New Orleans–born Stanhope Bayne-Jones was one of the pivotal figures in the modernization of American medicine. Through his life story Albert E. Cowdrey’s War and Healing dramatizes the growth of American medicine from a provincial and amateurish state into a major national endeavor.
Cowdrey shows the diversity and wide-ranging impact of Bayne-Jones’s career. A brilliant student at Johns Hopkins, and a protégé of William Welch, bayne-Jones became in turn dean of Yale Medical School, a foundation head, a general in the army’s Medical Corps, president of the New York Hospital–Cornell Medical Center, director of the army’s medical research program, and a member of the Surgeon General’s Commission on Smoking and Health.
Both a unique and a representative figure, Bayne-Jones learned from his military experience in two wars that the fundamental business of medicine is health, not disease, and became a strong advocate for preventive medicine. He developed a broad, idealized conception of the future of medicine as a discipline free of political control, organized collectively, devoted to the preservation of health, and divorced from entrepreneurial passions.
Bayne-Jones was a complex, fascinating man and physician. Gifted with great intelligence and considerable charm, he spent much of his life in the Ivy League, the halls of government, and the great northeastern cities. Cowdrey explores the tensions between Bayne-Jones’s southern roots and national aspirations, between his deep commitment to his family and heritage and his restless, driving ambition. Bayne-Jones’s career forms still another chapter, logical and yet unexpected, in the family saga that will be familiar to many readers through The Children of Pride.
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