This continues the personalized (""I was there"") approach of the earlier The Century of the Surgeon as the fictional Dr. Hartmann, as an attending physician, documents this record of certain momentous surgical procedures. Beginning in the year 1881, when anesthesia and antisepsis (and to an extent vivisection) had made possible the opening-ups to follow, Hartmann describes innovations in spinal and cerebral surgery; in operations for goiter, gall bladder (his own), inguinal hernia, cancer of the throat, lung surgery. In some detail, he describes the second fight against anesthesia, this time local, as cocaine was first introduced by Freud, and Halsted in this country demonstrated its effectiveness at his own expense. Great names cross the pages: Lister and his pupil Macewen; Charcot; Marian Sims. So do many who were their patients- among them the story of Kaiser Friedrich Wilhelm's last year, as too many doctors delayed the operation which might have lengthened his life...... The intensive medical research on which this book is based is not to be underestimated because of the first person presentation of the material; and the stress is on the importance of the surgical techniques as they were originated (as against Agatha Young's Scalpel).