The first volume of the definitive two-volume set on the development of American surgery describes, analyzes and illustrates with 130 historic reproductions from the original texts the 552 original surgical treatises written by American surgeons before 1900. Both volumes are arranged by surgical specialties so that each chapter represents a chronological history of the literature of anesthesia, colon and rectal surgery, general surgery, gynecology, neurological surgery, ophthalmology, orthopedic surgery, otorhinolaryngology, plastic surgery, thoracic surgery, and urology.
"I believe that to truly understand a country''s surgical past," writes Rutkow in his introduction to this definitive study, "a researcher must first by familiar with three specific areas. These are (1) primary textbooks, monographs, and treatises relating to the surgical sciences; (2) articles written by surgeons for medical periodicals, including separately printed pamphlets; and (3) biographical information about the numerous individuals who wrote works on surgery. With this core of knowledge, it is possible to write a narrative history of American surgery. . . ."Unfortunately, none of these areas has ever been adequately researched." . . . Rutkow admits that he found "the confusion and lack of concise information about our country's surgical past" a challenge he could not resist. He needed only a gentle, enthusiastic nudge from Jeremy Norman to compile the information contained in this volume, the first comprehensive survey of the subject. . . .With this volume, Rutkow begins a unique series on the development of American surgery.
Bulletin of the History of Medicine
Rutkow's compilation is impressive . . . Anyone remotely interested in recovering, recording, or making a past for surgery will find this an invaluable source.
Journal of the American Medical Association
. . . a truly superb tome . . . This unique, one-of-a-kind production should be in every surgical library and read not only by the academicians, but by all surgeons interested in the development of American surgery.