The Word as Scalpel: A History of Medical Sociology

By Samuel W. Bloom | Go to book overview

Acknowledgments

Among the many who helped me with this book, Kurt Deuschle stands out. He first suggested the idea for a proposal to the Commonwealth Fund Book Program on the Frontiers of Science. At the time, Kurt was the distinguished and much loved chairman of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine Department of Community Medicine. My first large debt, therefore, is owed to him and to the Commonwealth Fund, especially to former staff members Lester Evans, John Eberhart, and Reginald H. Fitz. Special thanks are also due to Susan Garfield and the Rockefeller International Conference Center at Bellagio, Italy, where I developed the first detailed outline of what this book eventually became. Soon afterward, my appointment as a Visiting Fellow at the Russell Sage Foundation relieved me of academic duties for six months of total immersion in writing. From these sources, the short book first proposed evolved into the present much more ambitious history.

Most of the work was done in the old-fashioned off-line way, at typewriter and then word processor, heavily dependent on documents, interviews, and libraries. Reference librarians at the Levy Library of Mount Sinai School of Medicine, the New York Academy of Medicine, and the New York Society Library were particularly helpful. The kindness and efficiency of archivists regularly solved critical problems, especially those at the Meiklejohn Institute in California, the New York Public Library, the National Archives of the United States, and the University of Wisconsin Center for Film and Theatre Research. Organizations like the National Institutes of Health and the American Sociological Association were always accessible and responsive. But more than any other, I owe thanks to the staff of the Amagansett Free Library. There seemed to be no request too difficult for this remarkable public library of a small New York village.

When it comes to individual contributions, it is much harder to assess influence and to adequately express my gratitude. For example, my students in the Ph. D. Program in Sociology at the City University of New York were my primary readers and critics of chapters in draft. I could not possibly list them individually, but collectively, they are at the top of my list of the most helpful. There are also friends and colleagues who served the writing process in what I can only describe as an intellectual context rather than in specific helping roles. Sol Levine, for example, was someone who never waited to be asked. He initiated contact, asked about my work, and then critically responded to anything I sent him. My debt to

-v-

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