A Dictionary of Slang and Colloquial English. Abridged from the seven-volume work entitled, Slang and Its Analogues

1921 Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)  
This edition is said to have been largely rewritten, thus accounting for the larger size of the book. New chapters have been added on the food disorders, congenital malformations and derangements of the digestive tract, spasmophilia, acidosis and other subjects in which medical knowledge has advanced. The citations from the literature are numerous and well chosen, and contain many references to the work of American pediatricians. In the main, this is a textbook on clinical pediatrics for
more » ... ioners, and while the author believes that he has said little about pathology, his discussion of the etiology and pathogenesis of diseases, notably scurvy and rickets, is full and complete. Some of his opinions will doubtless give rise to dissent: in congenital stenosis of the pylorus he recognizes a "natural process of cure" which, while slow, is most effective, although in the acute cases the loss of weight and strength is so rapid that he thinks the risk of an operation is far less than that of prolonged med¬ ical treatment. The chapter on growth and development is good, especially that part dealing with the development of the sensory functions and their testing for clinical purposes. By observing closely changes from the normal in all the func¬ tions of the infant, much of value may be learned on which to base a diagnosis. Thomson devotes much space to this sub¬ ject in the consideration of the infant's cry, how it nurses, sleeps, breathes, holds its hands and feet, and reacts to outside influence. Fifty pages are devoted to syphilis and tuber¬ culosis. The chapter on therapeutics discusses many mea¬ sures which unfortunately are not used as they should be, such as sponging, packs, douches, baths, fomentations, poul¬ tices, bleeding, the mechanical treatment of the stomach and intestines, the administration of medicines by mouth and hypodermically, and the local application of drugs. By no means the least valuable chapter is that at the end of the book in which many things are discussed, such as case tak¬ ing; periods of incubation and infectiveness of contagious diseases ; anaphylaxis ; accessory food factors, or vitamins ; technic for intravenous injections in infants, and directions to mothers with respect to paralyzed children and those who are mentally defective. Many formulas are given as well as recipes for the preparation of foods. The book is well illus¬ trated and the index is very complete. It has been the opinion of most literary critics that biographies of great men written by wives or by other near relatives are invariably unsatisfactory. Until now the exception that proved the rule was the life of Pasteur by his son-inlaw, Valery-Radot. To this exception must now be added the present volume. Madame Metchnikoff has prepared a book which may well stand with the Pasteur volume. It was the wish of Metchnikoff that she write this biography, and he contributed extensively to it; repeatedly it partakes of the nature of autobiography. The literary style, reveal-ing traces of the influence of such Russian masters as Turgeniev and Tolstoi, must be accredited wholly to Madame Metchnikoff and to the unnamed English translator. The early steps in the career of the great biologist are traced with broad strokes revealing much without the intimate detail that makes dry and monotonous reading. We learn of the introspective character of the man, of his nervous temperament and of his innate pessimism. These fea¬ tures of his character caused him twice to attempt suicide before the age of 35. His enthusiasm for science was the vital feature of his life. When he found himself in the environment of Russia before the revolution, a country with small regard for science and with little encouragement for research, his spirit and aspirations were repeatedly thwarted. He sought an outlet in Germany, where he was received coldly. Eventually he reached France, and there at last found the sanctuary which he had long sought. He was not only a biologist and naturalist but also a philosopher of extraordinary depth. As represented by Madame Metchnikoff,' he was a man with an ideal. To him the doctrine of phagocytosis was a creed to be fought for and defended to the bitter end. The story of his many battles makes the recital of his scientific work as intense as a piece of fiction. In his second attempt at suicide, when young, Professor Metchnikoff had inoculated himself with relapsing fever. He recovered, but the effects on the myocardium were such as to give him serious difficulty throughout the remainder of his life. Becoming imbued later with the idea that the intes¬ tinal flora with the toxins produced in the large bowel were primarily responsible for senile changes, he evolved the plan of changing this flora through the implantation of opposing organisms. The newspaper notoriety following this work was so great as to make him best known to the public for this rather than for his many greater and more scientific contributions to medical science. The development of all these discoveries is carefully traced in the book. Passing the age of 50, Professor Metchnikoff, studying his own mind, realized that he was now imbued with the desire to prolong life whereas he had formerly sought only for an early end as the greatest desire of mankind. As his last illness developed, he began to write down from day to day the feelings which came over him. This diary occupies a score of pages, and is easily comparable to
doi:10.1001/jama.1921.02630460063039 fatcat:yvgnojz4ejcf5nyxx7ogbdj4zq