Percival Bailey is a distinguished investigator of the nervous system— in surgery, pathology, anatomy, physiology, psychiatry. In addition, he is one of the most colorful figures in American medicine. And in addition, he is an accomplished and skillful writer. We see all three of these facets in a new volume that brings together a series of autobiographical essays that Bailey had presented before the Chicago Literary Club.
Like a probing searchlight, the essays brilliantly illuminate some aspects but leave others in obscurity. The book is a succession of vignettes, each of which presents sharply etched details, and in the aggregate they provide a broad autobiographical survey. Prefacing the essays is a short biographical sketch of the more conventional sort, written by Ruth Anderson Tooze, and there is a short foreword by Paul C. Bucy.
Bailey was born in "downstate" southern Illinois, in 1892. Although raised in poverty, he was determined