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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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The Citadel Paperback – November 30, 1983

4.6 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews

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About the Author

A.J. Cronin (1896-1981) was a Scots-born physician who became a full-time writer after practicing medicine for a decade. His novels were marked by colorful characters and a deep social conscience. His best-known novels are The Citadel (1938) and The Keys of the Kingdom (1942).
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Back Bay Books (November 30, 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316161837
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316161831
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #98,006 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Lisa Shea HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 3, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I picked up this book because it was mentioned in my great-grandmother's diary from 1941. Written in the 30s, it tells the tale of a young Scottish doctor in the 20s, as he goes from a small-town doctor in a rough situation to a well-paid London doctor with a fancy office.
The story's written with intelligence, as the doctor ponders various ways to deal with the bureaucracy he faces. He deals with incompetent doctors, old doctors that have no desire to learn new treatments, young doctors more concerned with money and prestige than patient care.
And, as he gets absorbed into the system, the doctor begins to be lured in by the money. He starts to prescribe the 'easy' solution to patients, even if it's not the right answer, so that they're happy and he gets more cash. He does finally realize, in the end, that working for the patients is more important than gaining lots of cash, but only after some hard lessons.
I have a few small complaints with the story. One is that the wife could have been a really interesting character, but she's a little flat. She is sad when he becomes money-hungry, and draws back, but that's it. She was a schoolteacher when he met her, and it's made clear that she's very intelligent. But still she just sort of goes along with him, making his meals, wishing things could be better, but far be it for her to actually help out. She tries to get his friends to see him one night to bring back his old ways, but when that fails, "ah well".
My other complaint is that he slides far too easy from a passionate patient-first attitude into a "cash is nice" mentality. But that was necessary for the plot to progress.
Definitely a great book to read to learn about life in the 20s to 40s, from the small towns of Wales to the busy streets of London. Interesting details about the damage that mines caused to the lungs of the mineworkers, and the ways that doctors worked with each other and treated their patients. A great read!
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Format: Paperback
Set in the 20's and 30's of Britain, this fascinating novel

recounts the evolution of a young Scottish doctor embarking upon his career. We follow his struggles from the mines of Wales to posh London and beyond. Committed to helping mankind, hard working though of modest means, Andrew Manson arrives fresh out of medical school--with all the enthusiasm and idealism of youth. Eager to dedicate himself to improving the lives of his rustic patients, Andrew dedicates many hours to private study in his chosen field of lung disease.

But young Andrew is buffeted by fate for many years; although lucky in his choice of a life partner (school teacher Christine Barlow), he encounters opposition at every turn--from his employers, institutions, quacks and busybodies. Each move promises to be an upgrade, but he is rarely permitted to enjoy the change for long. He does meet a few decent young men in his travels, but he gradually chafes under the system which perpetuates greed and ignorance-the medical establishment in general, to which Cronin refers as the Citadel. Only a fool-hardy person would seek to attack such a mighty establishment, for the GMC can always strike a doctor off for misconduct-real or perceived.

Cronin's style is highly readable, with much dialogue and interesting plotting. In fact he offers teaser sentences of woe as unexpected foreshadowing in the last paragraph of chapters which seem to end well. We witness the erosion of Andrew's ideals as he falls victim to the wealthy lifestyle of London's West End milieu. But the more he gains in the eyes of the world, the less he cherishes his faithful, patient wife.
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By A Customer on March 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
I was typing up descriptions of books I bought in a box lot to sell and decided this one was in just too poor condition to sell, but it was medical, which always interests me, so I decided I should read it first before throwing it out (it's literally falling apart), AND BOY, AM I GLAD I DID! I found it totally absorbing, but surprisingly not so much from the medical aspect as from the simple human drama aspect. The cover emphasizes its focus on the corrupt medical system it describes, but to me it was more about a man losing himself in the pursuit of money & prestige, and having a crisis brought on by the death of a patient, that turns him back around, back to the idealistic doctor we liked in the beginning of the book.
There were numerous British words I didn't know what they referred to, but I found I was able to just skip over them & keep reading without losing the essence of the plot or the sense of timing/tension/drama that kept bringing me back to read more.
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Format: Paperback
I am a premedical student completeing my 3rd year of college. I read this book because it was recommended to me as one of those books that aspiring doctors should read before entering the profession.

The story is a chronological account of Manson's life from his graduation from college, through his professional life as a physician in 1920's-1930's England. The book sketches Manson's change from his schoolboy idealism to cynical medical profiteer and his final return to the high ethical and medical standards with which he begun his medical career.

Throughout the book, the reader will consistently encounter two major themes. First is the resistance of the highly conservative medical establishment of the 1920's England to any sort of change illuminated by the advancement of science. Manson again and again butts heads with his fellow doctors, patients and medical societies when he uses "unorthodox" treatments that actually deliver clinical results as oppose to the cod liver oil and patented concoctions that deliver no results except to line the wallets of greedy doctors.

The second theme is the dishonesty of many in the medical establishment. By pandering to rich patients, by telling people what they want to hear, by sucking up to social elites while ignoring those in actual plight, a dishonest doctor stands to profit immensely. On the other hand, an honest doctor who delivers the sad, untolerable, but ultimately true diagnosis is shunned as a quack. Witness the rich middle class wives who are nothing but hypochondriacs mooning over charlatans promising them cures with their patented cures that are nothing but colored water. Then compare that to their shock and abhorence at Dr.
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