Nursing, the Finest Art

Patricia Donahue, Author, M. Patricia Donahue, Author, Patricia A. Russac, Photographer ABRAMS $49.5 (0p) ISBN 978-0-8109-1113-0
The history of nursing is essentially a story of women and reflects their subjugated condition in various times and places. In Europe nurses indoctrinated by the Church from 300 A.D. onward were trained in passivity, humility and disregard for self. Male physicians in 19th century America saw midwifery as a threat to their profession and crushed this female vocation. Donahue, a professor at the University of Iowa College of Nursing, demonstrates that nurses or healers often enjoyed a high status in Asian cultures and among ""primitive'' peoples. Modern developments such as team nursing and specialization are cursorily examined. Written in textbook style, this volume is marred by superficial coverage and occasionally sloppy writing. The dull prose fails to bring the story to life. Russac, an archivist for Sotheby's, has pulled together hundreds of sprightly illustrations ranging from Judy Chicago to Rembrandt. The pictures lavishly amplify the text even when they are not from the era being discussed. (March)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1986
Release date: 04/01/1986
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