The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 72, July 1968 - April, 1969

Book Reviews
ROBERT C. COTNER, Editor
The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston: A Seventy-five
Year History by the Faculty and Staff. Austin (University of Texas
Press), 1967. Pp. xxii+435. Illustrations, appendixes, index.
$12.50.
This huge, handsome volume should warm the cockles of the heart
of every alumnus of the University of Texas Medical Branch at Gal-
veston. Edited with loving care, it contains short, well-written sketches
of each professor, departmental chairman, and dean in the medical
school's existence. Whether fresh from the academic womb or one
whose recollections are seen through the haze of thirty years or more,
graduates of the institution will chuckle affectionately as they recall
the foibles and mannerisms of their former teachers. Here they all
are-sincere, dedicated, intelligent, kind, considerate, and full of dry
wit, gentle humor, and sharp, pungent phraseology. Certainly as fine
a collection of Dr. Chipses as ever tread the academic hall. Interspersed
among the biographical sketches is the history of the school, an in-
triguing subject in its own right. Beset by hurricanes, man-made dis-
asters, and internal administrative problems, the seventy-five years of
the school's existence have been anything but peaceful.
My own inclination would have been to winnow and sift the pro-
fessorial ranks, but there is room for all types of history and all kinds
of historians. The medical profession, more than any other group,
tends to see its history in terms of individuals. This emphasis upon
personalities is reflected in the walls of medical schools, cluttered with
marble busts, bronze plaques, and serried rows of huge oil paintings
bleakly eyeing the passing crowd. No field of history is so replete with
biographies, and in the older medical histories the emphasis upon
individuals is reflected in separate indexes for topical subjects and
proper names.
Viewed in this light, the present volume is a useful and interesting
one. Although casting a rosy hue over the school's history, the book
does treat such incidents as the bitter internal fight arising from the
appointment of John Spies as Dean. Spies began his administration
somewhat inauspiciously by bugging the main switchboard-an action

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 72, July 1968 - April, 1969. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117146/. Accessed April 17, 2014.