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A Treatise on the Blood: Inflammation and Gunshot Wounds

Arch Surg. 1984;119(3):355. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1984.01390150083024.
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This is the kind of book one can occasionally examine only under the watchful eye of a jealous librarian in the rare-book room of a prestigious library. A gorgeous leather-bound, gold-embossed facsimile of Hunter's first edition, it is the first book in the surgical series of the Classics in Medicine. The format of the contemplated 58 future surgical classics is similar to that of other book clubs.

It is difficult to interest students or busy practitioners in surgical history. Most are fighting to hold their own against the flood of current literature, and though they sense the value of understanding our professional heritage, it is just too much bother to hunt up copies of classics and browbeat a librarian into permitting a few minutes' reading time. Scholarly historians and senior professors inadvertently make the matter worse by deifying the author. John Hunter is a case in point, both in England


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