to those women who shared their stories. My mother, GurlieJ. Melosh, helped me to arrange several other interviews in addition to recording her own nursing experiences . Many colleagues have offered comments and criticism on one or more chapters. I thank Patricia Cooper, Audrey Davis, J. Rogers Hollingsworth, Judith Walzer Leavitt, Thomas J. McCormick, Sonya Michel, Ronald L. Numbers, and Deborah Warner. Three women, close friends and historians themselves, have shaped this book and sustained me through its many stages. Christina Simmons and Judith E. Smith shared the initiation rites of graduate school with me, and our work group, formed in 1973, has seen me through nearly a decade. .They have heard and read many versions of the book; their criticism and support have been, and are, essential. Susan Porter Benson has read this book in all its various manifestations ; no one has been closer to the project. Her work on saleswomen and her wide knowledge ofwomen's history and labor history have stimulated me to rethink many parts ofmy own work. At a difficult stage of writing, she pulled me ACKNOWLEDGMENTS IX through with steady encouragement and a wonderful sense of humor. Finally, Gary Kulik has seen me and this project through many transformations. Our jobs have sometimes put half a continent between us: absorbed with his own writing and his work at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, he has not done my housework, typed the manuscript , or been at hand to cheer every paragraph. Instead, he lent his keen historical sensitivity to many discussions of nurses and nursing, and offered insightful comments on several chapters. He moved me and "The Physician's Hand" across the country three times, and lived with me in its final year. Together we have struggled...


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