Murder and Madness, Military Matters and Managed Medicine, Memorable Milestones and Moments - Allen D. Spiegel.
This book recalling historic milestones and memorable moments owes much to the process of serendipity. Many of the events link individuals who appear on other occasions. Initially, the murder by Mary Harris attracted the author’s attention with a few sentences in a note in a late 1800s issue of the American Journal of Insanity. Later, upon investigation, Charles Mason, one of her lawyers, led to Clara Barton’s story. A specific mention of a court spectator at the Harris trial led to Medal of Honor winner Dr. Mary E. Walker. In turn, this led to the first Medal of Honor winner, Dr. Bernard J. D. Irwin. Irwin directed the author to his medical school, the reforming New York Medical College. An official report of the Harris murder trial noted that Mrs. Mary Todd Lincoln sent flowers to the cell of the murderess. At the time General Daniel E. Sickles was often in the White House visiting with the Lincolns. As a practicing lawyer, Lincoln commented about Sickles’ trial for the murder of Philip Barton Key. This prompted a purview of Lincoln’s law cases and revealed the chloroform induced insanity plea and the expert medical opinion on the sanity of Dr. David M. Wright. Diagnosis of assassin John Wilkes Booth as a monomaniac was a logical follow-up. Lincoln’s law career led to the research into the first malpractice crisis in the U.S. Because of the interaction among the individuals, some material is briefly noted more than once. This merely rounds out the story in each case. Tangential information adds relevance to provide understanding and comprehensiveness of the situation. Numerous vintage photographs and illustrations, and a full name plus subject index enhance the text.
2007, 5½x8½, paper, index, 308 pp.