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Book and Media Reviews |

A Short History of Medicine

Helen Blackman, PhD, Reviewer
JAMA. 2008;300(10):1211-1212. doi:10.1001/jama.300.10.1211.
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A Short History of Medicine is well written and easy to read, yet it conveys complex, wide-ranging, and engaging ideas. Aside from some minor niggles, my only real issue is that it is inevitably too short. Non-Western and ancient medicine are all but excluded—understandably, given the book's price. Although González-Crussi acknowledges the successes of modern medicine, he prudently avoids the temptation to be overly judgmental about previous systems of health care. However, it is not quite clear exactly what González-Crussi's message is in places, because despite his lucid writing style, the text feels truncated.

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Figure. Henri Gervex (1852-1929), Doctor Preau Operating at the St Louis Hospital (Le Docteur Preau operant a l’hôpital St Louis), 1887, French. Musee d’Orsay, Paris, France. Reproduced courtesy of SuperStock Inc, 2008. Image licensed for the cover of A Short History of Medicine. Image reproduced herein with permission.

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