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William Osler


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Table of Contents

Preface: On Doing an Osler Autopsy ; 1. English Gentlemen with American Energy ; 2. Learning to See: Student Years ; 3. The Baby Professor ; 4. The Best Men: Philadelphia ; 5. Starting at Johns Hopkins ; 6. We All Worship Him ; 7. The Great American Doctor ; 8. Leaving America ; 9. A Delightful Life and Place ; 10. Sir William ; 11. All the Youth and Glory of the Country ; 12. Never Use a Crutch ; 13. Osler's Afterlife

About the Author

Michael Bliss, a professor at the University of Toronto, is an award-winning historian of Canada and of modern medicine. One of his many previous books, The Discovery of Insulin, has been widely recognized as a classic of medical history. Professor Bliss has been appointed a Member of the Order of Canada, and elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He lives in Toronto.


Medical historian Bliss (The Discovery of Insulin) has written the authoritative modern biography of 19th-century Canadian physician William Osler. Idolized by many as one of the greatest of all modern physicians, Osler emerges from this critical text as a brilliant, influential physician and teacher, full of compassion for his profession and patients. Bliss offers a glimpse of the rise of modern medicine and medical education as it unfolded around Osler and provides a view of the time as well as of the man. This volume replaces Harvey Cushing's two-volume tribute, The Life of Sir William Osler (1956), as the definitive text in the field. Highly recommended for history collections in all academic libraries and essential for medical collections.ÄEric D. Albright, Duke Medical Ctr. Lib., Durham, NC Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

"A dutiful social historian, Bliss inquires into Osler's sensitivity to issues of ethnicity, class, and gender." - Ronald L. Numbers, Science
"Most readers will welcome a biography that is both more manageable in scope and more up to date in its assessment not merely of Osler but also of the bustling and creative medical world of the 19th and early 20th centuries in which he practiced. For a generation of readers whose shared values are so different from Osler's, William Osler: A Life in Medicine is certain to generate a new appreciation of the man and his remarkably diverse achievements."-Gary B. Ferngren, PhD, New England Journal of Medicine
"Bliss gives a well-paced and intellectually fascinating account of Osler's life. He pins down the significant moments in a spectacularly diverse career as a physician and teacher of medicine who did original research on, among other subjects, the components of blood, and wrote in 1892 The Principles and Practice of Medicine, perhaps the most widely read and admired medical textbook of its time."-The New York Review
"This beautifully written detailed account however will no doubt become the classic... True, but this excellent and very readable biography does credit to a great and caring physician and I think Sir William would have been proud of it."-Emery Review
"A well-told, enjoyable, enlightening-and much needed- biography of a giant of medical practice and education...A first-rate biography of a towering medical figure." -Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Medical historian Bliss has written the authoritative modern biography of the 19-century Canadian physician William Osler...This volume replaces Harvey Cushing's two volume tribute, The Life of William Osler (1956) as the definitive text in the field. Highly recommended...essential."-Library Journal (starred review)
"Thoroughly documented, this is a biography that is pleasurable to read and deserving of a place in virtually every public, college, and medical library."-Booklist
"Eminently readable.... This is the sort of writing that has the air of coming easily off the pen, in spite its scholarly documentation and the enormous wealth of research and erudition hidden between its lines.... A fascinating story about a fascinating man."-Sherwin B. Nuland, The New Republic
"Bliss adroitly captures the turn-of-the-century emergence of modern medicine, which Osler gracefully dominated."-Science News
"An excellent, readable biography written by a true scholar of medical history who knows his man and his material intimately."-Journal of the American Medical Association
"Medical historian Michael Bliss' William Osler is a big, sturdy, readable account of Osler's life and the medical advances that were made in his lifetime, a period the author calls 'the age of bacteriology'"-Washington Times
"Bliss succeeds where Cushing [Osler's first biographer, The Life of Sir William Osler 1925] failed: he engages the reader from the first page. By the last page the reader understands why Osler has generated a century-old awe and affection that shows no signs of dimming. Meticulously researched and crisply written; an excellent book that will educate a variety of audiences."-Choice
"In his handsome new biography Michael Bliss portrays Osler as the living embodiment of the ideal 19th century physician. Bliss's book is more accessible for the modern general reader, compared to Cushing's earlier two-volume biography. Bliss deliberately subjects Osler's personal life and attitudes to more searching scrutiny. To his own surprise, he finds no blot or stain on his subject's character." - Steve Sturdy
"... this biography is a monumental accomplishment. Osler openly avowed a duty to 'knit together the generations of physicians by honoring the great men of the past in acts of 'filial piety'(p. 249). Bliss has made an outstanding and eminently readable contribution to this endeavor, as well as to the scholarly study of the history of medicine."-American Historical Review
"It will be an undoubted classic for many years...Bliss's book splendidly champions Osler's compassionate approach to medicine and will surely remain the classical account of one of the most important physicians of the past 100 years."-The Royal Society Notes and RecordsMay 2002
"...this biographu is a monumental accomplishment."-American Historical Review

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