Excerpts:"Whereas essay collections in honor of a noted historian or focused on aspects of a particular American Civil War battle are fairly common, a collection of essays on Civil War medicine is unusual and perhaps unique. Editors James Schmidt and Guy Hasegawa have invited six other authors, mostly physicians, to examine a rather wide range of topics in the history of Civil War medicine.
After a brief foreword by Lowry, an inveterate researcher at the National Archives, the editors provide an overview of the articles...In the first essay, Koste, archivist at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, provides a useful look at the development of that institution, with a focus on its importance for educating Southern physicians as the only Confederate medical school that remained open during the entire Civil War.
Many readers may be surprised by medical educator Bollet's suggestion that more amputations, rather than fewer, should have been performed during the Civil War. Bollet's essay is the best available concise and thorough explanation of the justification for and benefits of amputation during the war and is highly recommended as an overview for students.
Hasegawa, coeditor and pharmacist, goes beyond a simple presentation of Southern attempts to encourage, prepare, and use indigenous Southern remedies during the war and investigates what sources might have determined Confederate Surgeon General Samuel P. Moore's choice of remedies to pursue before the publication of Francis Peyre Porcher's landmark Resources of the Southern Fields and Forests in 1863.
Each of the articles has endnotes; the volume also has an overall bibliography and index. Most of the studies are based on primary sources, published as well as unpublished. The essays are reasonably balanced between Union and Confederate topics. As a whole, Years of Change and Suffering is...designed for readers interested in Civil War medical history. Such readers should find these essays informative and thought-provoking.
Thank You to JAMA and Dr. Schroeder-Lein!
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