- Hardcover: 192 pages
- Publisher: Edinborough Press; 1 edition (October 1, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1889020354
- ISBN-13: 978-1889020358
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,470,194 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Years of Change and Suffering: Modern Perspectives on Civil War Medicine 1st Edition
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This new book is a must for all interested in the subject of Civil War medicine. Its authors are the elite of Civil War medical scholars of our time and they give a new, modern insight to the subject. Highly recommended. --Gordon E. Dammann, DDS, founder, National Museum of Civil War Medicine
A collection of fresh and insightful essays on those essential, yet often overlooked, underpinnings of medical care in the American Civil War. With impeccable scholarship each essay enlivens seemingly mundane subject matter and illuminates its importance to the progress of medical science, both during the war years and beyond. --Bill J. Gurley, PhD, editor, I Acted From Principle: The Civil War Diary Of Dr. William M. McPheeters, Confederate Surgeon In The Trans-Mississippi
"Years of Change and Suffering is not oriented toward the medical professional but rather designed for readers interested in Civil War medical history. Such readers should find these essays informative and thought-provoking." --Journal of the American Medical Association
About the Author
<DIV><DIV>James Schmidt is a scientist with more than 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry and the author of more than 50 articles on American history and Lincoln's Labels: America's Best Known Brands and the Civil War. Guy Hasegawa is the senior editor of the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, a published expert on Confederate pharmacy and other aspects of Civil War medicine, and a board member of the National Museum of Civil War Medicine and the Society of Civil War Surgeons.</div></DIV>
Top customer reviews
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I'm going to provide just a brief description of each chapter and then talk about my favorites in a bit more detail. In order of publication: Jodi L. Koste discusses the Medical College of Virginia in the years 1860-1865, James Schmidt introduces us to Scientific American magazine and Civil War medicine and inventions, Alfred Jay Bollet outlines Civil War doctors and amputations, F. Terry Hambrecht writes on J. J. Chisolm the Confederate medical and surgical innovator, Harry Herr discusses urological wounds and their care, Guy R. Hasegawa writes about Southern resources and medicine, D.J. Canale talks about "the Firm" and Civil War neurology, and rounding out the book is Judith Andersen with her important work on combat exposure and mental health.
As I was reading through the table of contents before starting all I could think was "the more things change the more they stay the same". Many of these articles deal with issues that are still relevant for today's military and I got to thinking that maybe our current military brass should take a look at Schmidt and Hasegawa's book to see that while different in some ways war is war. I would suggest they begin with Judith Andersen's contribution "Haunted Minds: The Impact of Combat Exposure on the Mental and Physical Health of Civil War Veterans" Andersen begins by telling us the story of Nellie Kinsman Lang and her husband the Union veteran Frank Lang. Frank was a member of Co. K of the 7th Michigan Infantry who saw combat at places such as Antietam, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Spotsylvania, and The Wilderness. As a hospital attendant Lang of course saw the carnage left by these battles and his post-war anger and violence toward his family was a direct result of what he witnessed firsthand. Obviously post-traumatic stress disorder is nothing new for soldiers. I would also highly recommended military leaders read Alfred Jay Bollett's "Amputations in the Civil War" and "The Privates were Shot: Urological Wounds and Treatment in the Civil War" written by Harry Herr. Despite our huge improvements in medicine and in the care of injured soldiers we also need to deal with the psychological aspects of these injuries and these articles help point out the importance of this.
Several of the articles had a more historical slant including one written by F. Terry Hambrecht titled "J. J. Chisolm, M.D.: Confederate Medical and Surgical Innovator". Chisolm wrote the major book on surgery that was available in the Confederacy: <em>A Manual of Military Surgery , for the Use of Surgeons in the Confederate Army. </em>This went through several editions with updates made each time. Despite being against the use of whiskey in hospitals Chisolm sought out better quality goods "...that our sick soldiers should not be poisoned by the vile stuff sold as whiskey..." (p. 78).
To continue with cliches "necessity is the mother of invention" and James Schmidt writes in "A Multiplicity of Ingenious Articles: Civil War Medicine and Scientific American Magazine" how the magazine has dramatically changed over the years. During the Civil War years the magazine reported on inventions that would have battlefield impact. Improvements came in areas such as ambulances, medicines, and great improvements in prosthetics. There were also large advances in coffins, biers, and in embalming. In discussing these improvements Scientific American said "...any invention which will tend to ameliorate these afflictions and assist in the performance of this sad duty is worthy of special notice" (page 48). Schmidt also points out the increase in the number of women receiving notice in SA for patents.
Overall Schmidt and Hasegawa have put together a highly readable volume that gives the reader much to think about. Each article stands on its own and no level of medical knowledge is needed to read them. Highly recommended!
The eight essays range across the medical landscape of the Civil War. This variety of subjects provides an engrossing peek into the personalities, problems, procedures and developments during this time. The approximately 20-page essay gives a solid introduction without bogging the reader down in unwanted details.
"Amputations in the Civil War" attacks our enduring image and changes it. The author shows how amputations were handled, why they were needed and looks a triage. This is a very well written essay, logical and informative that changed my views on battlefield medical care.
"The Privates Were Shot" is a difficult read but a very well written interesting essay. This is the most graphic essay and discusses the damage and care of wounds to the groin. Again, an essay challenges the idea the doctors were unable to do little more than stand by and hope. We see a series of active and inactivate procedures used in these cases.
"Southern Resources, Southern Medicines", "Medical School for a Nation" and "J.J. Chislom, M.D." give us a picture of the Confederacy response to the realities of war. Taken together, they give us a picture of the training of doctors, finding alternate medicines and one doctor responding to the challenges of war.
"A Multiplicity of Ingenious Articles" looks at Scientific American magazine, patent laws and views on the correct "marketing" of medical inventions. Many inventors chose donation or patent.
"The Firm" looks at the problems associated with nerve damage and the growing understanding of "ghost pain" in missing limbs. This essay shows how 19th Century medicine was growing and developing into what we know today.
Combat soldiers in "good wars" do not suffer PTSD, CSR of ASD. These problems are associated with those who served in the not "good wars". As a Viet Nam veteran, I was very interested in the essay "Haunted Minds. We have very little about the problems of veterans of the Civil War, World War I and World War II had. This essay tells the story of one veteran and the problems he had after the war. It is an important introduction and badly needed look into this subject.
This can be an unpleasant read. We are dealing with blood, pus, bone splinters and suffering. The authors do not dwell on this and avoid sensationalism by staying factual with the minimum of medicinal terminology necessary. This is an excellent book for anyone interested in medicine during the war or those needed an introduction.