Monday, February 23, 2009

"Years of Change and Suffering" - Details on Contributors and Topics - Part I

As promised in my last post, I'm pleased to give some additional details regarding the contributors - and their topics - to our forthcoming book, Years of Change and Suffering: Modern Perspectives on Civil War Medicine (Edinborough Press, Fall 2009):

Chapter One - "Medical School for a Nation" - The Medical College of Virginia, 1860-65 - This chapter is by Ms. Jodi Koste. Ms. Koste holds an M. A. in History from Old Dominion University and is currently archivist for the Medical College of Virginia, where she is actively involved in promoting and preserving the heritage of the institution. Her work has appeared in American National Biography, Jewish Women in America, and Encyclopedia of the Confederacy. Drawing on a significant amount of material from the MCV archives, Ms. Koste describes the important role that MCV played in Civil War, beginning with with the "secession" of a large group of Southern medical students in late 1859, to the opprtunities in classroom and clinical instruction provided by the war, to the challenges that other medical schools in the Confederacy faced. You can learn more about Ms. Koste, MCV, and their collections here and their special guide to Civil War medicine, here.

Chapter Two - "A Multitude of Ingenious Articles" - Civil War Medicine and Scientific American Magazine - I have contributed this chapter. Having written about the general history of Scientific American in the Civil War as a chapter in my first book, Lincoln's Labels: America's Best Known Brands and the Civil War (Edinborough Press, 2008) (see previous blog posts here and here), in this chapter I concentrate specifically on the subject of Civil War medicine as revealed in the wartime pages of Scientific American. Just as it did for weapons, Scientific American played an equally important role in fostering the "healing arts" by advising soldiers and their leaders how to maintain the health of the army, urging inventors to give attention to unmet medical needs, and reporting on advances in medical technology. I also address recent historical scholarship in the economics and social impact of invention in the mid-1800s.

Chapter Three - "I Can See Now How Good Our Surgeons Were" - Amputations in the American Civil War - This chapter is contributed by Alfred Jay Bollet, M.D. Dr. Bollet spent his professional career in academic medicine and was recently Clinical Professor of Medicine at Yale. He is the author of the acclaimed book, Civil War Medicine: Challenges and Triumphs, which was a selection of the History Book Club. He is also the author of Plagues and Poxes: The Impact of Human History on Epidemic Disease and co-author of Images of Civil War Medicine: A Photographic History. In his chapter, Dr. Bollet considers and counters the widespread historiography criticizing the numbers of amputations performed during the Civil War, and concludes that too few amputations were done, not too many.

Chapter Four - "J. J. Chisolm, M.D. - Confederate Medical and Surgical Innovator" - This chapter is contributed by F. Terry Hambrecht, M. D. Dr. Hambrecht retired after thirty years from the National Institutes of Health, where he directed the NIH's international program for developing implantable neural prostheses. He is a co-founder of the National Museum of Civil War Medicine. Dr. Hambrect is an expert on Confederate surgeons and has published several articles on Civil War medicine. Most students of the Civil War are aware of Chisolm's Manual of Military Surgery and the pocket-sized anesthesia inhaler that he invented to conserve scarce chloroform and ether during the war. In this chapter, Dr. Hambrecht describes contributions of Chisolm's that are less well-known: as a practicing surgeon, an organizer of Confederate hospitals, the designer of a Confederate medical laboratory, and an improver of medical devices, including tourniquets, medical knapsacks, and litters. Chisolm also found time to teach his fellow physicians on the proper way to treat sick and wounded soldiers, both medically and surgically. Dr. Hambrecht's chapter is based largely on previously unpublished material, especially letterbooks that Chisolm used: one in Charleston, SC, from Nov. 19, 1861 to June 5, 1862, and another in Columbia, SC from May 24, 1862 to November 14, 1862.

I'll post details on the remaining four chapters later this week.

No comments: