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Jena 30.3.1912.

Lieber und hochgeahnter Herr Poster!

Für Ihre freundliche Intention, wir


Pathfinders in Medicine

7hr Werk über u


dadicieren, rage

ich Ihnen meinen

Menglichsten Sant! Wenn ich diese choke Distinction in Bescheidenheit


Kann ich es war damit

rechtfertigen, dass ich seit 60 Jahren emstlich bestrebt war; die Erkennt, wir der Wochrheit in der Medizin qu fördern, und die feste Grundlage dafür in Aurban der Anthropogenie zu schaffen. Mit den Bitte, wir Fare freundliche Gesinnung auch fernerhin zu bewahren, bleiber ich hochachtungsroll

The ergebenes Ernst Haeckel.

[Haeckel's Letter to the Author]


Three years ago, when the first of these sketches appeared, I did not expect to write enough of them to make a book. I entered the field of medical history as I had entered several others out of curiosity. But the fruit was tempting, and I have gathered it ever since.

At the beginning of this year, when the Medical Review of Reviews came under its present management, I assumed the editorship of the Department of History of Medicine, and it is for this journal that most of these Pathfinders were originally prepared. Some of them, however, had previously appeared in the Medical Record, American Journal of Clinical Medicine, and the Critic and Guide, to which periodicals my thanks are due for permission to reprint.

After a few of these essays had been published, some physicians wrote and spoke to me of the desirability of continuing the work and collecting it in a volume. Altho we are supposed to have a psychological prejudice against taking advice, I regarded this proposition with favor. I am glad to say that among the physicians who made the suggestion to me, was the Nestor of American Medicine, Professor Abraham Jacobi. Dr Jacobi has likewise been generous enough to write the Introduction. He himself is thoroly versed in the history of medicine, as can be seen by consulting the eight excellent volumes of 'COLLECTANEA JACOBI.'

In my opinion the doctrine of evolution has done more for the intellectual uplift of the human race than all other movements combined. Its chief pioneers were Darwin, Huxley, Spencer, Tyndall, Wallace, Haeckel. Out of this group only Wallace and Haeckel survive. Wallace, unfortunately, has gone over to the enemy - he has become a spiritualist; there

remains to us, therefore, only Professor Haeckel, the boldest and most effective fighter of them all, and no incident connected with the making of my book has given me quite so much gratification as his willingness to receive the dedication.

I desire to express my thanks to Dr Eva Helen Knight for her kindness in performing an arduous task-reading the proofs of this volume. Sometimes I think it is easier to write a book than afterwards to wrestle with the printer's proof. V. R.

New York, August 16, 1912.


THE question whether it is history that makes men, or men that make history, has often been raised, but has never been answered to everyone's satisfaction. In most of the histories of nations that repose in our libraries, ample credit is given to warriors and kings and destroyers. But the slowly developing culture of the masses, not sung in epics, does not come in for its share of appreciation any more than the multitude of drops which hollow the rock. Still it is the quiet work of eras extending over tens of thousands of years that has brought about advancement without abrupt jumps.

Our experience is quite different in connection with arts and sciences, for in arts and sciences it is individual brains and exertions that have created sudden wonders which caused permanent changes in knowledge and convictions, and resulted in practical reforms and revolutions.

In America the history of medicine is almost never taught, and as long as our universities do not teach it, the pupils feel encouraged to neglect it.

We have no journal devoted to the history of medicine, and our books on the subject are few, and are not on as many shelves as they should be or are shelved too soon. We have only John Watson's The Medical Profession in Ancient Times; The Nose and Throat in Medical History by Jonathan Wright; Alvin A. Hubbells' The Development of Ophthalmology in America; Samuel D. Gross' Lives of Eminent American Physicians and Surgeons; A Century of American Medicine by Clarke, Bigelow, Gross, Thomas and Billings; the valuable works of Packard and Mumford, and a very few others.

To this list of works on medical history has now been

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