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Reviews

"A consistently engaging overview of Civil War medicine in its every aspect. Based on careful research and mastery of an abundant literature, Marrow of Tragedy provides a powerful depiction of a subject revealing of a dynamic and increasingly complex American society."

"If there is one study that shows us the significance of sickness in the Civil War, and the attempts to define and counter it, this is it. With admirable scholarship and an eye for key turning points, Humphreys has written a compelling history of the war’s medical costs and achievements."

"Full of fresh perspectives, thoughtful insights, and judicious re-assessments, this sweeping synthesis by an outstanding historian will fundamentally change the way we think about Civil War medical history. For scholars and general readers alike, Marrow of Tragedy is a must-read book."

"An immensely readable synthesis of what [Humphreys] terms 'the greatest health disaster that this country has ever experienced.'"

"Humphreys' work accomplishes several tasks. It puts mid-nineteenth century health care through a prism of military concerns, civilian responses to war, medical science, and women's environment. It offers clear and concise depictions of individuals and their vendettas, such as military officers embracing or not tolerating civilian efforts. Marrow of Tragedy presents a compelling story of Americans, civilian and military, struggling together to do acts of mercy and create better environments during an era of brother against brother bloodshed."

"In many ways, Marrow of Tragedy is likely to remain the definitive general medical history of the war for years to come... The book has high production values and makes one of the most important contributions to our understanding of that so-called third army of the Civil War—disease—and the efforts of those on both sides of the MasonDixon to fight it. It needs to be read by specialists and nonspecialists alike and should find a place on the shelf of every academic library worthy of the name."

"Margaret Humphreys has made a significant contribution to the literature of Civil War medicine and of medicine in general by sharply focusing on rear-echelon military healthcare. She adroitly uses primary and secondary sources to explain the implications of such innovations as hospitals, nongovernmental organizations, reforms in sanitation, and the employment of women as nurses and other healthcare workers. For anyone interested in war and medicine, Marrow of Tragedy shines a bright light on previously unexplored aspects of the Civil War and their impact on American society."

"Through each chapter, Humphreys challenges our understanding of mid-nineteenth-century American medicine... Humphreys has done an outstanding job presenting a comprehensive picture of the stat of health care before, during, and in the years following the Civil War... Marrow of Tragedy is a valuable contribution to the literature of the history of medicine during the Civil War and should be read by anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the time period. Margaret Humphreys is to be commended for work well done."

"Readers interested in Civil War medicine will find Margaret Humphreys' volume to be a useful perspective that reads well and complements previous studies."