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Rare volumes and a refuge from the blacklist

Deemed a security risk and unable to find work, a psychologist in the McCarthy era found a home at Yale.

John P. Flynn, Ph.D., a professor emeritus of psychology (psychiatry) who died in 1980 after 26 years on the Yale faculty, liked to tell the story of how he acquired some neurology books at a used bookstore in New York in the early 1940s. The owner, unaware of their value, sold the rare volumes to Flynn for just $10.The three-volume set, Textura del Sistema Nervioso del Hombre y de los Vertebrados, was written between 1897 and 1899 by the Spanish histologist Santiago Ramón y Cajal, M.D., considered the founder of modern neuroscience (this year is the centennial of the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine to Cajal and Camillo Golgi, M.D.). John Gach, president of John Gach Books and an appraiser specializing...

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