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'Bellevue' by David Oshinsky: EW Review

Posted on

Bellevue

type:
Book
Current Status:
In Season
author:
David Oshinsky
publisher:
Doubleday
genre:
Nonfiction

We gave it a B+

Oshinsky, who won a Pulitzer for 2005’s Polio: An American Story, returns to the realm of doctors and diseases in this sprawling story of Manhattan’s Bellevue Hospital. He skillfully guides us through the years from its 1736 founding as an almshouse to the present, delving into the myriad ways the publicly funded hospital dealt with medical issues of yore like tuberculosis and pre-anesthesic, pre-antiseptic surgery, before graduating to unprecedented terrors like the AIDS epidemic and Hurricane Sandy. You’ll walk away in awe of this tenacious institution—and marvel at the way Oshinsky also fits a comprehensive but succinct history of modern medicine itself into the same book. B+