Concerned by the skull grinning from the foreground of this volume’s front-cover illustration, I was reassured by the anesthetic antiques in the background. The back cover introduces the author, Dr. Berend Mets, the Eric A. Walker Professor and Chair of Anesthesiology at the Penn State College of Medicine. So, judging this book by its cover(s), why should readers bother paging through it? Here is why—many physician-authors have penned histories of medicine littered with lionizing biographies and little substance. Some of these writers have lamented having to wade through bogs of footnotes inked by “Ph.D. historians” who swim through the social milieu but rarely dive into analyses of clinical leadership. As an anesthesiologist with a Ph.D. in pharmacology, Dr. Berend Mets has staked out an unapologetic island between these authorship extremes with this remarkable new book. To readers,...

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