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Textbooks for Pleasure

Henry Miller, MD, FRCP
JAMA. 1965;192(2):145-148. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03080150075018.
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The present title I borrow from that of Proverbs for Pleasure, which although not itself a textbook is a fascinating compilation of the world's most cogent proverbial sayings, assembled in 1954 by H. Pullar-Strecker, a psychiatrist who came to England from Germany in the thirties. This book is a sheer delight: it is a matter of taste whether the reader prefers "Always take the fee while the tear is in the eye," "The higher the ape climbs the more he shows his bald behind," "The poor are cured by work, the rich by the doctor," or "When they came to shoe the Pasha's horses the beetle stretched out its leg." Comprising a distillation of the traditional wisdom of Arab, Jew, Scot, Muscovite, and Oriental, this is the perfect bedside book. It is the sober truth that the present writer has lost so many copies to his friends (and patients) that


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