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Tinsley Harrison, M.D.: Teacher of Medicine

James A. Pittman Jr., M.D.

NewSouth Books
978-1-58838-226-9
$45.00 hardcover
7.625 x 9.25
400 pages
January 2015

Tinsley Harrison—doctor, teacher, researcher, editor, writer, and father—was one of the most important medical figures of the 20th century. He edited the first five editions of Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine, regarded as a quintessential medical text. He traveled the world in his capacity as a teaching doctor, made significant contributions to scholarship, and served as the dean at three different medical schools. He was a titan of the field, an enormous presence central to the narrative of American medicine. No significant biography has been written about him until now.

Author James Pittman knew Harrison well, studying with him in the 1950s and 1960s. Pittman spent six years interviewing Harrison at the end of his life. Those lengthy interviews, as well as interviews with Harrison’s colleagues, family, and friends, form the bulk of this compulsively readable book. Pittman brings his own medical knowledge and his personal friendship with the subject to the fore in this beautifully written character study of one of science’s great, if not best known, men. Harrison lived a long, exciting life. In these pages, readers will get a glimpse of the historical forces that shaped, and the advances that were shaped by, this incredible doctor.