Genius on the Edge – The Bizarre Double Life of Dr. William Stewart Halsted (Day -255)

Genius on the Edge – The Bizarre Double Life of Dr. William Stewart Halsted

After reading the biography of Dr Harvey Cushing I was very excited to start reading this book as Dr Halsted is where modern surgery comes from.

The size of the book is relatively thick, however there is a large font used throughout with a relatively large text spacing make it easy reading. Unfortunately this is one of the only positives about this book.

The author jumps backwards and forwards through time almost randomly. It is a constant struggle to know just what stage of Dr Halsted’s life is being discussed, and there is no logical order to the flow.

This is compounded by the inclusion of many other people within the book – I would guess that if you removed all this stuff about other people the book would be half its size. This disappointed me as I wanted to learn about Dr Halsted – and instead of this found very little about him here. I am not sure whether this is because there is so little known about him, however with the way the author kept jump to random other people it felt like they were just trying to make their word count. Often I had to search backwards and forwards just to find out where in time I was supposed to be.

I guess that something I really liked about the Harvey Cushing biography was the inclusion of historic documents including letters and medical reports. These are not included in much detail within this book on Dr Halsted.

All in all, I would not recommend this book for someone wanting to learn more about the contribution of Dr Halsted to surgery. I will be continuing on my search to find out more about this great man.