Capsule

Harvey Cushing: the man, the surgeon and the father

A new biography of the pioneering neurosurgeon explores different facets of the man who revolutionized brain surgery.

J. Michael Bliss, Ph.D., author of a new biography of Harvey W. Cushing, M.D., assumed the lectern at the Hope Auditorium last October to face what a Catskills comic might call a tough crowd: Cushing’s descendants and relatives, who had gathered to celebrate the renowned neurosurgeon’s life and to plan for a permanent home at Yale for Cushing’s rich collection of brain specimens, photographs, drawings and memorabilia.But Bliss, a historian at the University of Toronto, proceeded without fear or favor as he discussed his book, Harvey Cushing: A Life in Surgery, and wasted no words in raising an issue of interest to those with a personal connection to the notoriously demanding Cushing. “There’s vigorous debate...

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