Famous Personalities Honored on Stamps: Links to Medicine

Marc A. Shampo, Robert A. Kyle, and Werner Heidel. Vantage, $22.95 trade paper (280p) ISBN 978-0-533-16361-8
For these short profiles of people pictured on postage stamps, the authors devised a unique if limiting premise for inclusion: "men and women with relatively little known links to medicine who were honored on stamps primarily because they made their mark in other fields—politics, art, philosophy, religion, entertainment, sports, and so on." The 131 individuals profiled include Walt Disney and Ernest Hemingway, who were both American Red Cross ambulance drivers during WWI; Hector Berlioz and Robinson Jeffers, who were once medical students; basketball inventor James Naismith, who was briefly a Colorado physician; O. Henry, who was a licensed pharmacist while a prison inmate; and Howard Hughes, who founded the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The book disappoints on multiple levels. Some of the stamps profiled belong to larger sets, leaving readers to wish the authors had presented the entire set. Additionally, there is scant information about the stamps themselves—usually a single sentence at the end of each profile—and the artists of the stamps remain a mystery.
Reviewed on: 03/28/2011
Release date: 02/01/2011
Genre: Nonfiction
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