The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 90, July 1986 - April, 1987

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

with fraternity brothers, at a Longhorn Picnic, at Johns Hopkins, in the
operating room, with former patients, at his Cool Acres Ranch, spin-
ning a basketball, playing tennis, riding a black stallion, receiving the
Medal of Freedom from President Ronald Reagan, and in the company
of such assorted celebrities as Kings Juan Carlos and Hussein, Prin-
cesses Margaret, Anne, and Grace, Billy Jean King and Bobby Riggs,
Cantinflas, Chad Everett, and Darrell Royal. Those who are looking for
some special insights into the world of modern cardiac medicine are
likely to be less pleased. The "essays" consist of speeches, articles from
magazines, newspaper columns, snippets from books written for the
general public, and an occasional summary for a professional journal.
They are consistently anecdotal rather than analytical, and few of them
go beyond what appears regularly in the popular press. The chrono-
logical rather than topical organization, and the absence of any mean-
ingful editing, give rise to a bothersome repetition. One reads on nine
different occasions, for example, of Dr. Cooley's 1969 implantation of
the first totally artificial heart.
The essays range widely from personal vignettes about a high school
basketball coach and a college English professor, to comments on such
contemporary issues as the cost of medical care, the doctor-patient rela-
tion and new technology, to an understandable focus on surgery of the
heart. Overall, Cooley provides an inspiring survey of the history of
cardiovascular surgery during the past thirty years. He marvels at
Christiaan N. Barnard's first cardiac transplantation in man; he de-
fends his own pioneer work; and he challenges critics of the coronary
artery bypass. He is an unabashed booster for surgical interventions
(although he has reservations about the use of the Jarvik-VII), and
even provides a list of the first 50,000 operations at his Texas Heart In-
stitute. Most important, he displays throughout a commitment-to save
the life of every patient-that is rare even among his colleagues, and
that has made him one of the world's great practitioners.
The University of Texas at Austin CLARENCE LASBY
Quadrangle: The History of Fort Sam Houston. By Eldon Cagle, Jr. (Austin:
Eakin Press, 1985. Pp. viii+ 192. Acknowledgments, photographs,
appendix, endnotes, bibliography, index. $14.95.)
Quadrangle: The History of Fort Sam Houston is intended as a history of
Fort Sam Houston from its tenuous beginnings during the Mexican
War until the present. Given the impact of the military establishment
on Texas history, the topic is deserving of extensive treatment.
Regrettably, Eldon Cagle, Jr., sheds little light on his subject. The
book lacks a clear purpose. It is largely anecdotal, with numerous brief

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 90, July 1986 - April, 1987. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117152/. Accessed December 22, 2014.