IMMORTAL MAGYAR by Frank G. Slaughter


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In the this is a popular presentation (reasonably restrained for this author) of the life of the 19th century, Hungarian born Ignaz Philipp whose fight against puerperal fever was part of the development of antiseptic science which Lister and Pasteur were to continue. His was a life of controversy, bitterness and rather disgruntled defeat to which his irritable eccentricity contributed. Studying at the University of Vienna, he later found in his clinic work there that the mortality from childbed fever had risen to 18%, and his own research led him to the conclusion that the spread of the disease lay within the clinic and to antiseptic precautions which met with violent resistance. In spite of the practical proof of his theory as the death rate declined, there was the demotion in a more limited appointment which caused him to leave Vienna for Budapest. A marriage to a young girl brought greater personal happiness but he was still to face professional reaction, and with the publication of his conclusive evidence, continued protest and his last years of complete mental deterioration wrote a sad ending to a lifework of humanitarian significance. There's not the quality here of Morton Thompson's fictional The and The (1949) but this will do.

Publisher: Henry Schuman