Jenny Brown's Reviews > Genius on the Edge: The Bizarre Double Life of Dr. William Stewart Halsted

Genius on the Edge by Gerald Imber
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's review
Sep 19, 2010

liked it

The insights into the history of modern surgery, starting in the late 1800s are valuable. But there is a lot of repetition and we don't really learn all that much about the subject, Dr. Halsted, so much as we do the institutional history of Johns Hopkins hospital and medical school.

This is a dry book about the history of surgery, not a look at a "bizarred double life" of anyone.

As a biography, this book is hampered by the lack of primary source materials that would give us insight into the personal life and thoughts of its subject. The author has done a very good job finding what he can to flesh it out, but it is more an institutional than personal history.

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Marilyn the author told us that
Halsted was detached much of the time so he was not an easy person to know intimately. Perhaps because medicine and history facinates me, as do the lives of geniuses, for me this book was a page turner.

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