At a time when most women physicians laid claim to "female" qualities of care and nurturance to justify their professional choice, Zakrzewska insisted that all physicians, regardless of gender, should depend upon the rational faculties developed through training in the natural sciences. She viewed science as a democratizing tool--anyone could master science, she asserted, and therefore the doors to the elite profession of medicine should be opened to all.
Shedding light on the changes that radically transformed medicine in the late nineteenth century, Tuchman's analysis also demonstrates how Zakrzewska's activism is important to the ongoing debate over the relationship between science and sex.
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This is a wonderful book. Marie Zakrzewska's life touches upon the most important themes in nineteenth-century medicinescience, gender, and politics. Based on thorough research in German and American sources and teeming with interesting stories and sharp analysis, Tuchman has produced a splendid and readable book while not compromising on complexity and nuance. Highly recommended.Judith Walzer Leavitt, University of Wisconsin