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William Osler: A Life in Medicine Hardcover – Feb 15 2000


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 581 pages
  • Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division; 1 edition (Feb. 15 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802043496
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802043498
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 17 x 4.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #86,583 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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William Osler was born in a parsonage in backwoods Canada on July 12, 1849. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Manu Chakravarthy on Feb. 1 2001
Format: Hardcover
Any attempt to describe the life of such an illustrious personage, as one could imagine must be a rather daunting task. However, Michael Bliss's smooth-flowing rendering of Dr. William Osler's life is made not only manageable, but a sheer joy to read.
Of course this book will be compared with the innumerable number of other writings about William Osler, most notably of course the Cushing version. And Bliss clearly acknowledges the plethora of carefully collected documentations and personal correspondences that Cushing had accumulated in crafting his tale. However, I think this book stands on its own as a unique rendering of Osler mainly because of one simple fact. Bliss has had the luxury of time on his side to not just document the time and lives and the state of Medicine in the late 19th century, but most importantly, he relates it to the current, modern day state of affairs in those areas as well. He has woven a story that encompasses through the life of the great Osler, the tremendous influences of 19th medicine on modern day medicine. Even if one is not in the health-related professions or the biomedical sciences, one cannot miss the fact that this is a book as much about humanism as it is about medicine.
Biography, like history is riddled with biases, especially if it is about people and events that have revolutionazied mankind. This is particularly so in regards to William Osler, whose life and work have been immortalized, and a man who had acheived a legendary status even during his own life time. Bliss's work is as unbiased as it could possibly be given the already intrinsic biases about his subject. In this sense, this book is also unique from the previous biographies of Osler.
Overall, this is a most enjoyable read. This is definitely a "page-flipper" that takes you into the life, struggles, and triumps not only of Osler, but in a sense, of the entire human race.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By "goiner" on Aug. 5 2000
Format: Hardcover
I was not an unbiased reader when I picked this up -a graduating medical student about to begin a medical residency. There is a minimum of technical medicine in this biography -it reads more like a novel, filled with Osler's own writing. Bliss poured through his technical papers, his speaches, letters and medical jokes (published under the pseudoname Eagerton Y Davis) and gives us a taste of what an incredible man he must have been. Full of energy, a mind constantly at work, yet a tender-hearted soul who was a pioneer in the art of medicine, of making the doctor-patient relationship warm and empathetic in an era when this was unpopular. Bliss reveals that this is a person we should remember and who's example we all should take to heart: diligent work, a positive attitude, and concern for humanity made manifest each day in one's daily living. Read this book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tony Andras on Jan. 13 2010
Format: Paperback
A scrupulously researched and well written account of the "Father of Modern Medicine." He may have been the greatest man born on Canadian soil, typically unknown to most Canadians. This book then should be required reading in every school in the country, certainly every medical school. We should celebrate having so great a medical teacher, historian and world influence as a countryman.
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