The author—a surgeon and historian—has succeeded in his two objectives: he has melded the story of Dutch surgery with a comprehensive review of surgery from Hippocrates to the present. The reader can find an enormous amount of information drawn from many sources. Annotations and references abound. Illustrations are interesting and instructive; many have been published here for the first time. Details of social and political history form a necessary background for the theme of the book.
In the Netherlands the Golden Age was in the 16th century. The country controlled the seas and was wealthy. Philosophy, science, and the arts flourished; today everyone still recognizes Rembrandt's Anatomy Lesson of Doctor Tulp. Leiden, with its university, and Amsterdam became centers where anatomy and medicine flourished. A succession of wars followed; the preeminence of Dutch medicine was short-lived. Thereafter the Dutch watched the rise of surgery in France, England, and Germany; they