Physician to the World: The Life of General William C. Gorgas

Overview

Physician to the World by John M. Gibson is a study of the career of William Crawford Gorgas, focusing primarily on the 22 years from the Spanish-American War until his death at the age of 65. The book details the medical community’s gradual acceptance of the mosquito theory as the cause for yellow fever epidemics and follows Gorgas as his initial skepticism gave way to belief while he participated in Walter Reed’s massive cleanup of Havana. From this success Gorgas moved to the Panama Canal Zone and a ...

See more details below
Paperback (1)
$20.86
BN.com price
(Save 5%)$22.00 List Price
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (7) from $7.50   
  • New (2) from $18.47   
  • Used (5) from $7.50   
Sending request ...

Overview

Physician to the World by John M. Gibson is a study of the career of William Crawford Gorgas, focusing primarily on the 22 years from the Spanish-American War until his death at the age of 65. The book details the medical community’s gradual acceptance of the mosquito theory as the cause for yellow fever epidemics and follows Gorgas as his initial skepticism gave way to belief while he participated in Walter Reed’s massive cleanup of Havana. From this success Gorgas moved to the Panama Canal Zone and a bureaucratic quagmire as he attempted to apply sanitary principles there to control yellow fever and malaria. As canal construction proceeded, assorted red-tape and critics repeatedly thwarted Gorgas’s efforts. His particular nemesis was the imperious engineer George Goethals, who ruled the construction project with an iron hand. Gorgas’s dogged persistence to make Panama healthy for both Americans and natives eventually succeeded, enabling the project to be completed with minimum loss of life. During World War I Gorgas became U.S. Surgeon General, and finally his reputation equaled his accomplishments. He traveled widely in Europe, South Africa, and South America on behalf of public health improvements and was about to begin another such journey when he died of complications from a stroke in London in 1920.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This is an interesting and entertaining biography of Dr. William C. Gorgas, the Army physician who has been called by many 'the man who made the building of the Panama Canal possible.' Although his name is not so familiar to the present generation, Gorgas is most noted for his brilliant work in overcoming yellow fever. The Gorgas story is that of a young man whose determination to enter the Army first led him to go through medical school, of an Army physician who deliberately entered a yellow fever ward to study the disease, of the romance of a physician who married one of his patients, of the struggle to make the Panama Canal area safe for workers in the face of ridicule, and of the successful health-protection campaign launched among American soldiers during World War I. This book is recommended to all readers interested in medicine [and] history." --The Journal of the American Medical Association

"...the principal address at the Annual Meeting [of the American Public Health Association] in Washington, D. C., in [1917] was delivered by a distinguished, whitehaired, soft-speaking, typical southern gentleman and physician named William Crawford Gorgas. Then at the height of his well merited fame, Gorgas had been serving since 1914 as Surgeon General of the Army. Two years after his retirement from this position, in 1920, General Gorgas died in England while en route to the endemic disease centers in West Africa on a mission for the International Health Board of the Rockefeller Foundation.
Although the name of Gorgas has been only a memory for more than three decades, his many sanitary achievements, especially his conquests of yellow fever and malaria in Havana and Panama, never can be or will be forgotten....Now this imperishable story is told again, appropriately by the director of public health education in Gorgas's native state, Alabama. It is told very well indeed, without any of that brash jauntiness which characterizes some of the popular writings about our so-called health heroes. Not only is the style smooth and interesting, but the material, augmented by private papers made available by the Gorgas family, seems authoritative. It is also more complete in describing some of the later and less well known facets of the famous Gorgas career.
This well printed, well documented, well indexed, and well written book deserves wide reading, not only by physicians and sanitarians but by the general public." --James A. Tobey, American Journal of Public Health and the Nation's Health

"[An] excellent book...this volume remains a charming introduction to an astounding life." --James Polk Morris, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, in Louisiana History: The Journal of the Louisiana Historical Association

Booknews
Paperbound reprint. Originally published in 1950. Contains a new 15-page introduction by Sarah Woolfolk Wiggins (history, U. of Alabama). Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780817304577
  • Publisher: University of Alabama Press
  • Publication date: 10/30/1989
  • Series: Library Alabama Classics Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 5.95 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.06 (d)

Meet the Author

John M. Gibson (1899-1966) was a journalist educated at the University of North Carolina and Columbia University. He served as Director of Public Health Education at the Alabama State Health Department from 1937-1954, and was a research specialist for the North Carolina Sate Board of Health. He was also the author of three other books and at least forty-five articles.

Sarah Woolfolk Wiggins is a Professor of History at The University of Alabama.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)