Hodgkin's Disease. Most people have heard of it. Yet, very few know Thomas Hodgkin, the man, or the reason the disease was named after him. Dr. Louis Rosenfeld changes that in this searching biography of one of the most significant humanitarians of his time. His in depth, chronological history unfolds against the backdrop of the social, medical, scientific, and educational challenges that were occurring around Thomas Hodgkin in England in the nineteenth century.
Thomas Hodgkin led a life dedicated to the betterment of those around him. First and foremost a dedicated Quaker, his religious fervor ran deep and was apparent in everything he did. He actively participated in the leading social reform movements of his time. He was committed to medical practice reform and education. His opposition to slavery and the slave trade was so strong that he worked to develop settlements in Africa for freed slaves. His strong commitment to social justice for underdeveloped peoples found him fighting for American Indian's rights when they were being threatened by the British.
Thomas Hodgkin spent his life in the relentless pursuit of equality for the underprivileged and oppressed. Despite the fact that his integrity and consistency in human rights issues were anathema to the conventional wisdom of his time, he managed to make a difference. Dr. Rosenfeld captures the true Thomas Hodgkin like no one else ever has in this extraordinary biography.
Intriguing biography of a mid-19-century English physician whose Quaker conscience, idealism, and social activism provide a sharp contrast to the image of late-20th-century physicians as narrowly focused, high-tech specialists. Rosenfeld (Pathology/NYU Medical Center; The Truth about Vasectomy, 1973) has carefully researched the life and times of Hodgkin, whose medical fame rests on his recognition of the disease that bears his name. This achievement was remarkable in an age when microscopic examination of tissues was unknown, but Hodgkin's potential career in the emerging field of pathology was never realized. At Guy's Hospital, London, where he held the dual post of Inspector of the Dead and Curator of the Museum of Morbid Anatomy, Hodgkin was unable to move up the professional ladder. Neither his religion nor his views on social reform were "politically correct," and he lacked the personal charm to overcome these handicaps. In addition to his clinical work, Hodgkin spread his energies over a range of interests - medical education, the metric system, ethnology, slavery, child labor, poor laws, public health, and the welfare of aboriginal tribes. Today, his humanitarianism seems quaint, if not suspect, for Hodgkin was a creature of his time, and his concern for primitive people and slaves was shaped by his underlying belief in the moral superiority of British culture and in its ability to end the ignorance and paganism of "the simpler peoples." A lively portrait of a unique personality, and an illuminating view of medicine and medical education at a time when grave robbers supplied corpses for dissection and medical students smoked cigars in dissecting rooms. (Kirkus Reviews)