Mark Ravitch wrote the ultimate review of a surgical organization with his monumental two-volume A Century of Surgery 1880-1980, the history of the American Surgical Association. Now Bob Sparkman and associates have nearly equaled it with the 1989 publication of their one-volume, 533-page story of the Southern Surgical Association (SSA).
The book begins with a well-researched, detailed chapter on the origin and early development of the SSA by the centennial year president, John L. Sawyers. He points out that from the very beginning in Birmingham, Ala, founder W E. B. Davis invited "men of great eminence from the entire country to join the Association." This tradition has continued. Today, about one fourth of the membership resides outside of the South. These recognized surgical leaders, who number among them many academic chairmen, contribute greatly to the enduring strength of "The Southern."
The custom still prevails of holding the annual meeting at