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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003

Book Reviews

Wakefield assisted her father in preparing this book after his retirement. As
sources, they used articles in newspapers and medical journals, a few historical
books, and many personal interviews.
The first of fourteen chapters is a brief summary of the medical ceremonies
and practices of the Indians who inhabited the Brazos River valley before Anglo-
American physicians arrived in the 183os. The next eight chapters chronicle the
evolution of practices by trained physicians between 1830 and 1999. The subse-
quent five chapters deal with county medical societies, health care institutions,
the economics of medical practice, two educational institutions, and the services
of area physicians in U.S. military forces. After a concluding chapter, there are
some useful appendices with statistical data and lists; e.g., the names and special-
ties of members of the Brazos-Robertson County Medical Society in 1999.
Using names, dates, and biographical anecdotes, the authors trace the steady
appearance of physician specialists and sub-specialists in Brazos County, from
the obstetricians and pediatricians of the early 1950s to the sub-specialists of the
late 199os that included a pediatric otolaryngologist and an orthopedic surgeon
who specializes in hip replacements. Exquisite details about the medical and sur-
gical therapies of these doctors are given in large measure. Only fellow physi-
cians will understand these details, which, of course, limits the book's usefulness
to general readers. But this is also the book's major strength for those who want
to fully understand the changing contours of orthodox medical practice during
the last half of the twentieth century.
This book is mostly descriptive, with a few interpretations and evaluations in
the concluding chapter. Other perspectives about the state's medical legacies
can be found in the health care entries in the New Handbook of Texas.
Brazos County doctors will celebrate this unique book as a tribute to their dili-
gence and devotion. It can be purchased from Dr. Anderson (743 S. Rosemary
Drive, Bryan, Texas 77802-4334). A check for $22 should be made payable to
the Texas A&M Foundation. Proceeds from the sales of this book will be used
for a Helen S. Anderson Award (in honor of Anderson's mother) that will be
given to the outstanding senior graduating each year from the Texas A&M
School of Medicine.
Unwverszty of Texas Medzcal Branch CHESTER R. BURNS
A Tribute to Early Texas: Through the Lens of Master Photographer John R. Blocker. By
Anita Higman and Sylvia B. Thompson. (Plano: Republic of Texas Press,
2001. Pp. xv+256. Foreword, introduction, bibliography, index. $22.95,
paper.)
John R. Blocker may very well be the "Ansel Adams" of Texas photography.
This volume of black-and-white photographs documents the West Texas land-
scape and the encroachment of modernization during the first half of the twen-
tieth century. The book is structured so that the photographs proceed from the
pristine natural landscapes to the gradual infringement of civilization in the
form of pioneer settlements, windmills, roads, wagons, and motor cars. Blocker's
camera presents a nostalgic, almost pastoral view of an early Texas landscape
that is now a thing of the past, evoking "memories of places and customs forever

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101223/. Accessed September 30, 2014.