Title Reviewed:
Aesculapius Comes to the Colonies. The Story of the Early Days of Medicine in the Thirteen Original Colonies

Author Reviewed:
Maurice Bear Gordon

Author:
Richard Harrison Shryock

Date:
1950

Source:
Indiana Magazine of History, Volume 46, Issue 3, pp 325-325

Article Type:
Book Review

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Aesculapius Comes to the Colonies. The Story of the Early Days of Medicine in the Thirteen Original Colonies. By Maurice Bear Gordon. (Ventnor, New Jersey, Ventnor Publishers, Inc., 1949, pp. xiv, 560. Illustrations, bibliography, and index. Portrait of Benjamin Franklin frontispiece. $10.00.)

The promise of this title is, unfortunately, entirely unfilled in the actual narrative. The book purports to be "a comprehensive survey" of Colonial medicine and an "evaluation" of its nature; but in reality it is a miscellaneous collection of materials—taken with or without acknowledgments— from well-known secondary works. Random annals and biographical notes fill most of the pages, and it is difficult to discover any system or organization in the whole. The only approach to order lies in the devotion of chapters to particular states, and this is unsatisfactory in that there was often little difference between the medicine of one state and that of another. Expensive and somewhat pretentious, the book adds little or nothing to our knowledge of Colonial medicine.

The Johns Hopkins University Richard Harrison Shryock



Published by the Indiana University Department of History.